- As curriculum coordinator and middle years programme coordinator. This includes managing and facilitating the whole school curriculum for the writing and implementation process.
- The other area for using technology is in my English classes. I teach Grade 10 English in the IB Middle Years Programme and Grade 11 and 12 English A1 Higher Level in the IB Diploma Programme. In today’s post, I will be focusing primarily on this aspect of applying technology, although I will highlight some of the tools and processes we use for administration, to whet your appetites.
We use Google Sites to organise literally everything: each student has her/his own portfolio of work as a separate site, each site is then linked into the teacher’s site for easy access and quick monitoring.
In my IB Diploma English literature classes, I am constantly reflecting on ways in which we can facilitate a meaningful engagement with the texts in such a way that students are empowered to communicate their understanding of the works. I am acutely aware that students often have a deeper understanding of concepts than that which we permit them to communicate through written and oral work. In addition I find that by thinking aloud with my students when thinking of ways for them to engage with work establishes a learning partnership that infuses a satisfying level of energy into the lessons.
As those of you who are familiar with Google Docs will know, many features are relatively recent. This means that by having a classroom atmosphere that is open to experimentation we automatically build into the process the principle of reflecting and reviewing our learning.
My overview here covers the teaching of the following texts for the IB Diploma English A1 course. Each example has a hyperlink to show you the work that my students are happy to share.
An important focus in my lessons is online safety and online presence. We discuss what kind of work students are comfortable making public and how they would like to see it shared. We also discuss what to do when they receive unsolicited comments or invitations. This cannot be understated.
Teaching IB literature:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The YouTube project is currently underway. Students have re enacted scenes from the novel. Their Google Site is the home page for the project which contains each of the videos and reflection texts in which they explain their choices on Google Docs.
Max Havelaar by Multatuli: two examples
Blindness by Jose Saramago
In the Middle Years Programme we use the following tools:
As personal project coordinator, I am responsible for aligning supervisors with students and the overall management of the entire process, which lasts for a year. Each student creates a set of Google Documents that he/she includes in her/his site, which is then embedded into my site for that year-group e.g. Class of 2014. In this way I can quickly access each student’s work and gain an understanding of where the student is in the process. In addition, I can add support comments to the work that is being done by the supervisor. Should a supervisor experience difficulties, I can easily review the work directly to offer guidance.
External Moderation in the Middle Years Programme
Whole school curriculum planning:
All of our curriculum is contained within one google site. Within that site, in addition to the written curriculum, there is a page for each subject under which there is a page for each grade level where teachers insert a Google Doc with their course overviews and individual unit plans (the taught curriculum). Once this project is completed, users of our curriculum site will have quick access to both the written curriculum and the taught curriculum. The written curriculum component remains relatively static- including information about standards and benchmarks (aims objectives and assessment criteria) each subject’s philosophy and approach to methodology, this is written on the site. The taught curriculum remains sufficiently dynamic being inserted Google Docs, to allow for teacher creativity and the flexibility required when adapting units to a specific group of students’ interests and needs.
At Bali International School we adopted Google Apps for Education as we are a relatively small school (300 students +-preschool- grade12). All of our teachers are given a MacBook Pro but our students may bring in whichever device they prefer. The campus has very good wireless coverage.
About the author: Werner Paetzold teaches at Bali International School where he is also the Curriculum Coordinator.