What will the end result be? Refocusing my Spark M.I.T

Today at our SPARK M.I.T day, we were asked 'in a perfect world, what will the vision look like in 6 months time?  What will the end result be with our inquiries?'.  When I was asked this question, I totally thought I knew what to say. When it came to my turn, I had decided that my focus would be on getting the teachers and systems in place and that all will be wonderful in the world - but noooo, I was totally on the wrong track!  Where were the learners in all of this??


I needed to check what my original inquiry was:  how could my year 9 social studies students be engaged in their learning to improve literacy outcomes through the use of blogs?  I decided to write down some learning objectives.

By the end of the year, year 9 social studies students will be engaged in their learning to improve literacy outcomes.

Students will be able to:
  • Engage in blogging consistently and effectively
  • Provide constructive feedback to their peers on their blogs
  • Recognise, use and choose effective writing frames to improve their blog writing.
I am glad that we had the session to refocus because I knew I had strayed away from the focus and made my picture too wide and too big!  I know I have done a lot with regards to trying things out, and with the focus back on the kids rather than the teachers, I am able to free myself up to give them more of my time and energy.

Our spark buddies joined us for lunch and I was really happy to share my inquiry updates with my buddy Raven who is an awesome listener.  He gave me some really good ideas about how in his job, he deals with hundreds of calls and complaints a day, and that they are working on an automated service that picks up key words and concepts to prepare relevant answers - could we have an automated way of commenting or replying to comment for the future of blogging?  I enjoyed catching up with Raven who may come out to a visit to my year 9 class to talk about what he gets up to at spark.

For the remainder of our day, we focussed on preparing for presenting our inquiries at the Manaiakalani Hui on the 25th of August and again at ULearn in the October holidays.  Although this is a bit of a scary experience to prep for, my colleagues and I excited at the opportunity to share our inquiry journeys.  

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