Why Write?

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Why Write?

Why do we write?

We write emails, instructions, social media posts, lists and reports but rarely a story or poem.

For most adults in the world today, the idea of sitting down to write for the purpose of entertainment is a luxury few have and even fewer have the time for.

Yet our students are expected to create engaging, exciting and entertaining writing across a range of genres. Even more bizarrely, we ask our children to imagine the audience they are expected to write for.

So not only are young people having to use their imagination to create these inspiring works of fiction, they need to save some of that imagination to actually envisage the person that will (not) be reading it!

In all honesty- the children know the only person who is ever likely to read the daring adventures of countless protagonists that have been created is inevitably the teacher.

So we ask again- Why write? Who is it for? Why should I care?

Children need a real audience for writing. A reason to include all of the flourishes and engaging aspects of writing that we desperately want them to include.

And the best part? That audience exists in every classroom around the world- our student’s peers.

BoomWriter (www.boomwriter.com) is a collaborative approach to writing that gives students an audience within their class and beyond using technology. With the students knowing that their peers will be voting on their work to decide the winning chapter for an ever changing and flowing class narrative, they instantly have a vested interest in writing at their best possible standard.

Where we have worked with schools on the use of BoomWriter, we have seen a dramatic increase in engagement in both boys and girls within writing. Pupils are writing with the knowledge that they have the potential chance to be published within the book as a writer. Additionally, they know that a great many eyes will be looking at and judging their work.

So,

Why write? Who is it for? Why should I care? These questions can be answered in some way by engaging students in the collaborative process of writing that software like BoomWriter can facilitate.

You never know, maybe a few more students will have the opportunity, and more importantly the desire, to write engaging and inspiring fiction in the future.  We just need to give them a reason to.

 

 

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WHAT IS MineCraft EDUCATION EDITION?

Minecraft: Education Edition is an open-world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination.

Minecraft has the ability to disguise learning in a game format to allow those students who don’t get involved in the standard lesson. The sandbox style game allows educators to incorporate Minecraft into any curriculum.

The vast community within the game allows new content to be created every day, so there is no shortage of lessons to use. 

Many educators around the world also use Minecraft to develop pupil learning strategies through Maths English and Science.

Minecraft has two settings, Creative and Survival. Creative allows students to really build whatever they can come up with. There is also a feature that allows a student to document their build to explain to the teacher what they have created to add that extra layer of thinking into the work.

Survival puts your student into a world full of it’s own challenges as well as make your student keeps their character fed at all times, this mode is perfect for creating the students story through the characters eyes.

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Learning Technologies Team have been using Minecraft education across Wolverhampton schools to try and expand on the curriculum to make lessons more interesting to those students who don’t really engage. 

One student from Long Knowle Primary when asked what they thought of using MineCraft in this way responded “I have really enjoyed these lessons as they have taught me to work within a team to build our school within MineCraft”. One other student said “This is a much better way to learn as everyone in the class is engaged and no one is distracting the class from learning”.

Learning Technologies are currently hosting a competition within the school to see who can create the best school within teams of two. the groups will have to present their school in front of the Headteacher and the board of governors, the winner will then be given a chance to go the the Wolverhampton Digital Awards for 2017.

The software has a bright future within schools with many update scheduled to come out to allow both student s and teachers the ability to broaden their lessons to allow to their student to learn in new and exciting ways.

MineCraft Education can be downloaded from the Minecraft Education website for both Windows 10 machines as well as Mac OS. The subscription is only £3 per student per year.

GettingAhead Kingswood Day

GettingAhead Kingswood Day

On Wednesday 28th June, Year 7 students from local Secondary schools: Colton Hills, Heath Park and Moreton Community joined Learning Technologies and HeadStart staff for a fun-filled day at Kingswood Trust.