Do my Year 12s represent the future? Obviously, they do, but so do I. So the future will always have those who want to teach and those who want to learn – and those who are unmotivated. There are some of us who want to argue that technology in the hands of students equals motivation – and there is some anecdotal evidence at least to support this.

So, let’s go for a wander through my classes, starting with my wonderful Year 12s. There are the boys who are looking at cars on their laptops, but that hasn’t changed. I recall Year 12s, 30 years ago, drawing their favorite cars during RE lessons. There are others, some struggling, some working away with ease, producing work that I would have been proud of early in my university life. Occasionally, I come across a student who is far more skilled than I am with creating content with their lap top. And then there is our PhD candidate – I told her that at a Parent-Teacher meeting because I believe it to be true – she’s sitting at her desk with her iPhone in one hand and brio in the other making notes from a resource she has accessed. Most of my year 12s work well about half the time, but they do find it hard to motivate themselves. More about that later, and also some of my “strategies”.

And now we enter my Year 11 class: an engaging group of young men and women. I’m convinced that some have chosen the subject for the wrong reasons and that is why they are spiralling down and often seemingly out of control. We use iPads. I spend my time writing ePubs and web apps for them to use. Like my Year 12s, we use Edmodo as a primary means of communication on the digital front. Most use their iPads well, sometimes taking photos of board work when I become pre-digital, but unlike my Year 11s in 2010, they haven’t discovered the back-channel. I was surprised to find that no one had told them about Fliq Notes when they were in Year 10. The content my Year 11s create is often done using Pages. With group work, they have been publishing directly to our Edmodo page so that everyone can benefit from discussions and research. Posting assignments to Edmodo is becoming more acceptable and I am developing my skills at marking online. The future looks good!

And there are my amazing Year 10s, most of whom will move to other classes for the second semester – not happy, Jan! Lap tops, Edmodo and MentorMob: a recipe for success. Happy, relaxed and respectfully noisy – a great group to be with when you’re older than 64!

I have started delivering content through MentorMob’s playlist. I have been fortunate enough to have been given a Pro account to trial, which was subsequently upgraded to a University account. And MentorMob made me one of their “Innovators” – an honour I will live up to. By the end of the term – a disrupted and chaotic affair – we had reached the point where students were editing our playlist by adding their content. Not every student achieved this, nor every group.

I have found that my Year 10s are not unlike my Year 12s. Those who are “naturally” academic, that is, those who find “school” learning easy make good use of technology to assist their learning. They are easy to motivate because learning is a challenge they enjoy. My challenge for the next 10 weeks is to construct learning opportunities that EVERY student in my classes will enjoy.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad