Friday, 3 October 2008

cck08 - week 4 - "Learning networks" ... and my mind wanders

CCK08, week 4: History of Learning Networks.
I think to "learning networks" in my history, to my use of the net with my students … and some images appear in my mind.

Computer lab. My students are working in group. Now I don't remember the task; anyway a traditional problem: a group can't work because what done in the previous week is on the floppy of the absent girl student.
Jessica: "Prof, can I use my mobile to send a message? I write her to send me by e-mail".
No sooner said than done.

The same computer lab: they have to produce some web pages (once again I don't remember the matter). I look at Sofia's monitor: clearly she is not using the web editor nor seeing her pages; she is browsing elsewhere.
"Prof, I would like to use a water effect. This site explains how to do it".

I enter into the classroom. Katia: "Prof. I'm sorry. I haven't done my homework. I've seen it only at midnight … it was too late".
I expected they see it today, once in the lab. I have sent it about 20 minutes before midnight.

Epiphanic moments for a digital immigrant. Thus I have tried to exploit my students' use of the network to change my teaching and to boost their learning.

I send to my students marks, corrections and new tasks into our eLearning environment. And I'm surprised by the speed of their feedback. It seems they are there, waiting for my message (but I'm sure they aren't so interested).
One, two minutes: one of them send me a question, another calls me for a chat. Half an hour: some one send me the homework!

They are not waiting for my messages. They are online to download music, to upload photos, to chat with friends, to see a video, …: not only one of these activities, but all of them at the same time. Having so many windows opened, they open also our learning environment, probably because there is a pub, where to joke with the schoolfellows.
Thus it happens - surprise! ☺ - that my message takes her/his attention off eMule or YouTube … and she/he corrects the mistakes done, or carry out a new exercise.


Andreas said...

Bella questa testimonianza.

pierfranco ravotto said...


Anto said...

Well, the good old trojan horse :-)
If they (students) already are online, we (teachers) could well take advantage of the situation!!

Jenny Mackness said...

This is a great post. It really serves to show how as teachers we will need to 'keep on our toes' to keep up with our learners - or as Stephen and George are telling us, we will need to rethink our role.

pierfranco ravotto said...

Hi Anto
It's not always an advantage. It happens that you are on-line following your interests (instead of correcting students' home work) ... and a student call you in chat: "Prof, what about my homework?"

Hi Jenny
you are perfectly right. Our role is dramatically changing.
Ohh, a good idea for a new post. I'm going to write it now :-)