Snow – When the school is more than the building

It has been interesting to see all the different ways innovative teachers have operated in the past few days due to school closures and snow. Services such as Twitter have come into their own as crowdsources devices for ideas ad reflections, and this post highlights some that I found very useful.

David Mitchell first brainstormed ideas using the excellent PrimaryPad to carry out in snowy conditions with his class, then taught a lesson using an excellent free service called Coveritlive. Two great examples of using shared knowledge, and using web tools to stretch learning opportunities. Almost more importantly, David happily shared his ideas and lessons, letting even more people be inspired.

Daniel Needlestone offered up a plaintive cry for pooling web resources, this time using  Google Docs to collect in ideas as an open document. It was great to watch this document develop, with contributors adding sections as appropriate, and others adding content.

Both these examples followed a similar pattern, and one that appears to be emerging in many areas of a Web Education (Ed 2.0?).

  • The humility to ask for ideas
  • A willingness to share with others
  • Pooling resources using technology
  • Preserving these ideas in an open format.

Whilst this legacy of sharing is superb, this process is also one that pupils can also start to adopt to progress – where a curriculum is driven by desire rather than requirement.

On a personal note, my school used the website as a daily port of call for all pupils, staff and parents, and we put up work for those who were not able to make it into school (we are very rural). We examined Coveritlive for future use, as well as Livestream (which allows you to broadcast live on your own ‘channel’), and set up Wallwisher pages for pupils to upload their thoughts and ideas. We also looked at Scribbla, but did not start anything up. Using my personal Twitter account, we also updated Ben Marsh’s excellent Uksnow page, which again used crowdsourcing to create a ‘real’ weather report.

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