16 Jul ViSN Students Connect
Virtual School Network (ViSN) students across our state are connecting and collaborating with each other through online ATAR course delivery, with great success. ViSN is delivering 8 online ATAR courses to over 80 Year 11 students this year, enabled by the Leading Lights platform and utilising Microsoft Office 365 tools and Claned.
Students provide feedback to their online teachers each term, which helps the ViSN teachers to refine their course to meet the needs of students.
I'm really enjoying working at my own pace and taking in what I'm learning in a way that is most effective for me.
I find the teachers are always there if you need to ask them anything.
Online Teacher Champions
Teachers too have found the ViSN experience challenging but rewarding and many are now utilising the skills learnt for online delivery in their own face to face classrooms. They are leading the way for best practice in online delivery to secondary students, maximising the potential of the Microsoft 0365 technology platform to connect their students to each other and to experts beyond the virtual classroom.
Some of the learning highlights this semester include:
- Creation of a virtual tour of a winery, as part of a Geography case study, including connection to an international export customer of the winery.
- A virtual tour and Skype call with Royal Perth Hospital, as part of the Health Studies course.
- Student collaboration to create a superb Lego movie, to highlight a key concept from the Modern History course.
- Creating a website, as part of the English course novel study.
New teachers ready to go
The next group of teachers are half way through their ViSN teacher training, in preparation to deliver their course in 2019. The first half of the program can be a little overwhelming, but they are all to be commended on their enthusiasm, as noted in the quotes below.
I think that ViSN is an amazing opportunity for all students in this huge state to have the same opportunities as kids in bigger rural and city schools. I am excited about creating the Chemistry unit and teaching virtually next year. I know it will take me well outside my comfort zone and am slightly apprehensive about how I’m going to create relationships with my students using the internet. But mostly I’m looking forward to starting. It’s School of the Air on steroids!
I am super excited about teaching Modern History in the ViSN program. Already I am learning new skills that I am applying to improve my teaching currently. Whilst it does require a lot of work to set up the courses correctly and learn all the new tools, I have such great support from both the school and sector levels.”
I am really excited to be teaching ATAR Geography to Year 12 students across WA. I think that it is a great opportunity for schools, teachers and students to broaden their horizons and examine their teaching and learning methods. I am a little apprehensive about creating an engaging course to be delivered electronically but hope my love and enthusiasm for my subject will shine through!
The top 3 reasons schools join ViSN are:
- To increase their offerings.
- To leverage the teacher PL provided to ViSN teachers, for improved teaching practices in their own school.
- To better meet their students’ needs.
Watch this space!
A recent virtual learning needs survey of secondary principals indicated that there is a need to develop:
- More ATAR courses, for example Politics and Law, Psychology, Accounting and Finance
- Language courses for all year levels
- Programs that sit outside of formal curriculum based learning, for example Study Skills, Student Leadership, Careers and Transition to Boarding programs.