Educators guide

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Really, a facilitator's guide, ideally, this page serves as a guide for parents, teachers and other students who are interested in leading students with the XO as a constructivist learning tool.

Workflow for facilitation planning

Lesson plans in a constructivist or inquiry-based scenario are really plans for facilitation of learning, with the teacher role being one of facilitator rather than the source of all knowledge.

You can loosely structure lessons, allowing student questions to drive the learning process without sidetracking it. These plans could follow a general outline of:

  • Setting the foundation and discovering students' prior knowledge
  • Exploring, determining how questions for exploration are chosen, how to manage investigations and group students
  • Connecting concepts, figuring out how to help students reflect on their investigations, promote dialog between students to communicate their findings, and critically reflect on their investigation and the process
  • Collaborating and sharing, determining how to help students share their new knowledge to act on their new mental models

Workflow for daily use of the XO

Refer to the OLPC Manual for many of the daily maintenance and exploration tasks you can do with the XO laptop.

Basics of constructivist learning theory

When a student can construct their own rules about and based on their observations, they learn. Learning becomes the basic act of adjusting mental models based on experiences.

So, how does a teacher adjust his or her own mental model to become a facilitator of learning? Think "guide on the side" rather than "sage on the stage".

Think about a light touch, but just as a scientist constructs theories, students learn by adjusting their theories with the results of their tests against those theories. Instead of a lesson, think of an intervention - a task where activities in context provide learners with an opportunity to discover and collaboratively construct meaning as the intervention unfolds. Teachers are leaders, guides, and questioners. Students are testers, questioners, and knowledge seekers.

With this mind shift, learners are each treated as unique individuals, and instructors act as facilitators rather than as teachers. Parents, siblings, classmates, other aged kids, any of these people can be facilitators.

Additional reading

Understanding why the XO is important to education

Scenarios about extra practice on XO basics, based on age of child

(Look at LeapFrog's sample content)

Talking to other XO teachers

Classroom 2.0 XO Educator Group

Classroom 2.0 group of educators interested in the XO

Getting help with the XO


Getting help with the school server

School server information