I have been keen on Zooburst since I first saw it last year. It is an engaging way to use technology to enhance writing and to showcase creativity, particularly( although not exclusively) in the early years. One of our p1 classes have been using Zooburst as their big assessment for this term. A Big Assessment is where children can show application of what they have learned over the last term and watching some of our youngest pupils tackle this task was a real revelation for me and made me think about how much do we really expect from our pupils? How easy it is for us to think, “I don’t think they will be ever manage this….” and how much of that thought really says “I don’t know how to teach them this?”
Watch this wee clip of these 2 Primary 1 children tackling the job at hand
- logging into the network
- browsing to the shortcut in a shared folder
- signing into the website
- finding the book they were working on and opening it for editing
- adding more pages, pictures and text including uploading previous creations from a shared folder
and all this with no adult intervention; they were clear in their intent, knew exactly what they were doing, why they were doing it and what their success criteria were. They had the skills and confidence to tackle this task – amazing to watch. There wasn’t just this pair though, there was a whole class doing this, working in pairs as part of a carefully planned, well taught series of lessons within a thematic approach.
Why don’t you have a read of their story below?
[kml_flashembed movie="http://zooburst.media.s3.amazonaws.com/swf/viewer/zooburst_loader.swf?book_id=zb0_4d87530e5db6c" width="550" height="359" allowfullscreen="true" /]
PS their teacher was very proud!
As I’ve mentioned before our pupils keep learning logs already so it seemed a pretty natural progression for them to take their blogging skillset and start to blog weekly about their learning targets .We had a go at this yesterday and everyone seemed keen on the idea and thought it was a good way of sharing what they were learning and how successful they were. The children mentioned it in the class blog yesterday.
We are planning on blogging weekly about only one or two of our targets and collecting, during the week, evidence in the form of photos, video, files etc to back up our assessment of how successful we were. Children will then use their blogs to desribe how they had got on and to insert their evidence at the appropriate point.
I was delighted with how this got everyone thinking and talking about their learning but I was even happier when this question came up.
“Mr McLaren – where do you get these targets from? Do you and Mr Patterson just make them up ?”
I took this opportunity to lead the class to LTScotland website and the “My Experiences and Outcomes” tool and showed them where all the Es and Os were and explained that every child in Scotland would be working with the same ones. One particularly sharp group then proudly showed me how they had written their blog post including the target from their learning log and had then linked it to what they thought was the specific outcome from CfE. I think that this is a very interesting development and one that got most of the class raking around the Experiences and Outcomes to find where their target was covered.
Clearly not everyone was accurate but that in itself led to some interesting discussion. I think that this is a process that we will continue and see how it develops. I am wondering as the term progresses if then, through the use of comments, the teacher can be providing regular feedback and linking their own class assessment blog to specific posts in the children’s blog as evidence as well? I’m taking one of the November Inservice days to do some training with the staff on blogging so I dare say we’ll see after that.
PS As all our pupil blogs are private I am finding it really time consuming to visit them all as none of the aggregators will pick them up behind the password protection. I’ve stuck in a Glow change request to see if something like google reader can be built inside Glow so I can see any updates within a couple of clicks. I think something like this will be really important for teachers as they introduce thier classes to Glow Blogs and start using them in earnest. Unless anyone knows of any other way I can do it? (I know they are all there in My Blogs but I still have to visit each one to see updates)
I’ll report back when I see how it pans out……..
If anyone has any thoughts, ideas or criticisms please let me know as we are refining and evaluating our thinking all the time and like everyone else we are just starting out trying to find ways that suit our school and our pupils