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Gretchen Cocks's discussion posts

  • Gretchen Cocks 26 Apr 2017 12:20pm () in Getting ready for Digital Technologies Curiculum

    Hi Katrina

    I found the literature review really hard but interesting in that I read literature I would otherwise have not had to!  I haven't done a lot of research in the field apart from reading a lot of literature about this at the Mindlab and through my review. I'm past Term 1 now and want to implement it with all of the learners in my class. Am finding it difficult in that although we have BYOD, there are all kinds of devices. I am particularly interested into how it fits in culturally and how you can gain a multi cultural perspective with this particular field. There is very little research that has been conducted around this with any kind of indigenous learner. A lot of these philosophies are western/European ideologies which I mentioned above. There has been some research around coding at a primary level, although not as much as you'd think although a point that resonated wth me was the importance of exposing ALL learners to these coding and computer science before high school otherwise there tends not to be an interest in it. This is particularly true of girls. 

  • Gretchen Cocks 11 Mar 2017 11:48am () in Measuring growth and achievement...

    Andrea, I really enjoyed reading your post and the first paragraph in particular resonated! I too have listened to TED talks, read literature and listened to experts. And yes, our system is still focused on the bottom and the top. While the middle are expected to get on with it.

    We need to look at learners as individuals and how they are progressing from where they currently are at. We also need to celebrate the areas they are strong in of which there may be many! What about being good at music, being a kind person, a talented drawer, a practical gardener and cook, a science buff, a great self manager, a creative thinker, a story teller, a supportive friend? Everyone has different strengths to offer. 

  • Gretchen Cocks 06 Mar 2017 11:52am () in Measuring growth and achievement...

    Gael I agree that the education system needs to be rethought. Recently in the NZEI magazine, Lynda Stuart president of NZEI says that New Zealand  like Finland, is a small enough country to have a discussion about what we want our education system to look like. That probably won't happen though.

    Ken Robinson talks about schools trying to meet the future by doing what has been done in the past. We have to move away from how it 'was done.'

    There are so many things to 'prioritise' now. The key competencies, collaboration, digital technologies and it's formal introduction into the curriculum next year. We also need to think about real world problem solving and authentic learning to name a few. Cyber safety and having 'digital intelligence' is another priority area as is culturally responsive practice. All of this on top of the core subjects of numeracy and literacy. This seems a odds because only the core subjects are prioritised in the eyes of the government and this does not allow some of these other equally important things, time to flourish. Yes, they need soooo much more to flourish than literacy and numeracy.  So much of teachers time is now spent on the data, moderation and making judgements. What happened to engagement, looking at the whole child holistically and teaching and learning - the heart of the matter!

  • Gretchen Cocks 05 Mar 2017 8:44pm () in Measuring growth and achievement...


    I completely agree with you! Our education system and education systems around the world need complete overhauls as to how we are measuring and assessing our students as well as how schools are structured. After all, whose 'success' is national standards?


    We need to look at children holistically. It would seem, all we are preparing them for are to read, write and be numerate. Sure, these skills are important but we then measure them and put them in a box. What else are we valuing in our education system apart from academia and numeracy and literacy?


    Despite the fact countries all over the world are currently in various stages of reforming their public education systems, it’s hard to imagine, in what has been (and partially still is) an industrial education system, containing ‘egg crate’ classrooms, ringing bells, separated subject areas, educating by age groups, standardised testing and a ‘one size fits all’ approach (Ken Robinson, 2010).


    I've recently nearly completed the Mindlab course, which has ultimately made me question heavily, our current education system. 

  • Gretchen Cocks 12 Feb 2017 3:14pm () in Learning Licences, do they really work?

    Hi Neil,

    Thanks a lot for these. It's affirming to know I am doing lots of these already!

    Last year, I was focusing on collaborative learning between my students and working on the design of the task to ensure it mean students were actually working together, not just alongside each other. For this to be successful, we had to look at the problems that were occurring. We then came up with goals around 6 or so aspects of collaboration. We came up with strategies and also language that the learners could use in different situations. It was really effective. Do you have any other ideas/scaffolds/resources for goal setting that you wouldn't mind sending? I don't want to go overboard with goals for this, that and the next thing!



  • Gretchen Cocks 08 Feb 2017 7:56pm () in Learning Licences, do they really work?

    Hi Neil

    This is a question for you. We have a breakout space and I've been mulling over the idea of learner licences for a while. Am really glad to have stumbled upon this thread. I think it's so important, the 'why'. It's unbelievable in education what people are jumping into without little thought. What would you suggest are some really good ways to develop self-regulation/management?


  • Gretchen Cocks 06 Feb 2017 3:06pm () in Getting ready for Digital Technologies Curiculum

    Thanks loads Warren, interesting times!

  • Gretchen Cocks 10 Jan 2017 12:43pm () in Getting ready for Digital Technologies Curiculum

    Awesome, I am very interested in exchanging ideas also. In fact, I see you are at Medbury, meaning I am just around the corner from you. Does each student have a 1:1 device or are you running it collaboratively? Are you using Scratch? Do you have BYOD at your school and a range of devices? We have bought BYOD. One of my concerns is the limited number of computers as opposed to other devices. What are your thoughts?

  • Gretchen Cocks 07 Jan 2017 10:26am () in Getting ready for Digital Technologies Curiculum

    Hi there Katrina,

    I have no idea about what the digital technologies curriculum will require us to teach next year, however I am doing my own research around computer science, computational thinking and coding. Currently I am doing the Mindlab and have just been doing some research about implementing coding to support authentic learning across the curriculum in a New Zealand context where there is very little research literature. My reason for this is the digital technologies curriculum beginning in 2018. Our school currently has a coding club but I want to expose all of my learners to coding in a Year 5 and 6 classroom. Because some of these concepts are largely western/European ideologies, I also want to see how I can bring a cultural perspective as I teach in a very multi cultural school.  I think what you are doing is a great idea and there are going to be teachers who find this difficult. 

    Has anyone currently been running coding with their students (not just via a coding club) in class? How is this going? I intend to do this collaboratively and hopefully will have 1:2 device ratio.

  • Gretchen Cocks 05 Nov 2016 4:18pm () in What is collaborative inquiry?

    Hi Tessa,

    Last year at our school, the TAI was related to Student Achievement Targets. This year is the first year our school has embarked on the Spirals of Inquiry process. We were given the freedom as teachers this year, to look at any child who stood out to us for whatever reasons. The priority learners we chose could be Maori, Pasifika, Sen, low socio-economic or learners struggling with emotions, cognition or biology. This meant, that we did not only focus on students who were necessarily low academically but students who appeared disengaged or switched off, lack of self-management/agency, lack of attention/focus or children who struggled with social issues, or, children who were not making the kinds of progress in their learning that they could be.  Previously, our target students had been those who were below standard academically in the student achievement area. We found during the scanning phase that some of the students we chose to focus on were low academically but that some weren't. Each teacher in my team chose 2 students and that began the scanning process. We then endeavoured to find out through various methods to really know these learners, understand them as a whole child rather than from just from an academic viewpoint, to get more of the learners voice and their family's voice also. Further down the process, we looked at our students against the 7 Principles of Learning from the Nature of Learning document, to find out where they fitted in. We found some strong commonalities with our target learners, in that they mainly fitted into the Social nature of learning and Emotions are integral to learning. From there, we developed our team inquiry.