TEL Communities

Helen Caldwell and Anna Cox | View as single page | Feedback/Impact
TEL Communities
Definitions: Theoretical background relevant to technology facilitated social learning
Research evidence: Systematic literature reviews on the theme of technology facilitated social learning

Example 2: Technology supporting social learning in a school

Social learning in school imageElizabeth Jones from The British School in The Netherlands shared an example from her recent practice on the Technology Outdoors MOOC. She ran a ’Follow the Panda’ challenge day with the aim of building shared understanding of the new Canvas VLE for 200 year 6 students and 20 staff across 4 school sites. This took the form of a competition with three digital tasks where the year 6 pupils get year 7 pupils to find answers to a quiz.

There were three tasks:
1. Set up your avatar, birthday and calendar and submit a screenshot as a PDF to be peer assessed by three other students.
2. Create a group quiz with three question types: one to be googled, the second needing online help from a year 7 pupil, the third needing to email or Skype an expert.
3. An online FAQ session submitting and answering questions about the school facilitated by year 7 pupils.
This was followed by a videoconference using Google Hangouts to share the quiz results.

Liz describes her project:
‘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 facetime. We also teamed up with staff from Senior school who came to each Junior 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 to work next year by linking with Senior school and by linking across BSN were explored next. We saw many different possibilities. We can also enabled students to continue sharing their ideas so that they are more sure what to expect on their new school site.  
All those involved enjoyed the collaboration. Our winning team from JSD 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.

The main impact was enlightenment and togetherness. Our senior colleagues were impressed at the capacity of the Year 6 students to take on the new skills in such a fast and furious way. The Y6 students were engaged and excited to do something so collaborative and the staff in general had the opportunity to see something on a large scale that could be replicated in the future. We also acknowledged that we can do more with it in future. We saw we couldn't have done this another way which is also the technology benefit. In the words of a Year 6 pupil 'Canvas Day was amazing!' ‘

Read more here:

Further browsing - The Bridgecraft Project: