Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

Click on "contact", won't you, and wave right back at me?

Filtering by Tag: French

Crowd-Sourced Student Film "Les Trois Petits Cochons"

I had the idea from this crowd-sourced version of Star Wars. People from around the world recorded 15 second chunks of the film, which were then spliced together to make a new version. 

What if we had all 160 Year 8 French students team up to record tiny slices of the French "Three Little Pigs" play they're currently doing?



So we (literally) cut up the play script into sections and dished them out to 160 students in groups. 

We only gave them an hour or two to record... there was a sense of urgency, and if they didn't finish, they didn't finish.


There was momentum and buzz in the air:


The student groups saved their videos to a school portal with the right number code in the name.



I downloaded them, uploaded them to YouTube separately, then used the live YouTube editor to snip them together in order.

It took perhaps 90 minutes to edit them together. 


I was quite excited, and so were the students when we showed the final result, which had a little snip of every video in it:



Here is the final result:


The best thing is that this short activity has now expanded the students' horizons regarding new directions they could take for their full recordings, which they are doing now.

The crowd-source approach has put everyone's creativity on display, to the whole year group, but also the whole world via YouTube. This creates a community of practice feeling, like the students are all trying to come up with someone original that pushes the envelope.

This force that is surging through the entire year group is grassroots... it's a learner-community thing. It is about a zillion times stronger than a teacher-driven force.

The trick for teachers is not to drive the learning directly, but to create spatial and relational structures that nurture a ground-swell flame into a roaring fire.

Once that has happened, everything is settled. Try to stop them learning, you can't. Anything less suddenly looks not worth it.

"Engagement" is an overused term but there's a very good reason for that.

Conference Notes: Teaching French and Technology

I'm mainly blogging this for attendees of a French languge teaching conference. The notes below won't make much sense otherwise, but there are some links worth clicking!

Language Learning with Technology




Do, then think. NEVER ask permission. Stuff blows up all the time, don’t worry!



Get infinite ideas with Twitter and the notion of a ‘PLN’.  Recommended hashtags: #flteach #langchat #mfl


Provide social networking spaces with your students:

-        www.ning.com  ($3 a month!)  Sign up with Steve to get grant funded project in 2012. It's like Facebook but shared between your students and students in the target country.

-        www.edmodo.com – like Facebook, but without Farmville, and with control mechanisms.

-        Create a Facebook group!  Don’t have to ‘friend’ students to share a group.

-        www.beyondborders.edu.au for e-Twinning, which I run, but I feel it is too locked down.  


Reframe the class as a stage:





Create websites with: www.edublogs.org , http://wordpress.com (I have a manual I can email you), www.tumblr.com, or www.kidblog.com


Create a digital landscape, and frame it with a narrative, then let the students go explore.

(can do this without tech, aka ‘Matrix’ learning with pen and paper)

-        Paradigm shift. We use Moodle but could use a blog, wikispaces.com, etc

-        Map your images with Snag It or with a website like http://www.image-maps.com/


Creating Resources Quickly

-        Video/audio, esp. with iPhone or camera pointed at a piece of paper.

-        Pay students to digitalise materials. Get prac teachers.


And Finally Invitation to attend:

Workshop: Effective Teaching, Effecting Change: A Day With Steve Collis

Friday 11 Nov, 2011. www.scil.com.au/pd