Developing towards an independent learning environment

I think I have had a vision of the classroom I want to develop.

I have been investigating QR codes (2D bar codes that can be scanned by smartphones and webcams) and how they can be used in the classroom. A site that has given me no end of ideas can be found by following this link. It seems that the smartphone can be a useful tool in bringing information to the students. One of the main concerns of educators is that we try to give students independence by setting them a project or investigation only to receive a copy of the first website generated by a google search. If a project information sheet contains a few QR codes directing students to valuable information then we could start to help them learn from investigations more often.

Another project I have set myself is to start creating videos for my students to view. So far I have started by demonstrating exam questions for my upper sixth class rather than subjecting the whole class to a demonstration of a question half of them can do. I am using jing, on the advice of a colleague, and it seems fairly straight forward and the subscription is very affordable. My colleague is a long way ahead of me and is beginning to develop some truly differentiated lessons where students can choose to work on questions, sit with him and discuss concepts they are unsure about or watch a video explanation he created for the lesson. How often do we deliver examples and explanations to an entire class irregardless of whether all, most or some of them already have a good grasp.

So, imagine this… the students enter the room and are given a worksheet, project sheet or exam questions. They can start immediately if they understand or can join you for further explanation after they have read the instructions. In additon to that the worksheet, project sheet or exam questions there are a few QR codes printed on the sheets or left around the room that link to a variety of resources such as:

1. lesson notes from a previous lesson saved on google docs or alternative file sharing site.

2. video tutorials you created the day before aimed at common misconceptions or key methods

3. revision websites

4. lesson evaluation form created in google docs so they can feedback on the process to you each lesson.

5. grade descriptors so they can self assess and set targets

6. mark scheme for exam questions so they can self or peer assess.

Am I being naive to imagine this scenario? If so let me know or please let me know if you have tried any or all of these ideas out with a class.



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