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Day 6 - Online School

Monday 23 March 2020

Here we go again

Actually my colleagues and I did a podcast with Craig Barton on how we are thinking about our virtual school and our experiences to date. This meant that we had a good chat on Saturday afternoon and then a long chat with Craig on Sunday before he put out the show. It was good to think and share in a relaxed environment and so we were ready to go this morning! What I hadn't anticipated was the rumour mill being in full swing by mid afternoon abiut cancellation of IB Exams... That has taken the headlines a bit out of Monday, with students having lots to think and talk about.

Podcast - If you interested to have a listen you can subscribe here on Apple Podcasts and here on Android. We talked about tools and their pros and cons, the practical realities, successes, failures, ideas and a lot of general thinking about how we are all going to manage this situation. Have it on in the background maybe? It helps anyone it was worth doing. It certainly helped me.

What happened today?

In the interests of efficiency, I'll just write about a couple of things that happened today that are worth sharing.

Manga High - So I was really pleased to get a mail from the people at MH about how they are helping with the school clousres. I was equally pleased at just how easy it was to gte my classes set up and assign tasks. SO I was gung ho to get i to a bit of that today. I thought my students would enjoy a little change and I felt that I could do it remotely. Once again, full instructions were written on our class journal (Google doc as cenral record) , but I started the lesson with a group call where I explained the process and what they should expect.I stayed on the call until all prblems were solved and they were all away. I was then able to play around with the admin interface on MH to see what I could learn about what was happening. It is great to be setting tasks where studens are getting feedback about what they do. Highly recommend getting in to this.

A few notes

  • When students are playing on screen games in my class I can guage the room.... I couldn't like this and was desperate for some feedback - no solution yet..
  • Something I notice about TEAMS - I have worked out that students dont have notifcations switched on for te chat in teams. This means, that if they are doing something away from teams, then they are not seeing my posts unless they look. This means I couldn't get attention back. I'll be changing that tomorrow

Group work and collaboration

Following our deliberations over the weekend, I was keen to do something more interactive and engaging with my G11 IB class. I want to do some more work on conceiving of and carrying out mathematical investigations as part of preparation for their Internal assessment. So I thought we would try this  Real independence tests task. These are little data collection exercises that I have been using over the years. So what did I do...

  • I set up a google doc with editing rights for all partcipants - here is a view only copy for interest
  • I split the class in to groups and gave each group a separate heading on the document AND a separate data set about which they could carry out a chi squared test of independence.
  • At the top of the document I wrote some very clear instructions about what each group was supposed to do
  • I started the lesson with a group call on teams to explain the task and make sure that everyone had access to the resources. Then I asked the groups to start their own calls with just their groups to carry out the task and then said that I would call again with 10 minutes to go to review what we have done.
  • Then I sat back and watched them work and I was able to comment on the document straight away with feedback.
  • Students also pinged me on teams wioth individual and group questions.

Without a doubt, my most saitsfying virtual classroom so far!



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