Wednesday, 9 February 2011

How stupid can I get?

Pretty stupid sometimes. I'm in mild despair because my Future Technologies project isn't working as I'd hoped. The less focussed (very PC huh) are dossing - they have got nowhere, done nothing useful and are just wasting time. So should I wind it up, call it an interesting experiment and move on?
Then, thanks to the links in the slideshow in my last post I found this TED talk by Sugata Mitra. I first heard of his Hole-in-the-Wall project in New Delhi about ten years ago when I was a NOF Trainer. Probably something of his inspiration was still lurking in my mind when I was planning this project.

Watching this I realised that I had been ignoring one of the precepts that I'd been advocating  (knowledge when needed). I was so anxious that children fulfill the objectives I outlined at the beginning of this project
I'd been overtly teaching them skills out of context, and they were , frankly, bored.
So a complete re-jig was needed:
Here's how the project looks now
Each student can choose from a wide range of options for presenting work but it must be shown on a wiki. The fruit machine below has some of those ideas - all can (by hook or by crook) be embedded on a wiki.. It's called The Future not Future Technologies. I've set the first homework: to visit someone's wiki and comment on it. Many have not yet posted a link to their wiki on the sites directory, or created a blog page for comments. They'll be missing out and they'll know that and so will have to do something about it themselves.
I've had two year 8 lessons today, which I started by showing them an extract from the video above, then launched straight into the revised version of the project. Mad but on-track again. Very tired but much happier.