On Saturday I attended an ictQatar seminar on open-source software. Headlined by some impressive leaders from Mozilla, Creative Commons and Google, their insights into the volunteering, open-nature of their product development, within supportive, professional structures, pointed to an open-source philosophy of IT development and progress.
I saw this philosophy in action as we worked with students to set-up their school eportfolios over the past two weeks. Students were openly assisting and working with each other to problem-solve, share ideas, and improvement class understanding. This included working with the teacher in a FlatClassroom approach.
The importance of student involvement if class knowledge and action is to be progressed effectively should not be underestimated. Engagement, responsibility and purposeful adaptability are all elements that have come together in these eportfolio sessions. So too in the teacher development sessions I have attended. A strong digital learning culture can only be built on the strength of student and teacher inter-operability and respect. Open-source is more
ePortfolios are a centrepiece of digital learning curriculum development at Qatar Academy. It is not the technology that is driving development, rather the connection between:
- purpose: eportfolios will be central to student-parent conferencing later in the school year
- leadership: Head of School is providing, focus, drive and support, thus giving school-wide credibility
- teacher learning: with awareness and discussion sessions, skill development and teamwork from task development to assessment
- curriculum credibility: with all subjects providing rich-tasks which in full or part will include publishing to the student eportfolio. The use of International Baccalaureate MYP and Areas of Interaction are being used in conjunction with eportfolio development
- support: through the physical ThinkLab area and through Technology Integrators who provide in-classroom support
- student support: through a student support team ('Fanar' or 'Lighthouse') whose skills have been developed to support in-class digital learning
- assessment: through Digital Learning rubrics (based on IB MYP and 21st century learning criteria) melded with subject rubrics
- resourcing: through the 1:1 program and technical support structures
- communication: through Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle) and school email apps (Live@edu)
In order to be successful all these all need to work in unison.
With the ThinkLab re-configuration completed we are ready for working with teachers and students on digital learning initiatives (including Interactive Whiteboards as shown)