I have been working in this school since the middle of last year and in that time some tremendous changes have started to happen. E-learning is starting to put down some strong roots and is well on the way to being an integral part of a significant number of the classrooms there. There is still plenty of work to do, but the images above demonstrate one of the techniques that I use to foster a climate of independence in students so that they can achieve their learning goals. To manage the different rate at which students master different tools at their disposal, I encourage the development of a class experts system.
In this particular year 2 classroom the teacher has adopted this idea and made a wall display where students can pin their own images against a range of skills that they have mastered, it is in effect a community bulletin board of the type that you see in a supermarket. Look at the range of skills these students have mastered in the images above. It is a visual guide for other students who need additional support, they know who to go to, other than the teacher, to seek help. It is an e-learning equivalent of the”See three before me” classroom management strategy. The bulletin board process creates a conveyor belt of skills acquisition, so what happens when everyone in class can do the same skill? The students take a photo of themselves with ‘thumbs up’ and pin that photo by the now redundant support service on the bulletin board, this particular solution was devised by the students in this class themselves.
Running in tandem with this in class initiative, other students within the school have created their own ‘Yellow Pages” adverts and have put them into a binder. These adverts again advertise which e-learning skills an individual student is willing to offer support for. The key difference here is that this binder is displayed prominently in the staffroom. These adverts are aimed directly at the staff and staff are seeking help from their students. The benefits of this role reversal can not be underestimated where learners become teachers and teachers become learners.