In our previous blog post we talked about how Alice Smith teachers are still continuing to collaborate and develop professionally through our TeachMeets. e-JAWS (Job Alike Workshops) take this a step further and are networking events where colleagues from FOBISIA Member Schools can gather virtually to share good practice and co-construct new knowledge across Asia.
Here our Head of Media Studies, Charlotte Moore, reflects on the virtual event.
"As the planning was put forward for the Media Studies JAWS last academic year, I’m not sure how many of us would have thought that we’d be meeting and sharing ideas through our laptops, from the comfort of our homes, or for those lucky enough to be allowed in school, from their classrooms. However, the second ever FOBISIA e-JAWS, and a first for The Alice Smith School, Kuala Lumpur, was a roaring success.
Joined by members of our school and the FOBISIA community, we were welcomed by our Principal, Dr Maria Osowiecki and met twelve teachers from eight schools who were united in their love for all things Media Studies.
Actively engaged in discussion, the time flew by with nine sessions delivered over the course of the day. These workshops ranged from developing writing skills and supporting EAL learners, to teaching Postmodernism, using practical tools to enhance students’ skills and our teaching, developing creativity in revision and practical work and all with a clear emphasis on the importance of collaboration.
This e-JAWS experience was perhaps even more crucial this year as we have all experienced a need to alter our approaches to learning and teaching and how to support our students in navigating their own experiences of distance and virtual learning. Discussing practical ideas of how to keep students motivated and engaged throughout the lockdown and though a blended learning approach was fun and solutions focused. Coming together meant that we could share concerns and discuss a wide range of approaches to best support our colleagues and extend our students’ learning and thinking while we need to cover new course content and re-consider ways to help them complete practical work with restrictions in place.
Learning about how to film using a variety of techniques and capture software was an eye-opener and hearing from students across Asia about their favourite creative use of technology demonstrated excellence, independence and helped us to consider ways to meet the demands of the curriculum as we have faced restrictions of being outside of the classroom.
Supporting language development for our international students is a key factor and skill needed in developing literacy skills across the curriculum, in particular for a subject that has a need for an understanding and regular use of specific media terminology.
It was brilliant to see the practical examples of how students have developed their application of their learning over just a matter of weeks.
As well as this, we were given the opportunity to develop our use of learning apps and sites that help to engage the learners more actively. These included, EdPuzzle, Jamboard, Padlet and we had a real laugh when we had to create our own memes and PoMo plenaries.
We look forward to sharing our expertise, developing our practice in our own classrooms and perhaps most importantly using our strengths to support our colleagues all over Asia as we continue to collaborate and share valuable ideas with our new friends and in our (virtual) classrooms.
A big thank you to all colleagues who took an active part in this e-JAWS and I sincerely hope that we are able to continue to work together in the near future."