There’s been a lot going on here in Christchurch over the past couple of weeks since the 6.3 earthquake wreaked havoc in our city. Our schools are now gradually opening up again, but many face difficulty in gaining access to resources that are no longer accessible in buildings that are out of bounds, or exist on servers or laptops that still lie in ruined buildings. In addition, we have a large number of students who must be catered for during times they are not physically at school, including students who are sharing schools for half days, or others who are not being sent back by their parents yet because the local school is still closed or they have travelled out of the city temporarily to escape the aftershocks.
Some of my colleagues in the GCSN have been working hard to assist by accumulating links to online resources that other teachers have found useful and can recommend. Spreading the word via lists, twitter and other social networks, this group has ‘crowd-sourced‘ a wealth of resources that are now available on the GCSN teaching and learning resources page, complete with the ability to rate the resource and provide feedback on its usefulness as a recommendation to other teachers.
This is just one of the initiatives that our team is undertaking to work alongside the Ministry of Education endeavours in the post-earthquake recovery phase. Next week we have Wayne Mackintosh and Jim Tittsler from WikiEducator coming to CHCH for a couple of days to work with local teachers on using WikiEducator to create and share teaching and learning resources that can be added to this repertoire.
In addition, a team are also working on populating a locally-hosted version of Moodle 2 with courses and course materials – some created locally and some being shared by schools and teachers in other parts of the country. The aim is to take advantage of the new community hub feature in Moodle 2 to enable this sort of sharing to take place.
I’m impressed. Out of adversity comes innovation, and I’m sure these initiatives will provide much more than a ‘quick-fix’ solution to the immediate need. If done properly, we may well provide a platform for a completely different way of thinking about the use and sharing of resources for teaching and learning within the education community.