Being tasked with leading innovation in teaching techniques across the curriculum this year, I spent a lot of my time during the summer holidays researching the latest trends in teaching. I came across a whole new pedagogical vocabulary and it seemed like I would have to trial some new methodologies throughout the year.
My top tip so far has been +Edmodo as it has enabled me to flip learning for 1/3 of lessons with my Year 9 group. Teaching German in an ICT suite once a fortnight was always going to be a challenge and I decided that students needed to be able to work independently, collaboratively with me facilitating as any good ICT teacher would run an ICT lesson.
Thanks to +Sarah Findlater and fellow colleagues @sltcamp talking about how google docs could be used for collaboration and teacher comments I thought I would partner both together. The bad news was we had a school challenge consultant coming to do a faculty learning walk, particularly to look at student engagement and independence in the very lesson I was trialling the whole thing.
It was with trepidation that I set up the entire lesson via Edmodo. The class was split into pairs and sent the link to different documents they were going to construct together, with my comments to help them edit level 5 upwards. Students did not know who their partner was until they started to log on and type the document together. They also had a powerpoint of grammar uploaded to the class page on Edmodo incase they had forgotten key grammar from the previous lessons.
At the same time I was analysing the quiz starter on how students had done on their tenses recognition homework. Thanks to Edmodo marking the quiz straight away I was able to call students up for individual support. Then quickly take a look at the co-construction of texts pairs were working on.
I had no idea what the consultant was going to think about this as I was purely trialling an innovation with the hope that student would learn independently. The feedback was great - in fact he suggested that it should be rolled out across the MFL faculty and then across the school.
So in 7 days time I will be training up my pioneering digital leading teachers on how they can use this style of flipped classroom to drive up independent skills and attainment. My students have also invited their parents to be part of the experience and they get to track their work as well. I'll get parental feedback at Year 9 parents' evening. Hopefully after my trepidation in the beginning parents will be as delighted with the "facebook for German" experience their children are having. Then it will be almost time for a whole school launch.
The power of twitter in improving my teaching skills for the 21st Century continues to amaze me and I am grateful for the collegiate approach of all tweachers who are willing to share their successes and failures.