For a few weeks we are going to be doing a Shakespeare-project in my class where the goal is to learn about Shakespeare himself, create a short film based on one of his plays and do a little bit of creative writing in the shape of a diary (which is supposed to be from the perspective of one of the characters in the chosen play). In order to make all of this come together for the students I have created a web page using Google Sites, which I am using as a Learning Platform for my students. The idea here is to put together as much of the information, materials and digital interaction as possible in the same location.
One of the aspects that I enjoy most with a Learning Platform in the shape of a web page is that it is extremely flexible. I can change my web page whenever I want and the new information is available to all students within seconds. This way it is very easy to have the students be more engaged in shaping the project or task. It is also very possible to have the students add and build to the site by sending links or providing their own material. It is also my hope that some of the films produced by the students are going to be put on the we page and shared.
With this Learning Platform I am using a Google Group to try to introduce the concept of sharing ideas and information with your classmates. I feel it’s important that schools bring new kinds of collaboration and networking into the classrooms and using social media of different kinds is one way of doing that. There is great potential in students realising that sharing is beneficial to all. I’m looking forward to continuing working more with social media and networking because many of my students are very focused on the performance of the individual student and thinks of collaboration as cheating, but in real life that’s a very important part of being successful. It’s important to learn both how to recognise what kind of help you need and where to go to get that help.
This is one kind of Learning Platform, but it can come in there shapes and sizes too. I think it’s important to explore – to try new things – to never stop being creative. The goal is good instruction, inspiring tasks and clear goals all put in a nice-looking neat package. Give it a try! Try and try again. Practice makes perfect.