The team of Teachers of English that I work together with had a rare moment recently. We experienced the great satisfaction of leaving no child behind. 100%. Twenty-one out of twenty-one students, as a group, passed the most demanding and challenging, international language exam that they had ever taken, the PET exam.
What a wonderful world, to quote Louis Armstrong…
Perfect. Twenty-one students prepared themselves intensively to meet the demands of this rigorous Cambridge ESOL exam. At the end of their efforts, they received wonderful news.
They had all achieved a passing result. Individually, and as a group, they had achieved success. Everyone of them will receive the certificate attesting to their achievement. What a wonderful world, connected in a multitude of possibilities and improbabilities…
By now, you must be aware that my definition of “perfect” may be different from yours. I do not speak of perfect scores, I speak in terms of the students’ effort, achieving the passing score.
Upon reflection, what does the success of twenty-one students of English as a Foreign Language, on an international exam, have to do with connectivism?
I contend that it has a lot to do with connectivism. These are students of the digital age, highly “connected” in their own right, having teachers who are equally “connected”.
Connected in two senses: 1. humanly, and 2. in our ability to exploit digital tools to benefit our students.
Aggregate-Remix-Repurpose-Feed it Forward: this was a constant part of our approach to exam preparation.
When we look back, over the years that brought the students to this moment, we are aware that our human connections, from day-to-day, and year-to-year, also played a role in the success enjoyed by the students.
In that same look back, we clearly recognize a systematic, organizational-level connectiveness, which contributed to giving the students’ linguistic development a priority.
Perfect. For these twenty-one students, one word describes them, perfect, and that’s a wonderful world of connections…
“What a wonderful world”, by Louis Armstrong, is dedicated to the twenty-one: Twenty-one cheers to you!!