Student Voices #TDReflex14

I may be a week late with this (how much does that matter in an un0course?) but once again, the topic of the week has been timely for me.

For some reason this year I’m coming to feel that the ‘student voice’ has been really missing in my practice this year, especially around the iPad project. . I don’t really know why this has happened.

In my ESOL class I feel I have been so fixated with getting my head around teaching teenagers and two curriculums that are new to me, as well as figuring out how to effectively use 8 iPads with them, there has been almost no space for the students! How nuts does that sound.

For my iPad project, I have been really struggling to get it clear in my head what the outcomes of the project are. Being able to articulate what I’m doing just seems to spiral slightly out of reach for me. I kept thinking that I needed to get a student perspective on the project, but for some reason couldn’t seem to get past the idea and get down to the practicalities of how to do that.

In previous action research that I’ve undertaken the students have been central to the projects – whether this was the DTE(E)LLS trainees collaborating together or the HE students and tutors working in partnership and with the other students on the course. So what is it about having a class set of iPads that has seem me seemingly abandon the students and what they have to say on the matter?

Having identified the student voice problem, I now need to seriously think about how to address it. Current ideas are:

1. interview the maths students of one of the tutors involved in the project

2. Discussing my project with my emCETT mentor today, I was sharing the activities on getting the students to research and evaluate apps and she suggested an extension of this, where I design something that allows students to share their thoughts about using the iPads in class and how much they have valued them. (or not!!)

With four weeks of teaching left after 1/2 term I had been thinking of repeating the Reflect Approach activity I did with E1 adult learners and comparing how this went with 16-18 students – in addition having the iPads as a tool for students to look for words and images would add a different dimension to the task.

3. Ask the Cert Ed student who has recently joined the project if I were able to interview her students.

With the clock ticking, I don’t think I have time to include any more students in the project. But what I really need to reflect on is why I am so reluctant to figure out how to include more of the ESOL student voices that have been part of the project. This is a real mystery to me.


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