Beth Glasspole

Hello.
My name is Beth Glasspole and I have been teaching for some time now. It's a worry that the length of time that one has taught, emphasises one's age! Anyway, it's a job that I love and when I'm in 'my four walls' with the kids, we gel together really well and they teach me new things everyday.

My interests and goals in teaching have changed many times over the years. I never thought I'd 'bother' with my Masters and I always thought that getting one of the top jobs was going to give me the most satisfaction. In contrast, I have gained so much from the first year of my Masters (2013) and can't imagine anything worse than being trapped in an office dealing with timetables.

My real passion was born out of one session of PD at my school on the use of the online learning platform, iTunes U. We are a one-to-one iPad school that promotes the creation and use of digital content and encourages teachers to 'experiment' with the unknown. I am the author of a number of courses, that I humbly add, include a couple that have achieved high ranking around the world. I see it as simply a teacher trying to find new ways to engage and promote student interaction in their learning. In other words, whatever it takes to get them interested and involved in their learning. Plus, I get a little bored myself, standing out the front regurgitating knowledge that I know will not stick! The kids love it and I'm setting them up for something they need in the future.

iTunes U allows me to load all kinds of digital matter into one learning program, for my students to use in the classroom and support home preparation as well. That is why I am so interested in this course in that I can find out more on how we can include the digital world in education. Not just provide kids with quiet, busy work on games and non-productive apps and programs. Sifting through the useless to find the fantastic.

Here are a couple of links to courses that I have created and currently use. You will need to download the free app, iTunes U and access via an iPad or iPhone:

Year 6 Spelling Program: [https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/audit/COHDSDFDCD]

Year 5 Mathematics: [https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/enroll/H5A-PWE-E7D]

Persuasive Writing Novel Study Years 5/6: [https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/audit/COHY5M6WRA]

I look forward to a great semester, sharing and learning with you all.

Many thanks
Beth


Assignment Task 1: Digital Culture, Games and Education

As an author of course work that is based in an iTunes U platform, I have up to this point created useful learning resources for both the teacher and the student. However, I have begun to question the idea that I might just be creating the same type of learning experiences as before, like similar Learning Management Systems. I want to see student engagement in technology and whether or not it actually works. Are the kids engaged and learning, do they want to participate? My paper will propose a pedagogical shift in teaching styles and persuade others to personalise learning environments, in a process that asks students and teachers to collaboratively curate the learning and present a knowledge-base as a result.

The resource to accompany this paper will be a Mental Calculation iTunes U course. I hope to pose a question to the students as to how they might explain what mental calculation is, its history, the process and strategies, why they need to calculate in their heads and how they might explain the concept to others and share their findings with them. Instead of the teacher being the one with the information, ask both parties to find, gather and organise the information and present it in a way that gives it context and meaning. I seek to use the iTunes U course platform as the tool, however, the problem is solved by the students and technology is the pathway they follow.

My theory behind the process and key contributors to collaborative learning will be highlighted in the first paper. Major influences of my interest in transforming learning experiences are people like Sir Ken Robinson and Steve Rosenbaum. It is from them that I have begun to think about what we are currently doing in education and how it is simply becoming an experience that children have to go through where what they're learning today may not necessarily prepare them for what's ahead. Teaching them how to decipher the information overload and learn skills as to how things work and why. For students to work collaboratively to tell the story of their learning and create resources of their own to share with the outside world, contributing on a global scale.

Though the idea of releasing the reigns to the students does cause some anticipation, I hope to achieve something that will interest the participants and require of them a new mindset. I look forward to guiding them and then following them along they way. I must remember to ask myself to let them be but in the same breath be there to question and push them into a place that insists they engage together and present a collaborative resource of their own.

View the introductory paper for the resource here.


Assignment Task 2: Professional Resource

Student Video Creation using iPad: Why use Student Video Creation?

During the initial professional paper surrounding the project, my focus of digital culture involved the idea of shifting traditional teaching methods from 'teacher talk' at the front of the room, to the provision of an environment where students curate their own version of the content. I wanted to ask them how to solve the problem of learning a new concept and have them become the 'expert'. In turn, allow students to tell a story of their learning. An idea not often realised is that when I begin to develop a unit of work, I am the one involved in sourcing the material, writing the plan and deciding on the assessment and criteria. My students are in no way involved in the process. In this format, I am the producer and the students are the consumers. I wanted to look at how I might change this idea in my classroom.

The aim of this project was to look at ways in which students might begin producing the content and share their knowledge with others. I wanted to design ways in which learners were able to redefine a task, analyse relevant information and present it in a format that appealed to others. At the beginning of the project I asked my students how they felt about me always directing the lesson, standing out the front, doing all the talking. Their response was rather interesting. Initially, they were a little shocked that they were actually being asked how they would prefer to learn, but after some questioning they let me know that they didn't need me to tell them everything and that they would like to try and find things out for themselves. They wanted to see learning as something that was fun and a place where they could show their creativity. I then asked them how they might present the topic to be learned and by which means they would deliver the content. The students are fortunate to have their own iPad for daily use. One or two students had previously created a couple of tutorials and I had used this format within the iTunes U courses that we were already using as part of our curriculum. As a consequence, the use of video tutorials and various iPad applications were seen as the chosen forum for the delivery of their content. They were instantly excited by the fact that they were going to share their learning with others.

As a result of this process with my students, I decided that a professional resource was required for fellow teachers to utilise when deciding upon the use of student video creation in their classroom. I wanted to share what I had learned from my students, with my colleagues. The resource was produced collaboratively with a group of Year 5 students, as it too became their goal to share with others what they had learned from the project.

The key element of the course involves the initial video labelled, "I Made This: Student Video Creation with iPad". The purpose of the video is to allow a time poor teacher a few short minutes to view a brief summary of the use of iMovie and other applications to make student videos and tutorials.

Below is the link to the resource. You will need to download the free app, iTunes U and access via an iPad or iPhone:

Student Video Creation using iPad: [https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/enroll/KPY-A4F-F5A]