Course 5 Final Project: Empathy, Kindness and Blogging

As my COETAIL journey is coming to an end, I can only reflect about what an enriching and enlightening process each and every course has been. It has been a truly formative process for me as an educator and it has been a pleasure to collaborate with members of both the Online 9 and Online 10 cohorts.

This, of course, is only the beginning. As I build my professional PLN to encompass a wider and wider community of engaging educators, I can only see a bright future in terms of ideas, discussions and working with an increasingly global community.

Making the below video has been a challenging, but rewarding experience. I feel as though I have learnt a great deal just from making the video itself and I definitely have a sense of pride in sharing it with the world.

As you will see in the video, I introduced a brand new, stand-alone Unit of Work for the students in my class at Kellett School, Hong Kong. It was all based around the core understandings of empathy and kindness, and how these concepts relate to the digital activities of blogging but also the entire process of staying safe when online.

In the future, I look forward to introducing the Unit to the other Year 4 class in my school and also seeing where my students take their global link up, with a school in Taipei, Taiwan on http://www.empatico.org

Lastly, the important next steps for this topic will be to place the students in charge of their learning to a much greater extent. This was certainly achieved during this topic, by allowing an increased choice of digital tools and when the children were introduced to their new friends in Taipei, but I am considering that when I deliver this Unit of Work again, I may well introduce a problem based approach.

The entire aim of this would be for the children to apply their ideas with a greater sense of independence and also to make the link to how we do sometimes (a lot of the time) come across users of blogs, etc, who do not communicate with kindness or empathy. Currently my ideas include where such a problem based approach could feature an imaginary participant on the blog who makes basic errors or acts in an unkind way, so that the children can then independently discover solutions to the problems encountered using their understanding of empathic action or word choices. They would also be tasked with advising the imaginary participant, but still with kindness and empathy.

This will all be for next time and I look forward to developing the Unit further. For now though, that is enough from me so please do take a look at my video and let me know what you think!

3 Replies to “Course 5 Final Project: Empathy, Kindness and Blogging”

  1. Wow Rory, you did a lovely job creating your video presentation of this unit. I especially can tell that you kept the presentation zen principles in mind. Your videos of you speaking to the camera had and engaging camera angle and used the rule of thirds. You also spoke so eloquently as well. As for the unit, I really love how your class was responsible to come up with their own rules using Padlet for how to be safe online. Giving them this agency is a powerful way to make it really stick for them. Also when your students spoke in the video, deep learning was evident through their thoughtful reflections. They were also very easy to hear. How did you manage to do that? In my video, when I had my students reflect, they spoke so softly it made it difficult to hear. Any tips from you on how I could fix that for future reference would be appreciated! Great work.

    1. Hey Jessica.

      Thanks so much for the comment and for the lovely feedback.

      I filmed the children using an iPad and tripod and then just ramped up the volume. I made the video using iMovie and found that I needed to differentiate the volume according to the speaker. It needed to be the lowest with me speaking to camera, somewhere in the middle for my voiceovers and the highest for the children. Basically, just click on the individual videos and edit from there.

      Hope that helps.

      Rory.

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