Mrs Humanities

Because I'm married to the job

Just an Idea – Student Conferences

3 Comments

Just an idea

Now this idea popped into my head a few months ago whilst I attended the Optimus Annual Gifted and Talented Conference back in October. It’s been on my mind this week so I thought I’d share it with you.

The idea is a student-led conference, a cross-over between TED talks and a TeachMeet I guess.

An opportunity to develop a love of learning and independence.

The concept

Students choose a topic of their choice related to the curriculum in which they study, skills they use  or could even be something of interest.

Students present a 3, 5 or 7 minute presentation on their topic of choice. Short, snappy and straight the point. Snack sized learning for their peers.

Just like in a TeachMeet, get students involved and interactive by ‘tweeting’ what they are learning, the ideas they come up with and how it links to their prior learning using a private school based social network/collaboration software (perhaps something like Edmodo, need to look into other options). Something safe, that students can contribute to but won’t accessible outside of the school setting.

Afterwards students, both presenters and learners, reflect on the process.

Why I like the idea?

Firstly students sharing their knowledge on a topic of their choosing I think is a sure fire way to start developing independent learning skills – there’s research skills, communication skills,  ICT skills, critical thinking, time management, responsibility and reflection, to be developed.

It engages them in the learning process; What do subjects do I enjoy? What do I find interesting? What do I want to learn more about?

Therefore developing curiosity; when students take an aspect of the curriculum they are interested in and have the opportunity to delve deeper into it they can become masters of this aspect of their learning encouraging them to go deeper in other areas.

In can encourage problem solving and critical thinking – what do I need to include? What is relevant? Do they already know something about this or does it need an introduction? What do I want to get across? How will I do it in such a small amount of time? How do I make this understandable? Just some of the questions they will need to consider.

How would it work?

It could be done as a whole school event, by individual year groups or by KS4/5 to lower year groups, perhaps to introduce topics from GCSE and A Level courses.

It could be students presenting to their peers, their parents or both.

It could be carried out periodically throughout the year, before option evenings or simply at the end of the year as a way of celebrating the learning that has taken place.

But the main idea is to develop a love of learning and independence in the learning process.

Opinions

What do you think? Could it work? Have you done anything similar?

Let me know what you think, feedback would be much appreciated.

Mrs Humanities

3 thoughts on “Just an Idea – Student Conferences

  1. FYI: ….and I’ve just been introduced to TedED clubs, this excites me. Going to have to look into this further.

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  2. Have done similar things before if not identical. I’ve actually run presentations as a vertical activity when I have had lucky timings on older students (DP/A Level) co-inciding on a topic being taught to KS3. I’ve done some variants as a TED style talks although found much stronger engagement when running carousel sessions where a group of 5 or 6 younger students visit “stands/demonstrations or talks” by 1 or 2 older “expert” students – in this case longer sessions (15-20 mins) work really well. The good thing is that once you’ve planned it you sit back and watch it happen, the bad news is, it does make you feel a little redundant when it works well.

    Once you’ve found groupings and activities that work, you can always change the method of delivery. I’ve also done independent research where students go off and write a magazine article on a subject of their choice (within parameters) and allowed some feedback and exchanges electronically – although like yourself it seems, still searching for the best platform to run this on.

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