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Youtube Revolution...Interesting Result-Term 4 2012

Reflective Summary

Year Level: Year 5 and 6

Focus: YouTube Revolution

Rationale:  The main intention behind this self-directed learning programme was to have students select an area of learning from You Tube that they could manage and learn new skills from. I have done this programme before and was enthused to further pursue this as a result of high levels of student engagement, seeing the children having access to areas of the curriculum, such as visual arts and creative arts such as dancing, that I was unable to teach well. This year children requested that we implement this programme again.

Context: The context was as big or as small as the children decided to make depending on their choice of area of study, where that study originated from and where that study was done—in or out of the classroom.

What did I do? The initial model used was developed as a result of reading about a futuristic look of how education may look in the future. My research indicated that learners will eventually tailor their own learning pathways and access a multitude of learning environments and “experts” from a multitude of sources locally, nationally and internationally. The teacher’s role is to guide learning choices, interaction with learning environments, and problem solve/assist with the understanding of misunderstood concepts. Using this as a framework, I discussed this with the children and implemented it in much the same fashion as I did last year.

What happened?  It flopped—plain and simple. Why? Initial enthusiasm from 70% of the children was good for the first 2-3 weeks—this ran for one block per week—on a Wednesday afternoon. There was much discussion that took place in order to explain that they have a great deal of ownership of the process, ideas that could be shared, the ability to work independently or with a group. One good reason as to why this project was not successful was a lack of understanding of the type of child that I had in my class. While I read that the initial reaction was positive to the You Tube Revolution, scratching beneath the surface and in my reflections, it became obvious that many children do not have some of the necessary attributes that I believe are needed for this programme to be successful such as:

  1. A natural curiosity to learn new ideas
  2. To self manage their own learning
  3. To be excited by new possibilities
  4. Scaffolding skills to assist each other
  5. Being able to problem solve
  6. Research and questioning skills at an intermediate or fluent level
  7. Learning from mistakes
  8. Setting goals over a period of time

What did I learn? That cohorts of children change and that there is a need to make sure that I use a good range of diagnostic tools to ensure that some of the above attributes are present in order for this programme to be successful. Not all children are capable of developing or managing their own learning programme, but I believe that with the right support that all children can tap into something of interest and explore the multitude of learning contexts and opportunities that come from this. I also learnt of the power of using photos from last year’s successful You Tube Revolution to show and highlight the success of that programme to this current group of children.

So what did I do instead? There were some obvious gaps that needed to be filled. I decided to start with research and questioning skills. I tied this in with a country study unit that was driven by the need to research specific areas of information. This proved to be a hit with everyone. It gave solid direction, set time limits, clear criteria and achievable outcomes. It also gave me the opportunity to have the children focus on presentation skills which proved to be successful.

Comments

  • Gina Kitchen

    Thanks David

    Your reflection indicates an openness to realising when things are not going according to expectation, and to analyse why this is the case. As you so correctly discovered, each cohort is different, and while we might expect the same skills set to be in place with the new learners, this is not always the case. A positive from this is that you were then able to work on “plugging these gaps” and up skill the children prior to the next topic for study. I appreciate the honest candour of this reflection.

    David