Kids running parent workshops – what learning should be about #coetail

via IFTTT

My school puts on a range of weekly workshops for parents on a variety of topics – from settling in to life in Singapore to what learning looks like in the classroom.

I noticed one of the topics up for discussion was iPads. Rather than the adults doing the talking, I suggested to our IT director that perhaps it might be better for the children to present a app they used in the classroom to support their learning.

One of the gut-wrenching parts of doing things with kids in front of parents is you never know which way it will go. Despite the children in my class continually exceeding my expectations of what is possible, I always feel a sense of nervousness at the unpredictable nature of letting children lead sessions.

This session turned out to be no different – the children were amazing. Which leads me to wonder – why don’t we get kids involved more in workshops? Having seen one action there are so many opportunities for learning and growth for both children and adults.

  • Children are able to empathise that learning new things can be difficult because that’s what we ask of them daily. When as an adult learner do you really push yourself out of your comfort zone?
  • Parents felt more at ease asking questions to children then they might be with an adult ‘expert.’
  • The children were starting to apply the app they were showcasing to different situations. ‘Oh this photo blending app would be cool to use with your baby to show growth.’

This workshop was  set up as a ‘speed geeking’ session. 5 minutes is a good length of time for the Year 3-5 learners to explain an app. The apps showcased a wide variety of subject areas

  • Using slow motion to record a tuning fork hitting water and the to observe sound waves as well as good old oscilloscope by using soundbeam app
  • Using alphabet fridge magnets and imotion to practice spelling words
  • Instasplash to merge old and new photos together to help view the past and present
  • Book creator for creating multi-media documents and creating a kids’ travel book
  • Path on to create alternative book covers
  • Doodlecast to show their thinking about a maths equation

The best part of these sessions is seeing the growth in confidence from the children – as teachers we need to be look for authentic opportunities like this to showcase learning in our school.

It’s part of a shift in culture that purposeful integration of technology can enable – that the children are able to articulate how the tool has helped them with their learning.

This is so much more effective than another workshop with powerpoint. After all, it is easier to show what you are doing.

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from Teaching the Teacher http://ift.tt/1RNLG6N

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