I have been teaching the IB diploma Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) course for almost ten years now. It is probably one of the most demanding IB diploma courses in terms of lesson preparation and delivery as technology moves so fast giving rise to new ethical issues and social challenges. Each year the range of online resources and tools become more powerful and sophisticated and I rarely delivery the same lesson twice. For example, this year the ethical discussions focus more on the pirating of eBooks, the introduction of the newspaper pay-wall to ensure high-quality news and the controversial airport security weapon – the body scanner. These replace the ‘so-last year’ issues of music piracy, gaming addiction, the wonders of citizen journalism and biometric information embedded in RFID chips in passports. In our ITGS classes, we are constantly connecting to new tools and resources to extend our learning and this year we are taking the next step by connecting with other ITGS students. I will working alongside my friend and colleague, Julie Lindsay from BISS, as we team up our two Grade 11 classes. Our intention is to work together to develop and co-deliver the course, have our students communicate and collaborate with each other, encourage participation from ITGS schools around the world, as well as documenting our journey along the way. Our journey has begun! It is a journey that will explore the challenges of learning in the 21st century. Our vision is for our students will become ‘connected learners’; students who can seamlessly move between our physical classrooms and our evolving ITGS cyber-school and beyond.
If you would like to learn more about our ITGS cyber-class, please visit:
insideITGS.net – our blog that aims to document our journey
insideITGS.ning – our global network that allows classrooms to connect, communicate and collaborate
insideITGS.wikispaces.com – our wiki of resources that we will build on the way
In her latest post in our blog, Julie writes:
“The Challenge with Connecting is finding the right tools to facilitate efficient connections AND adopting behaviors for connected learning. Participants in online learning communities need to realize that the learning and therefore the connecting does not stop once the face-to-face class has ended.”
Some questions to ponder:
- Are your students ‘connected learners’?
- What online learning communities do you participate in?
- How connected are you for learning?