I want to create an online collaborative work environment where homeschool students can work together as a team to build their knowledge of math and to solve problems related to math in their lives. In the age of social media and electronic communications, it is more important than ever for students to be able to share information through digital storytelling.
Why digital storytelling and how does Mr. Gelston define it?
Digital Storytelling allows students to learn how to communicate in their preferred style while developing that strength. Digital storytelling can be narration, video, audio, writing, animation, gif creation, application development, Minecraft models, presentations of lego blocks, or other communications that haven’t been considered yet.
Online collaboration is here and we have to get really good at it. For homeschool students, the need to be able to work in groups is both a challenge and an opportunity. Where homeschoolers are not in a congested building with too many other children to collaborate in person, they are able to make strong and meaningful connections with collaborators from around the world in their own expanded classrooms: local study groups and online relationships are much more typical of real life collaboration. Let’s use the great tools of social media to make this process work.
The flipped classroom will also be an integral part of this program where students are coached to find existing information on the web to find resources that are available within content areas and then using the coaching of Mr Gelston and peer support, students will get a chance to tell digital stories demonstrating their understanding of what they are learning to hopefully create something special; to create a quality electronic portfolio.
mrgelston.com is also getting a facelift to accomodate this program by moving to a wordpress site that will integrate the features of the #ds106 model. Mr. Gelston has also started a private google community under mrgelston.com so that students can work together as they would in a college google community.
Overall, Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse is moving in this direction. Coaching and supporting groups of self directed learners to work in teams to learn and grow both intellectually and through building strong social work teams. This process will take time to develop into a model program, but the momentum is just beginning.
Beginning this spring, Mr. Gelston will be introducing the first class as a short 15 week session through the GHF Online school. Only 6 students are able to join this class. In the fall, Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse will be creating as many as four cohorts for a year-long program to expand on this process. Mr Gelston hopes to offer this brief class annually through GHF online.
Please join in the conversation with me and let’s see if we can make something really special for the homeschool community.