As a class we have started our own class blog. Each student has their own folder where they can access quizzes, homework and write responses. Students can share their work with the teacher privately and get feedback. In addition, the class blog allows for increased online collaboration in a safe space. With the class blog, students have the opportunity to work together on tasks simultaneously. For instance, while learning about photography we explored the main techniques used by photographers. As a class we were able to find examples of techniques and post them in collections that we could all see and comment on. Then, we were able to post our own photos to share with our peers. When learning about media and communication, students were able to work together to reflect on different types of media, identifying their purpose and their effectiveness. Students can write and share on the same document in real time. Students are now working on creating a shared collection of book reviews.
Another great feature is the fact that it is cloud based. This means that children can access it from anywhere, at any time, and are no longer limited to using the school drive at school. They can start a writing task in class, save it to their cloud folder, and then access it at home. Reiterating this, Julian B. said, “I like Office 365 because we can chat with each other in the Teams; but, also we can save things on the cloud and work on it from school, or at home.”
Overall the program has been successful. In many ways it appeals to the modern, digital learners of today. Julian H. said, “We can learn better. It is easier to learn and we can be creative. It is much faster to access Word or PowerPoint!”
Finally, the best thing about Office 365 is that we can finally start to move towards using less paper! Students can access instructions for tasks, readings, or exercises online. They can respond to tasks and write essays online.
As a class we are excited that we can pilot this program and help pave the way for greater Web 2.0 formats in the classroom.
Catherine H., Grade 6 Teacher