I want to make sure that I talk about this before I lose sight of the student’s faces when they started…
Today I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with many of the students in our online school for CSAP testing. It was the first time that I had seen them in a situation that required them to be a part of the school without their parents. While I really enjoy talking to the parents of our online schools students, I miss kids so much that I will take any chance to talk with them about how they are learning and enjoing their school experiences.
Today, I was able to pull the 8th graders aside and ask them if they would like a space to express themselves and collaborate together. Without hesitation, they said yes. They wanted to pilot the use of sites as a “facebook lite”, where they were able to create a page for themselves and receieve comments and attach photos, audio, and video.
Now, I am not asking them to pilot this use for my own purposes. I genuinely want students to be able to collaborate in a setting where they know (not hope) that only the people that are in the group can see it. I want to explore the possiblity of having a student generated portfolio where they are the ones that decide what is important enough to post.
So, as three students were using the computers after the CSAP test in order to create garageband tracks and then embedding them on the site, I was seeing the ways in which self-organizing collaboration is the future of online learning. I would like to see so much more of my students creating objects on their own and then creating spaces for those objects. All we have to do is give them the tools and model their academic use.
The goal is to show this space as an example for what is possible… I will definitely be checking in often with them and showing them how to continue to express themselves safely and collaboratively. I’ll let you know how it turns out.