It’s all about the interactions!

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Interactions, in an Educator’s line of work, are pretty important.  Interactions are, after all, the basis (in my opinion) for what teaching thrives on… relationships.

What is the best way to build and form relationship and interactions with our students in an online realm?  How do we make the interactions meaningful and appropriate- and how does that transfer into appropriate learning tasks?

Nicole and I are working toward a blended learning course for grade 2 students.  Our focus is Science, but we initially struggled over what blended learning looks like in a grade 2 classroom.

We decided on a pseudo-LMS with Weebly as our platform (don’t get me wrong, Weebly is an LMS, but the way in which we are using it is the reason I call it ‘pseudo’).  Our LMS is really more of an information hub than it is an ‘interaction’ hub.  I think we have created a visually appealing space which is easily accessible and not overwhelming, but this is ultimately a space that students will take from, not contribute to (very similar to the ECI 834 weekly schedule platform).

For the interaction part, we have decided to utilize SeeSaw, there are a few reasons that this platform was at the forefront for us.  We both work for Regina Public, and currently all our Pre-K and Kindergarten students use this platform in their classroom to share, this seems like a logical, scaffolded step to have students manage and post in a more independent manner.  Secondly, in Regina Public, our Early Elementary students (will) have technology access with iPads in schools.  Additionally, the platform seems like an ideal one for our younger students because they can begin to write and interact with (and for) a larger audience (families) in the online space. This will allow us, as teachers, the ability to manage the audience while our students are developing their digital footprint and digital citizenship awareness.

SeeSaw also provides a multitude of options for posting content, students can draw, video, add notes, pictures and even audio recordings to share what they have seen or experienced.  Additionally, the Facebook feed like format allows for comments/likes etc., which has benefits for the ‘outside world’ interactions.  As we are attempting to implement a ‘flipped classroom’ sort of feel, the modules will each dictate what is required of the students.

My specific module will require students to complete an experiment at home, record their observations (on SeeSaw) in the format they choose.  Then, we will have time in class to see what others observed in their at home experiment and discuss the different findings in class.  The lesson I chose is about determining why liquids take the shape of the container they are in.  This lesson will be formatively assessed based on what the students are posting and what conclusions are drawn in our full class discussion.

What are your thoughts?  Are we on the right track?  Will the platforms we have chosen be supportive of developing authentic meaningful interactions-is there another platform that might be better?  Is there anything that we should be thinking differently about?

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10 thoughts on “It’s all about the interactions!

  1. Amy, I really like how you tied in the digital citizenship with your lesson. Learning about a digital footprint is very informative for students. I have done lessons on digital footprints and the students often did not realize just how much of a footprint we leave. Thanks for the excellent BLOG post!

  2. Digital citizenship and the importance of interactions in learning (Connectivism) stood out to me as well this week as well. It looks like your kiddos will have lots of opportunities to learn from each other using SeeSaw.

  3. I think the tools you guys have chosen for your course will be great for the ages you are working with. Weebly is so user-friendly for both the people setting it up (you guys) and the users. I like that you have decided to go with a “hub” more than an LMS because I don’t think an LMS would be managable for most of your students to navigate through as most of them are crowded with links, menus and the need to scroll through information. I just started using Seesaw with my high school students and have found it to be very user friendly as well. This is a perfect tool for young students. Great job!

    1. Thanks Ashley – I am starting to feel a lot more comfortable with the prototype we are envisioning and creating.

  4. I definitely think you are on the right track! I give both you and Nicole props for doing this with younger students – I don’t think I could have thought of all the ins and outs for this usage with younger students! But really, in the end, what they are capable of doing and what they will demonstrate throughout the course I am sure will be amazing and surprise me about their abilities. Your tools are perfect for your age group and really allow for great interactions between students-teacher and students-students. Thanks for sharing!

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