Weekly Reflection: Learning Should be Viral

Yes bad blogger again.

Over the last two weeks I’ve been amazed at the number of times that viral learning moments have happened. Seemingly off-task or not related directly task conversations morph into powerful learning opportunities that then spread amongst the group.

Kids starting to develop novels over a series of posts on their blogs. Did I tell them to do that? Nope. One of them adapted creative writing to the medium and then the others started following along. It had simply never occurred to me to use blogging in this way (spot the non-fiction writer) yet I can see the potential for kids to learn about story arcs from this project.

Kids swapping books. I’m not sure that many of the students would have actually read the book if I had required them to swap books with another reader. Did the speed dating enable this to happen? Possibly. But by getting out of my students way I enabled those conversations to happen and slowly they spread through the classroom.

To me this is how learning should be. Almost spontaneous and viral in nature. It’s the stuff that happens on the edge of the learning intentions and success criteria.

Nevertheless I find myself a bit down.

A few kids that are struggling with the amount of freedom and are getting behind on their targets and are using off-task behaviour as a way to get behind. However rather than blame them I’m getting stuck into ways to ensure that they get back on track.

What these last few weeks have taught me is that while some kids will thrive when the teacher gets out of the way others will struggle. Identifying when to step up and when to step back is part of my job.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Reflection: Learning Should be Viral

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  1. Acknowledging that every student has unique needs and that some thrive when the teacher gets out of the way while others start to drown with the lack of control – is the wisdom of the teacher. It is such a challenge as a teacher to know exactly how to play the game for each learner. No wonder we end each day exhausted!!

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  2. I too had very positive outcomes from our class blog and loved the way they became more in control of their own learning. Children bounced ideas off each other and were inspired by others in their class and from other blogs viewed in the classroom (often Room 10 St Francis Xaviour Catholic School, Whangarei) Problems that one child or the teacher encountered would often be solved by another, all great learning opportunities.
    I too found that some children thrived with the freedom to do work in a way that suited their own needs, while others needed a checklist of things to get through in a day – working buddies were also very effective.

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