Hello, I’m one of the LearningField Support Managers, based in Sydney. I’ve been involved in text publishing for around 20 years, working with teachers in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland to help produce texts in all the Years 7 to 12 Learning Areas.
Now at LearningField, I’m still working with teachers. My focus here is helping schools to evaluate and implement the LearningField way of delivering texts to students, rather than helping to create the actual content. However the aim is the same – supporting teachers in their goal of achieving the best student outcomes. A key part of this is to make it easier for teachers to do what they do every day – provide differentiated learning paths for the unique set of individuals in their classes. LearningField speaks for itself in this regard. If a school decides to go with LearningField’s subscription model, its teaching staff has the freedom to pick any chapters from any text, from a range of publishers, to create a set of resources that’s the best fit for their class. (Or for a group within their class, or even for a group that cuts across classes or year levels.)
Okay, so with a few clicks, teachers have harvested the chapters they want to assess. They’ve read and selected the chapters for their class, and with another couple of clicks, their students can almost instantly be reading them on their iPad, Android, Mac or PC. As well as this essential function there are other features built in to LearningField. In this blog I would like to talk about one of the ‘sleeper’ features in the LearningField eReaders – shared notes.
For schools using eTexts, the ability for students to annotate content to create study notes is nothing new. However these notes usually exist in a silo, captured within a file for one person’s consumption. With LearningField, notes can be for ‘Just me’ in the old- school way. But if students choose the Group option, or are directed to choose this option, other members of the group can view their notes. Teachers can see the extent of their students’ understanding at any point – helpful. Even more helpful, if a note indicated a misconception, and another student replied to that note to clear it up.
This is a world away from the ‘note sharing’ we had when I was a student in a government school in the ‘80s. This consisted of the pencil scratchings left by previous students who had used those class sets. We did amuse ourselves by writing bogus insights in novels (just for the prospect of bamboozling future generations of North Sydney Girls!). The LearningField generation, thankfully, wouldn’t have this kind of pleasure. First of all, your name is attached to the notes you create and share. And secondly your fellow students or teacher could respectfully reply with an alternative interpretation of that scene at Netherfield.
Another powerful use of shared notes in LearningField is just for teachers. Maybe a ‘Pedagogy in the Pub’ get-together would be more fun. But as an alternative way of sharing teaching insights, teachers could create a group with teacher members to review resources and share their practices. There is also the ability to ‘Follow’ other teachers in the LearningField community. A good way to “de-privatise” teacher communications perhaps?
This is just the beginning of the uses teachers and students will make of LearningField. As the consequences of having these tools at your fingertips keeps emerging, I hope to hear and talk about them with you – and share them.
LearningField Support Manager, NSW