Readers of this wiki page are invited to contribute their ideas and content


In my new position as Head of Information Technology /E-Learning at Qatar Academy I have the challenge of helping to move the 10-year old PreK-12 school into the next 5-years of strategic development. This is an exciting challenge for a number of reasons. Firstly QA is owned and managed by the Qatar Foundation which in turn has been formed by a decree by the Emir himself. In other words the school is owned by the ruling family in Qatar. As you may also know Qatar is one of the top 5 richest countries in the world. You may also know that Qatar is one of the most 'developing' countries in the world right now. It is in the Middle East but it is progressive and taking a global approach to providing educational resources for people in Qatar and beyond. Not only this, it has a vision of excellence and is building a magnificent Education City on a huge campus that includes a number of reputable tertiary institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, NorthWest University, Texas University.

My challenge right now (November 2007) is to present our ideas to the Board on November 21 and ask for a whole new approach to learning that is supported by e-Learning tools and that fosters an evolution in mindset about what the possibilities are in teaching and learning. If you are reading this wiki or have landed here via my blog or other Web 2.0 means I invite you to add your thoughts and especially your images of model classrooms. I want to be able to show best-practice from around the world. Please also leave your name and contact so that I can give you credit for your contribution.

E-Learning For Life Strategy

Qatar Academy, 2007

Written November 2007 as a 'plan to plan' document the 'E-Learning For Life' proposal looks at the needs of Qatar Academy, an international school in Doha, State of Qatar. It analyzes the current situation, suggest what the school should be aiming for and starts to detail ways it can reach its goals.


E-Learning Presentation to the Board of Governors



In 15 minutes (maximum) we need to convince the BoG at Qatar Academy to support our challenge to move QA into the 21st century and to aim to be one of the top international schools in the world.

Main points to cover:

- The changing shape of information and the needs of a 21st century learning environment that encourages and supports global outreach; educational objectives and Blooms taxonomy, 21st century literacy skills; digital citizenship for all participants in the learning process It is extremely important to share some of the work on digital natives, from Marc Prensky to show how their brains are actually physically different. Their visual cortex is 20% larger than those of students even 5 years older. Our students are becoming more and more visual, so teaching and learning practices need to make this change as well.

- Classrooms around the world in images and words: emerging and current best-practice examples of what e-Learning/flat/mobile/ubiquitous classrooms look like (Pictures needed!)
Focus on the needs of the users and the ideal learning environment conditions: mobile, laptop, handheld, wireless, portal, LMS, SMS etc
- What are the skills and literacies we want to foster? The Partnership for 21st Century Learning has a great framework to use to show that skills and literacies need to be fostered. There should be an increased focus on problem solving, information technology skills, and collaboration/communication skills. There should be less of a focus on facts and more focus on concepts and essential questions.
- Align with Qatar Foundation (mother organization to QA) objectives of being a knowledge-based society and striving for excellence


Bangkok Patana School

(Prepared by //Madeleine Brookes//, ICT Faculty Leader (Secondary), Bangkok Patana School)

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Learn IT to Learn

eLearning, Vicarious Learning and Web 2.0 tools

Vicarious Learning (VL) is the notion that people can and will learn through being given access to the learning experiences of others. Simple traditional examples are instances such as master classes in music and the process of clinical teachers going through cases with students. In these situations, one person or student is the focus of tutorial attention, but others present will benefit from observing the interaction. Also, as teachers know, many students are too shy to indicate their need for help in class - such students learn a great deal from observing and overhearing the learning experiences of others. (Cox)
At Patana we are beginning to use wikispaces to aid vicarious learning by allowing students to read and learn from each other using a collaborative workspace. We have found that:
  • Wikispaces lends itself to more asynchronous usage thereby allowing students to collaborate whilst working at their own pace and at times that best suit them.
  • Wikispaces allows students to review stages of a project, review their participation, receive encouragement from peers and their teacher.

wikispaces and ITGS

Examples of some eLearning experiences using Wikispaces at Bangkok Patana School are:


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Home page for ITGS Classes at Patana


We started with our senior students on the IB Diploma ITGS course. The following observations are encouraging:
  • Students are becoming more independent in their learning. By reviewing the usage statistics, it is possible to ascertain who has contributed what and when. This encourages students to contribute further - not to let their team down.
  • Peer-assessment allows for further interations and promotes critical and constructive feedback. The use of carefully constructed rubrics is essential (Assessment for Learning link/background required).
  • Students are much more aware of the demands and how to work with the IB Diploma Internal Asessment criteria and learn how to apply them. This is especially important for the Extended Essay where students are required to work independently.
  • The learning does not 'stop at the classroom door'. Students are able to access the space at anytime to post or receive feedback, add to the community. Due to the demands of the IB DP, students have to juggle their work committments with CAS and personal life. This allows students to manage their time more effectively especially when working collaboratively.
  • Time for marking and collecting in and reviewing homework can be shifted outside of the contact/class time. Teachers can review work and provide feedback prior to class times and make better use of class time. Students can access other students' work and benefit from the comments and feedback from the teacher/peers.
  • The novelty factor needs to be reviewed - however we have a 'variety, variety, variety' approach and will move away from this application and return later.
  • Wikispaces is a very simple application to use hence there is very little training required. The focus of the training is more about the 'pedagogy' and not the 'mechanics'.

We are now piloting this learning experience with two of the eight Year 9 classes for a internet-based research project which is essentially a cut down version of the extended essay.


Patana's Online Learning Management System - eClassroom

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Patana has a bespoke eLearing environment - similar to Moodle. In addition to being a repository for resources, this allows for blogging, chatrooms and other interactive experiences.

ePortfolio

Each student has a ePortfolio which is accessed through any 'class' in the eClassroom and also through the Parents Gateway (password protected access for parents to their child(ren)'s information and news.
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Patana's student ePortfolio
This is a three part portfolio:
  • mySelf combines data about the student (for example: name, contact details, image, tutor group, house) and also wiki-style boxes for students to enter and continually review their personal reflections which can then be used as part of the reporting process.
  • myWork allows students to upload electronic versions of their work (including video clips, images, sound files, presentations). Students enter reflections as to why they selected the piece of work.
  • mySpace is where students create their own HTML website and encourages self-expression.
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