Thursday, September 17, 2009

Digital Immersion at Riverside Secondary

This morning I’m working with a grade 9 class at Riverside Secondary.  Under the amazing leadership of Jeremy Brown and Elizabeth Bancroft with the support of the administration team they launched an exciting, engaging program for students.  Student stay together for the full mornings each day this semester take Science 9 and a Digital Immersion course.  Next semester, Elizabeth Bancroft takes over with English and Socials.  There are a number of structures that their team has put together to ensure student and program success.  All the student self-elected to join the program, they are engaged and enthusiastic.  They are also very patient, as you can imagine when working with technology, there are times when things go wrong.  The school has a robust wireless infrastructure and the room is well supplied with electricity around the walls and in the centre of the room.  The students all have modern laptops.  Some have privately-owned computers but the majority are using Dell Netbooks supplied by the school.

My small contribution this morning was to have the students download and install Windows Live Writer (see previous blog post).  They then connected the program to post blogs on their internal sharepoint blogs.  Their topic was researching and sharing “Breakfasts from around the world”.  They will then have access to read and respond to each other’s blogs.

The teachers have approached this like an action research where they are actively learning and experimenting with new ways to have student make the best uses of Web2.0 technologies while covering the prescribed learning outcomes of their respective courses. 

One of my key determinate of a quality program is would I choose it for my children if they were in Grade 9.  The answer is a resounding YES.  I couldn’t help thinking how this program would be great social environment to use the internet to research the topics and share.  As a teacher I would be thrilled to teach in an setting like the one designed for these students.  I hope we see more of these types of programs.

Reference: The picture from the internet.

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