Karen Boyes Webinar – Teaching in a MLE

“Modern Learning Environments (MLE) are all the talk in educational circles right now. Schools are knocking out walls and creating bright stimulating classrooms with multi purpose furniture and giving students access to technology. On the surface it looks fantastic, however without a big pedagogy shift, students will be simply just learning the same way many teachers have been teaching – just in bigger classrooms with new furniture. In this fast paced webinar, Karen will challenge you and your team to look deeper into the why’s of MLE’s and the how’s of successful pedagogy.” – Webinar introduction

Within the context of Modern Learning Environments and our schools’ move towards and active (project-based) learning scheme, this webinar offered a lot of reminders about best practice. Successful pedagogy starts with the student, and inquiring into the thinking dispositions and key competencies is vital in student centred learning. A more complete reflection from the webinar will come, but a key takeaway is all I’m planning to post now…

I haven’t used wordle for a long time now, but this strategy was a fabulous reminder of its power. The specific idea shared here is to get wordle to spit out an essay and see what sticks out. A thesaurus can then help to develop vocabularly and make the writing better. The trick here is not just this technique, but then asking the students to hand in the process and show their growth by submitting the draft, the wordle and the finished product.

I can see this strategy working well with scripts. I have a student’s draft with me at the moment, which currently is too simplistic to meet the standard at Level Three. The wordle looks like this:

wordle

I would hypothesise that a script with more complexity would see a better distribution of words beyond the main characters with a greater variation beyond “walks”, “afternoon”, “school”. One reflective question to ask here would be if the theme of the film was identifiable through the wordle. Thanks Karen Boyes for this outstanding strategy!

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