As Jessica gets ready for school in the morning she checks MyLife on her handheld device. Having recently moved to the area Jessica is new to her school but is able to quickly see which lessons she has that day through her timetable, what materials she needs to bring with her to each lesson through her updates, which pieces of homework she should have submitted, and which assignments have now been marked and are available for her to see through her assessment space. Jessica is delighted that she has achieved high marks in both her effort and attainment in her recent science investigation and enjoys listening to the podcast feedback that her teacher has provided on areas for her to develop in future.
Yesterday during tutor-time, Jessica updated her profile to show that she is particularly interested in the forthcoming Olympic Games, and today when logging into Life again is delighted to see invitations for her to join Olympic Learning Spaces on Life, suggested Olympic films to watch, and activities to participate in, and suggested Olympic athletes who she can follow on Twitter, or engage with through Ask-the-Expert learning spaces. Jessica can also see that Life is specifically recommending an activity and support group for her to join based upon her Maths target for an area that she is struggling with as part of her functional skills maths development.
Given that she is struggling to find her way around her new school Jessica uses her handheld device to access Life so that she can see the virtual map created by the school council which has labels, films and annotations identifying which subjects are housed where on the school campus. She is also able to see the latest whole-school news bulletin for the morning on her My Life overview page, so that she is aware of the fire-practice due later that day.
Jessica arrives at her first lesson, which is part of her Society, Health & Development diploma line of learning. This lesson, Jessica’s group are video-conferencing with a nutritionist from Royal Hospital about some of the challenges surrounding healthy eating, as they have been exploring the impact of diet on the lives of young children from different socio-economic backgrounds. Prior to the video-conferencing session with the nutritionist Jessica’s group have been asked to take part in a discussion forum with each other to identify the questions that they already have, and to respond where possible to each other to filter down the questions upon which the nutritionist session will focus.
After her Society, Health & Development lesson, Jessica moves on to her English class where she is able to enjoy Shakespeare’s works by downloading the podcasts of the A Midsummer’s Night Dream scenes that the class are currently analysing to her iPod, from Life. Jessica notes that in A Midsummer’s Night Dream there are many elements of ‘fairy story’, a genre that she has been exploring in her Society, Health & Development work placement at a local infant school. As she is particularly enthusiastic about this genre, Jessica takes part in the themed debates in the forums within Life which look at themes within the play; specifically contributing to the fairy-tale debate! S Jessica is able to develop both creative writing and reflective learning through these themes, and so she also uses this opportunity to create a fairy story version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream using media-rich wiki pages in Life for the children in her work placement at a nearby infant school. Jessica takes advantage of the opportunities to embed graphic illustration and sound recording for young children alongside presentational text.
As a result of these activities developing a wide range of cross-curricular skills, Jessica is able to evidence and reflect upon her achievements in her MyLife portfolio, referring specifically to aspects of the PLTS framework, which can then be viewed and annotated also by her teachers and parents. In this way, Jessica is able to connect her learning in subjects such as GCSE English, with applied and work based learning in her diploma line of learning, and also her PLTS and functional skills, in one central place, for her own self-assessment, as well as for teacher assessment and parental engagement.