My team teaching buddy is sick. Poor Pru has not made it back to school this term and although she is on the mend she will not be accompanying our class to Bathurst next week. This annual one night excursion is for most of our students the highlight of our inquiry unit, ‘What was life like in the goldfields?’ and ‘How did the Australian gold rush impact on Australia as a nation?’ Discussions as to what to wear, how much luggage to bring, who to share a room with and most importantly will they make their fortune panning for gold have been filling our classrooms this week.
Yet despite Pru’s absence her presence in the planning, delivery and excursion has and will be felt. Using the obvious text messages and emails we have planned the reminders we needed to give to the students, checked the days activities and allocated students to rooms together. Since I know her students as well as she does, due to our team teaching approach, I have been aware of those who might be just a little worried about sleeping away from home. I have been able to communicate with her parents and all our pre-excursion lessons and pre-excursion planning has run really smoothly despite her absence.
Yet this year we are taking this planning and communication one step further. During the excursion I will be using social media to update Pru and our parent body on the excitement of ‘life on the goldfields’. I have created a new Twitter account @rosevilletweets and a new instagram account Roseville Junior School. I have installed the word press app on my phone and added our year5rc blog to it. This morning I tested my own audio boo account, so as to ensure I understood just how to use it too. I plan to take photographs on my phone and Tweet and post them to Instagram. I plan to get students to regularly record audio boos during the trip. I plan to write a blog post while on the bus and add photographs as we move. We will certainly be telling the world about our trip.
The really exciting thing for me though is that all this social media action has been encouraged ‘by the powers that be at my school’ . Why? Because they too along with many of our staff are finally seeing the merits of Twitter. They too are embracing all that it can offer in learning and sharing. All I need now is for the parent body to catch up, for more of them to follow @rosevilletweets so that they too can share in the excitement and learning that will take place on our excursion to Bathurst.
My one fear? That there will be no mobile reception where we are staying. Now that really would interfere with my plans!
Image thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/tao_zhyn/442965594/