POST BY: Liz Jones – Learning Technology Manager, Junior School Vlaskamp who asks …
How can we get 200 students working together with maximum collaboration and minimum disruption?
One way is digital ~
On 24 May the entire BSN Year 6 cohort joined forces in a challenge based environment. It was ‘follow the Panda’ day across the BSN.
The purpose of the collaboration was to bring about a shared understanding of the newly introduced Canvas Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This has been developed at Senior School Voorschoten since September 2016 and launched to students in January. BSN identified that the impact for September 2017 on new Year 7 pupils would be better if we introduced the concept and tools with the soon to be Year 7 group in their own Junior School environments.
We created an event called ‘Follow the Panda’. The Panda is a symbol of the Canvas product and a friendly face to share new ideas and support with new users. We joined together individually and in teams to share some of the Canvas tools. It is a learning platform where learners and teachers can share ideas, activities and skills together individually and in groups. The platform can be accessed via internet tools so works via many devices through Wi-Fi.
The Year 6 students and their teachers worked simultaneously on each site. We also engaged with Year 7 teams who responded to quiz questions live through email and Face Time. We also teamed up with staff from Senior School who came to each Junior School site for the morning. There was a tremendous buzz as we used team work and digital skills to answer questions and create knowledge. The other benefit was to create a link between people to support our transition strategy and initiatives that are already in place.
The opportunities that Canvas presents for Year 6 students to prepare for their upcoming Senior School transition can be explored next. We can see many different possibilities. We can also enable students to continue sharing their ideas so that they are more sure what to expect on their new school site. We will also share Canvas with Year 6 parents through workshops this term so that they see how that platform works.
All those involved enjoyed the collaboration. Our winning team from Junior School Diamanthorst also enjoyed their success and some woolly prizes. But the success was really tangible amongst all those involved. The buzz created has really impacted on everyone.
In the words of a Year 6 pupil:
Canvas Day was amazing!
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Liz Jones, Learning Technology Manager @lizjonesLTM