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Level 6 and 7 snapshots

Learning programme design

Level 6/7 snapshots

Health ed snapshots:

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Physical ed snapshots:

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Home economics snapshots:

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Combined HPE and home economics snapshots


Physical education snapshot 8

Facebook – Taking learning from the desk to the couch

Inquiry

Twenty first century learning has challenged us to consider what technologies and media students are engaging with both inside the school walls and within their personal contexts. A notable shift in students’ social dynamic outside of school is the use of social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are used autonomously by many students on a daily basis. 

Therefore, as teachers it is important to be proactive towards these shifts, adjusting personal pedagogies to effectively meet the diverse learning needs of our students. Within physical education the utilisation of digital devices can effectively support the teaching and learning programme by allowing students to access social media to seek purposeful feedback and feedforward in relation to content knowledge and performance improvement. 

Focusing inquiry

We wanted to concentrate on building classroom culture, so in our faculty we launched Facebook pages and groups within our year 11 physical education course to engage with our learners, and create the movement of taking learning from the ‘desk to the couch’. 

The reason for implementing these pages was to allow students to continue experiencing physical education by learning in, through, and about movement. 

We saw the opportunity to allow students to work at their own pace through content at home, and contexualise it within the school setting. 

The Facebook pages provide an avenue for content sharing, discussion forums, and the development and enhancement of student autonomy. In practice, examples included students taking images of their sporting performance within class and uploading these to the Facebook page for feedback/feedforward from their peers. Ethical considerations included the page being moderated by an external teacher within the faculty, coupled with the teacher profile remaining void of any personal information. 

Note: If Facebook is not for you, consider Edmodo - a social learning platform for teachers, students, and parents. It provides a secure place to connect and collaborate, share content and educational applications, assign assessment tasks, facilitate class discussions, and notify students of curriculum and qualifications requirements. 

Teacher inquiry

To effectively implement a social media based teaching method, research into the ethical and privacy issues surrounding its use were investigated. The decision to use Facebook was based on student feedback and volume of users within the course group, coupled with the limitations of other social media sites (that is, Twitter confining users to 140 characters, which in effect reduces the ability for self expression and extensive content sharing). 

Creating a Facebook account void of any personal information resulted in a separate school based user profile used solely for educational purposes. This account allowed for the creation of ‘groups’ of classes, which established the learning community both within the school walls and outside of them. The teachers involved with the year 11 course set up individual group pages for their classes, whilst a whole course group was established to further promote discussion and sharing opportunities. 

An example of the use of the Facebook page included placing the link for an online lesson with a series of questions to promote discussion within the comments box below. Students used this space to answer and expand upon questions, challenge, support and seek feedback on their answers. Alternatively, the page was also used as a content sharing space for students to upload files for others in the class to access, and a centralised location for important dates and upcoming events. 

Within the first week of classes, students were expected to sign up to their individual class page and the whole course group. These lessons allowed the teacher to demonstrate to students how to use the pages effectively, whilst supporting those without Facebook to create a similar user account for the course using the school intranet system, or their personal email account. 

Learning inquiry

The implementation of Facebook within the teaching and learning programme was effective for a number of reasons. Firstly, students were already using the social medium on a daily basis, so they were able to integrate both social and academic responsibilities into one site. 

One feature of Facebook is that notifications appear when there is new content for the user to view; therefore, students were able to access these and avoid having to remember to sign into an external site (and the various issues that poses in relation to passwords, usernames, and accessibility). 

As a teacher, one of the key features of Facebook is the ability to monitor who has viewed and written content. Each post made by either teacher or student shows who has read and /or used it, resulting in simplified tracking, coupled with the ability to have learning conversations with those neglecting the page. 

The use of Facebook resulted in an engaging, purposeful learning environment whereby students discussed content, posed questions for one another, and supported each other through the answering and posting of relevant content. Students who traditionally shied away from answering questions within a classroom environment were given a forum whereby they could showcase their understanding, allowing others to learn through the use of peer teaching. 

Overall the use of Facebook has strengthened the class culture both in and outside of the classroom, ensuring that learning isn’t isolated to the classroom, but rather a dynamic process that can be carried and driven by students wherever they are. 

Learn more

  • Facebook for Educators                      
  • Edmodo                                               

Last updated September 4, 2013



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