1:1 Toolkit Class Re-Design

As part of my job interview for the Middle School Academic Technology Coordinator position at the American School of São Paulo, Brazil, I was asked how I would re-design a class for 6th graders, entering a 1:1 laptop (BYOL) environment in the middle school.

The nuts and bolts of HOW to use a variety of tools (ex. Google Apps, iMovie/moviemaker) and skills (ex. file management) had been the focus of this type of class before. I wanted to place the emphasis on a workflow and learnflow instead of any particular software programs or apps the the middle  school teachers and students were heavily relying on.

By making the goal a LEARNFLOW which supports the unconscious, smooth and effortless flow of learning, I was/am hoping that the the skills will  simply become a part of the process NOT the goal.

As a firm believer that Teaching is the Highest Form of Understanding, I designed the layout of the course around tutorial creations. According to Alan November and his ideas around the Digital Learning Farm, tutorial designers become empowered learners. They become creators and contributors.


The IDEA  for the quarter long course is for students to create tutorials that serve a real need in the school community (easily searchable, topics of tutorials directly related to surveyed needs of administration, faculty and other students). Students will pay special attention to quality tutorial design.

The GOAL is to create a platform of tutorials to support learnflow at our school (and beyond) and to amplify learning. Students don’t just hand in an assignment, but leave a “legacy” to be used beyond the timeframe of the class or school year. Others will build on their work, add to, tweak, re-mix and share in return.

The PROCESS of learning, creating, reflecting and sharing and the flow between these components is critical to support students in becoming self-directed learners in the 21st century.

The SKILLS involved are:

  • communication
    not only understanding content and process, but being able to express and communicate them to someone else. The communication can be accomplished in a variety of media.
  • collaboration
    curating all student created tutorials in one place (ex. wiki) will create a hub, where students can search for tutorials of content, that they need a refresher on and  it creates a depository for students in future years to come.
  • writing
    writing a script is an essential part of tutorial design. Tutorial writing could be considered part of the expository writing and technical writing genre
  • vocabulary
    using  specific vocabulary related to the content explained
  • storyboarding
    “Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing”~ Wikipedia
  • digital storytelling
    a tutorial is a special type of story. It requires the “teller” of the story to engage the “listener” via different digital media
  • networking
    tutorials are meant for others to learn from us
  • digital media
    creating, editing, and mixing of a variety of media forms (text, images, audio, video, etc.) and the fluency to work with a variety of media and switch effortless between them
  • empathy
    the ability to understand and share the feelings (ex. not know how to do something or understand) of another

We are looking to bring in “experts”. Who could we learn from? Would you be able to contribute to our student learning as they are creating tutorials and could volunteer to skype in? mentor? advise? tweet in? blog in? to give feedback? Can you “?” We are willing to give back 🙂