So the topic for #YourEduStory this week is “What is connected learning and WIIFM?”
WIIFM?? What’s that? I had to actually search it up as it was an acronym that I hadn’t come across. WIIFM stands for “What’s it in for me?”
It is interesting to note that getting connected can have a great impact especially on teachers. These days being connected refers not only to teachers connected to other teachers, but also their classes can connect with experts around the world to expand their learning environment. Everyone benefits from a teacher being connected.
Being connected means flattening the local, national and global boundaries for learning.
Being connected means that teachers and classes can connect with each other in real-time.
Being connected helps teachers learn new practices that can change their classrooms.
So how has this had an impact on me and most importantly on my students?
Being connected has led me to change my classroom:
- Students have a voice in their learning- they enjoy being able to be part of the decision making process
- Students are given more of a choice- where they sit, to set the pace of their learning and how they learn
- Use of PBL to develop my students’ ability to question, investigate and explore topics
- I’m helping them to strengthen their skills- they are becoming more independent in their learning, they seek help from peers and support each other
- I am able to provide more support to students who are struggling whilst others are engaged in their learning.
- Using a Blended Learning approach, I am able to tailor the learning for my students. It allows me to see where students are struggling and need more support. It also allows me to extend the abilities of more capable students and set challenges for them to complete.
The biggest impact however of being connected is that I have gotten to know my students as individuals. This has strengthened my relationship with them. I am able to act silly and make a fool of myself in front of them- that gets their attention a lot quicker than yelling. There is a bond of trust- they know I trust them to complete work and they have put their trust in me to help them when they are struggling.
Without being connected I would still be frustrated about my ability to engage my students.They are happier in class and always ask me what we are going to do before we step into the classroom. They have the chance to explore new ideas -they are more confident in testing their abilities independently. If they start to struggle they first ask a peer before coming to seek my help. If I hadn’t become connected they wouldn’t have become so independent. They get frustrated in other subjects because they aren’t given the same opportunities they get in my classes.
So not only do I benefit from being connected but so do my students. I look forward to being connected for the rest of my life!