In this workshop, Steve Whittle, the Assistant Headteacher of Hayes School, talked us through digital learning both in school and at home.
DIGITAL LEARNING WITHIN SCHOOL
The Hayes School uses a Tandberg Sanako language lab, in conjunction with an MFL ICT technician who creates resources for the department. Routines are established with classes, free software is sought, and websites are listed. Every lesson that pupils come into the language lab, they get a Digital Learning Plan( (DLP). This lists the tasks pupils should aim to do during the course of the lesson, with files held on the designated server and linked from the DLP. I LOVED this idea, as it can be easy to finish a lesson on the computers and wonder what the pupils have come away with. Also, staff who cover a class booked into the computer suite invariably complain that 'all they did was play games!' whereas this gives an excellent structure to the lesson.
Audio files were created with Sanako software, which offers the possibility of bookmarking different words in the listening to go back to. This is a useful tool which could be used by all ages and abilities.
DIGITAL LEARNING OUTSIDE SCHOOL
How can we extend the language lab outside school?
· EmbedVLE links from the main school website
· Use a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) such as Moodle, which can be customised, with courses created for specific year groups and classes
· Create online vocabulary tests using sites such as www.vokabel.com
· Create a Wiki for your class - from Moodle, chat room
· Use the VLE for exam practice -Record questions and model answers for GCSE
· Incorporate SCORMS – self-marking tests www.wondershare.com Quizmaker
· Create an exam bank of sound files, etc, of past questions by topic
· Create authentic listening materials – songs: listen on Sanako, do the exercise in Word
e.g. matching Spanish and English
· Provide links for RSS feeds
The danger is that the language lab becomes a testing ground rather than an area of learning. It is important to have a team approach in the department, with each leading a course in the VLE, in order to spread the workload and maximise the potential.