-Using social networking profiles to enthuse Year 9
During my long teaching placement of my PGCE year I was given a low ability year 9 class. I felt that the behavioural challenges presented by this group were affecting pupil progression and began to question whether personalisation of learning could promote engagement during lessons.
In order to make learning more relevant I came up with the idea of using an adapted facebook page to present information on a famous scientist (facebook template downloaded from http://www. tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6025698)
The students were each given a facebook template to fill in alongside in question. The students had to pick out the relevant information and put it into their own words to explain the scientist’s observations, explanations, and achievements and influences on other people.
At first the students were preoccupied with filling in the description of the scientist and thinking up names for the scientist’s friends! However, they did settle down quickly and seemed to really enjoy the activity. Upon reviewing their learning the students were clearly able to show that they had met the learning outcomes for the lesson.
Relating the learning to something personal thus seemed to make the information more accessible and memorable, as well as promoting the students’ engagement in their learning.
The facebook template could be adapted to include different subheadings, depending on what you want the students to get out of the activity, and could obviously be used in lots of different subjects.
The activity could be extended by getting the students to research the information needed to fill in the template for themselves. Alternatively, or as an extension, the students could create a facebook group promoting the work of the person in question.