I have often been asked the question "how does technology benefit the learners? Where is the evidence?" Well here it is. This year, four students from Reporoa College did a computing course, through video conferencing with a teacher at Mercury Bay Area School, Max Ross. The first part of the course was dedicated to creating a web page in PHP, with a link to a data base which was created and queried using mysql. The second part of the course was all about building a robot using Lego, and programming it to carry out a set of given tasks. This culminated in all the students congregating at Te Aroha College to engage in the "Robot Wars" to see whose Robot would be able to tip over the other robots and hence claim the "Title".
In order to track their work and to document the project development, the students were asked to set up a blog. Which they duly did. When I read a few of the blogs, what I saw is what we have been talking about as educators. Here I saw responsible and independent learning, collaboration, creativity and problem solving. Check out these two blogs (whose permission I have obtained from the owners to share).
These students would not normally have access to blogs because it comes under personal networking and is filtered by our network filtering system. So we had to unblock the filters for them. Makes you think - responsible use of blogs is so beneficial, but how many students would simply spend their time on bebo (Blog Everywhere Blog Often) and do nothing? Something we need to look at closely.
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