The Newsround website is featuring a story about a school using second life for lessons.
Children taught in Second Life
Interestingly, in the video, they claim that “Acklam Grange is the first school in the country to use Second Life for lessons”, which I’m not sure is true.
Whilst I agree that Second Life has a great deal of potential, I’ve not been able to use it in my teaching yet. I would be interested to discover that this isn’t the first school to use Second Life, and how successful other people have been at using it in an educationally beneficial way.
I have been thinking recently about the role of teacher and learner, and how the balance sometimes changes. This trail of thought has been mainly sparked by two incidents.
We have a technician who works in our school twice a week. To call him a technician is a bit of an understatement really as he is a trained teacher who now mainly does freelance work for some of the major Apple magazines, websites and podcasts. He knows much, much more about technology than I do and I am always learning from him. However, last week, I taught him something (about using barcode scanners to transfer information to mobile phones, very interesting!) So, although he knows more about ICT than I do, he doesn’t know everything. He can still learn from people who know less than him.
In a school assembly a few weeks ago, a piece of music was played. I usually pride myself on my music knowledge and was most distressed that I couldn’t name this 1960s Motown classic. Then, within seconds of the song being played, one of our children put up his hand and answered the track name and artist. The child is a student at the special school that I work in and can’t write much or do addition past 8. However, his music knowledge is excellent, and he often suggests music he thinks I should listen to. If his taste in music wasn’t so biased towards late ’80s euro-soft-rock I would take more notice.
We don’t always learn in a way which is easy to measure. We may know a lot about something, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gaps in our knowledge that somebody who knows less that us can fill in.
See if you can pick something up from a student this week, and maybe teach the subject leader something too. If you’ve already broken up for the holidays, can you remember learning something when you didn’t expect to learn anything?