Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

Overview

Practising Mandarin words and phrases. Click to enlarge.

Practising Mandarin. Click to enlarge.

Jacqui Clark is a Primary 5 teacher at Lynburn Primary School in Fife. She has been using Glow for about eighteen months initially just with her own class and now supporting colleagues throughout the school. Jacqui is very positive about the learning opportunities Glow has opened up – allowing pupils to discuss and collaborate, to share their work with their peers and their families, to record and assess their own progress.

This cookbook illustrates a number of ways in which Jacqui has embedded Glow in daily learning and teaching.

Context

Jacqui’s first use of Glow was a project on the Declaration of Arbroath. Her class contacted a history teacher at Arbroath High School who was able to support their project remotely through a Glow Group and a Glow Meet session. This provided an excellent testing ground for Jacqui to explore the potential of Glow to expand learning beyond the classroom. Through Glow Meet pupils engaged in a question and answer session with the history teacher, their learning enhanced by his expertise and local knowledge.

The children subsequently became very enthusiastic about participating in national Glow Meet events, often checking the calendar on the National Site themselves and asking if the class could sign up for events of interest.

Jacqui Clark talks about how she got started with Glow (2:26)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

Following the success of her first experiences of Glow, Jacqui this year created a class Glow Group for her P5s. The Group evolves during the course of the year, as the learning progresses.

Her class have begun to learn Mandarin. Resources used in class, such as PowerPoint files, and links to websites have been added to the Glow Group for pupils to use to support their homework. Pupils have used a discussion board to post their thoughts about the Mandarin lessons.

A story in the Daily What about the arrival of two new pandas at Edinburgh Zoo caught the children’s attention. They studied the story together in class and then used some of the accompanying lesson suggestions and resources. They researched what pandas would require in a zoo environment, designed suitable habitats and wrote reports. The results were uploaded into the Glow Group to be shared with the rest of the class and discussed with parents and carers at home.

Learning Tai-Chi. Click to enlarge.

Learning Tai-Chi. Click to enlarge.

A trip to Edinburgh Zoo was then organised, where pupils enjoyed furthering their understanding of Chinese culture by taking part in a tai-chi lesson, and learning from zoo staff about the logistics of transporting pandas and settling them into a new environment. Evidence of pupils’ learning is recorded in the photos uploaded into the Glow Group and through the presentations they created, recording their experiences.

Jacqui Clark talks about the P5 Glow Group, pt 1 (4:30)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

Santa visits Lynburn. Click to enlarge.

Santa visits Lynburn. Click to enlarge.

Jacqui is keen to use Glow to develop pupil e-portfolios. As a pre-cursor she is introducing the children to the concept of blogging. At Christmas Jacqui used two additional Glow accounts, created in the names of Santa C and R. Rudolph, to post messages on a blog. The posts rapidly engaged the pupils’ interest – indeed the scenario snowballed with other classes becoming caught up in the story of Santa’s search for his missing reindeer! Pupils responded to the tasks set through discussion boards and by adding their own posts to the blogs.

 Jacqui Clark talks about the P5 Glow Group, pt 2 (2:58)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

The enthusiasm of the P5s for Glow is evident in their independent use at home, such as updating their own pages (described in a separate cookbook), showing their parents and carers work they’ve been doing, and using games and activities on the National Site. Their parents have been keen to find out more about Glow and how they can support their children’s learning. Jacqui created a Homework page where parents could post up questions or comments, use links to suggested online activities and contribute their own website recommendations. To date, it has been the pupils, rather than their parents, who have used the discussion board to post comments, but it has remained a useful point of contact with families.

 Jacqui Clark talks about the P5 Glow Group, pt 3 (2:19)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

The Wedding invitation. Click to enlarge.

The Wedding invitation. Click to enlarge.

Jacqui’s remit includes supporting her colleagues with Glow. One facet of this has been establishing whole school Glow Groups which everyone can use. In April, a Glow Group was created to support a whole week of activities around the Royal Wedding. In a hectic, but clearly very enjoyable, few days pupils were involved in many aspects of wedding planning including making a cake, creating invitations and collecting the replies, organising the caterers and making sure the bride had something to wear! The week culminated in the school’s very own wedding on the Friday morning. A wealth of photos capturing evidence of the learning has been uploaded to ‘The Royal Wedding’ Glow Group. Jacqui’s P5 pupils provided peer mentoring to other classes in the school, supporting them with undertaking a series of challenges posted in the Glow Group. Pupils also supported members of staff in creating their own Glow pages. The week’s activities stimulated a lot of interest from staff about Glow, and this together with the pupil peer mentoring, has had quite a substantial impact on uptake within the school.

 Jacqui Clark talks about ‘The Royal Wedding’ Glow Group (3:07)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

Ingredients

For her P5 class Glow Group Jacqui:

* created a Glow Group on the school site

* added all her pupils as ‘Contributors’

* added additional pages

* created multiple Documents, Web links and Discussions web parts

* added topical features, such as the snowflakes and red noses

Method

The video clips below explain the processes of customising a Glow Group as Jacqui has done.

* how to add, rename or delete pages (2:56) Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

* how to upload a document (2:24) Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

* how to add a post to a discussion board (3:00)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

* how to add a web link (3:56)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

* how to create an additional Documents web part (7:42)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

* how to close, restore or move web parts (4:21) Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

* how to compress images before uploading to Glow (8:12) Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

* how to upload images to an Image Gallery web part (8:51)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

The Glow Help blog contains information about adding snowflakes and red noses to your own Glow Groups.

Impact

Jacqui feels that she has learnt much about using Glow – about the activities that she would definitely continue, such as pupils’ own pages – and the things she’d do differently (compressing photos before uploading, to speed up how long they take to display). She has been impressed by pupils’ enthusiasm for learning, and the motivation that Glow provides. She’s been delighted too with pupils’ sense of responsibility and their confidence: they have provided peer mentoring, supported school staff and talked about Glow to a meeting of Fife headteachers. Next year she’s keen to progress with introducing e-portfolios into the school.

Jacqui Clark talks about her next steps with Glow (0:44)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

Pupils have been keen to lead the learning, talking about news stories they’ve seen in the ‘Daily What’, games and activities they’ve found on the national site, or national Glow Meet events that they want to participate in.  

Lynburn pupils talk about their favourite activities on the National Site (0:58)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

Lynburn pupils talk about teaching others about Glow (1:14)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

Lynburn pupils talk about Glow Meet (2:22)Lynburn Primary: enthusing learners and promoting responsibility

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