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Reflective Summary

 

Using e-learning to engage and motivate reluctant writers.

 

School type:

Barton Rural is a rural school 5 minutes south of Timaru with a roll of 130 students.

 

Cluster:

We are a part of the Aoraki Rural cluster which includes 10 other schools from around South Canterbury. All cluster schools have identified a "Teaching as Inquiry" focus for their 2011 ICT PLD.

Each school's inquiry question focuses on how ICT Tools, strategies and thinking can be used in teaching and learning to improve student achievement in a selected aspect of learning. Within each school the lead teachers used this focus to complete a "Teaching as Inquiry" to then lead the rest of their staff through the process.

 

Intentions.

There was a clear indication that engagement in writing was not high especially with boys in my class. I was also aware of the lack of family/whānau involvement in their child's learning in particular written language. For many of the students being able to write about experiences they have enjoyed and showcase them has created a real desire to improve their writing. Many are able to write about experiences they have had then share them with a variety of audiences. The class has been able to transfer what they have learnt in class with writing recounts and keep developing these skills when writing their reports. The students then either emailed their reports or put them onto USB to be bought to school. Students have also been teaching their parents how to be confident users of their own computers at home when emailing and typing.

 

Impact on the students.

Having the chance to write about subjects that interest the students has raised the motivation for them to write. They are no longer writing at home because they have to, but because they want to share their experiences with a large audience. The class then went through the process of applying for the General Manager and Editor jobs and creating a C.V. The newspaper is now the class venture, with the General Manager in charge of making sure every person is completing their job for the week. Each person has their role each week to ensure the newspaper gets printed on a Friday. Comments from family/whānau have been positive with many saying that their child's motivation to complete this part of their homework has been positive.

 

Next Steps.

Our next step is to work on providing a variety of genres in the class newspaper. The school wide writing club has now also taken this example by writing a community newspaper that goes out to over 400 homes in the wider community four times a year.