Canvas and Zoom: Teaching students to help themselves

In part four of the webinar held at Glenvale’s Swan Hill campus, Hugo Vaughan spoke about the role of Canvas and Zoom in the OneSchool classroom.

The investment made in Canvas and Zoom is probably the most significant investment made in OneSchool, Mr Vaughan said. It is changing the way the school does things. Canvas is changing the way OneSchool is learning how to run a classroom effectively.

“For example, the lesson part in Canvas might have something where the students click on Term 4, Week 2,” he says. “It will tell students what they are doing at that time – whether it is students presenting to the class, or a teacher being available for the students. The students can look at the lesson during the weekend, which allows them to be organised for the week.

“Then there is the study tab. What does it say there? Well, if a student is in term 4, week 2 doing an assignment they have to ask themselves where they will be. It’s a guide for the students. If you’re not busy, with say section 3, of this assignment, it gives you a guide of where you should be at. If not, you should see your teacher who will help the student get back on track. The student can decide how much time they spend on the lesson and the study.”

During the class lesson, students have the ability to log on to their assignment and that allows them to ask the teacher for help if they don’t understand something within the assignment. Within three minutes the student can engage with the assignment, the study and the lesson. The student’s ability to navigate through those three circles at any time in any direction – that is self-directed learning. SDL is not something with a timetable, it is a behaviour. That behaviour to navigate between the assignment, the lesson and the study – means the better students are going to be at organising themselves amongst those areas.

Also, Mr Vaughan gave a practical lesson in SDL. Something that he hopes a lot of parents take on board as their children start to learn not just at school, but at home, too.

“I was in America at the Leading Remarkable Learning Conference and a man came up to me and asked me how he could teach his six and a nine year old SDL,” said Mr Vaughan. “I gave him this example. Let's say he wants to take his family on a holiday. He tells the kids that they have $1000 to spend on accommodation. It’s up to them to find the accommodation. So they get researching. They come back and say they’ve done it we’ve found a place for $1400. Dad tells them that they have gone way over budget and they need to research it again. They have had a lesson. The child has learned something. So they go back and they do it. They have been in a lesson, been given an assignment and studied. Some students will do an assignment without asking questions. Others won’t. The student’s ability to navigate between the fridge and the computer and you is called SDL. They are the ones who are deciding when they need to interact with people and when they need to study.”

Zoom is also leading the way, says Mr Vaughan,

“Zoom is opening up new ways of doing things,” he said. “The opportunities with Zoom are amazing. It allows students to raise their hand quietly and the teacher can talk to them one-on-one without the other students hearing. We’ve got the tools to do this, so we have to help the staff to make the transition and we have to help the students to get up and engage with their learning so we can fulfill our vision.”

Next: Global Testing