Friday, 7 October 2016

Breakout #7 - Ulearn16

I have been excited about this session ALL WEEK. It is called "A teacher tells how she made her classroom bigger than the TARDIS". Say whaaaaaaaattttt? I know, right? Hence my excitement. 

Here is what the description on the booking sheet says.. 

"Meet a teacher whose uses LEARNZ in her 21st Century teaching and learning programme to extend the walls of her classroom, inspire learners, and make her time and effort go further. During this session, use your device(s) to step your way through a LEARNZ field trip experience with us. Take part in a short web conference as you “walk-the-walk” with us. Then take up the opportunity to register yourself with LEARNZ, set up a class, enrol and take part in a virtual field trip. Get familiar with how you will be supported on your LEARNZ journey. Find out about using LEARNZ to “Connect” people, places, communities, big ideas, the NZ Curriculum, and technology. Find out about the opportunities with LEARNZ to “Collaborate” in your class, syndicate, department, school, or Community of Learners (COL). Find out how you can “Innovate” using LEARNZ and what makes LEARNZ an innovative teaching and learning programme."

I am excited to learn about how to make my classroom bigger than the tardis because trips are so much effort to organise, you have to do it months in advance, get parent permisison and helpers, most of the time you have to pay for it (a major hinderance in low decile schools). It also doesn't allow you to do in-the-moment teaching type field trips. Doing digital field trips also affords you to go overseas, beyond your city, etc etc which wouldn't be possible in an everyday classroom anyways.

This is done through the LEARNZ website
Any registered NZ teacher can access this resource for free.

There are two types of virtual field trips available - past and current. The current trips are pre-arranged and the topic decided by LEARNZ and there is a live components to it as well. Once a trip has happened, it is then stored on the website to be accessed in past tense (however you can't view what would have been the 'live' part). 

The next trip is next week (week 1 of term 4). It is about Whats the plan Stan? (a National Civil Defence programme aimed to prepare kids for an emergency)
Student reading resource - with audio file opportunity. 
Student online independent activities. - with a self-marking function that the kids can see.
There are prizes available for teachers who complete the evaluation.
Even the curriculum links and AO's/KC's are provided!

You don't have to use the full programme - you can pick and choose what you want to do and how much you want to be involved. You can also choose to be a silent listening school or you can choose to be a speaking school, asking questions to other schools and the experts who are running the field trip. 
The LEARNZ team also offer 30 minute introductions to each virtual field trip to help teachers understand the content, ask questions etc. The timetable for that can be found here.

Another awesome feature is that when you register, and type in your school name (hence location), LEARNZ suggests other teachers in your school or your area who are also registered, so you can get help if you are struggling and/or even work together on the trip. How cool!

There were so many different aspects that I almost felt quite overwhelmed, so to help organise my thinking I made a google drawing to simplify it for myself.

This resource was WAAAAAAYYYYY more than I thought it would be - I expected a walk through of the zoo that somebody had recorded sort of thing, maybe some 360 camera footage, but this is just incredible. So much more than I thought it would be. 
Can't wait to try it out - maybe next year! 
(The next one is literally next week, a bit late now...)

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