The padlet task and the peer circle in Kata’s class, 6th grade.
In the padlet task, the students took photos and wrote texts under the title “Me and my mobile phone”. The aim was to provide the children a space to tell about their relationship with their smartphones. Before the task, there was a phase of warming up: the children were standing in two circles and talking face-to-face in pairs exchanging questions and answers. After discussing each other for two minutes, the students moved to talk with a new peer.
The instructions of the peer circle were:
- Show your phone to your pair and tell about it: How did you get it? Are you satisfied with it? Why did you choose that type (Samsung/Iphone etc,). What technical problems have you faced with it and so on.
- Show your applications to your pair: what are your favorite ones and why you use them? On what purposes you use your phone?
- Are you addicted to your phone? What happens if you are not able to use your phone? Have you been without your phone? Do you find it easy? Why or why not?
In reflecting afterwards we noticed that this phase before the actual working using padlet was important. Why? The discussion flew freely and the atmosphere was lively. The kids could talk about their favorite applications. There was a boy who presented his pizza call app with great enthusiasm! The teacher joined the discussion. They had the phones as concrete items in their hands, but their discussion spread to cover their lives broadly when talking about how they use their phones. Without this phase the padlet task could have been understood by the kids just as another school task, as now the task went on with great engagement.
|What did we learn? Whenever touching the subject of mobile technologies, teachers need to take into account that students have their own knowledge and in many cases much broader experiences about them than we assume.|