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Bridget McDowall's discussion posts

  • Bridget McDowall 22 Nov 2015 8:57pm () in Sustainable Strategies: Integrating e-learning, leadership inquiry and classroom practice | Kōrero 14 2015

    Hi Candis,

    Your post has raised some excellent points. I too lead ICT in my school and agree that things continue to change and require constant modification to keep things moving forward and to keep things relevant to current classroom practice. We have had ongoing PD this year as a staff and it has been extremely valuable to students and staff and this has changed the way that devices are used in the classrooms. There is no doubt that these devices improve student engagement, the goal now is to use the devices in a way that improve learning and student outcomes. I have seen students do some amazing things this year using Chromebooks and am looking forward to new challenges in 2016.

    A couple of questions for you...

    How do you manage internet safety in your school? How are you monitoring what students are doing on the devices? 

  • Bridget McDowall 07 Oct 2015 5:05pm () in Sustainable Strategies: Integrating e-learning, leadership inquiry and classroom practice | Kōrero 14 2015

    Thanks Lauren,

    The views of the community are certainly important and it would be good to find out what they believe the benefits and disadvantages are to having technology in the classrooms. When we looked at the 5 Dimensions as a staff, this was an area that required addressing. It would be great to get a survey out to parents to gain their thoughts moving into 2016.

  • Bridget McDowall 06 Oct 2015 2:56pm () in Sustainable Strategies: Integrating e-learning, leadership inquiry and classroom practice | Kōrero 14 2015

    Thanks for your comments Lauren. The topic of sustainability does get me thinking. Each week I have a day teaching ICT and this day also includes teaching staff attending the sessions with their students. I think this will lead to sustainability as we all learn together in a collaborative learning environment. These weekly sessions are great in that we all learn from each other. Students discover new things that I don't know and are so willing to teach and share. They are risk takers in this environment and are not so caught up in knowing how to do things 'right'. In terms of new staff arriving, we are also developing a school ICT plan. This plan covers everything from basic computer skills to cyber safety. The plan has flexibility in that skills etc.. can be taught as and when students need. Hopefully this planning and teaching process new teachers will easily be able to come in a learn what is required and they should hopefully have a large group of ICT capable students and teachers to help them out if required. I am hoping that eventually I won't need to lead the sessions and that students and staff will continue to learn through inquiry and collaboration. Thanks Lauren for your well thought out questions!

  • Bridget McDowall 06 Oct 2015 1:31pm () in Sustainable Strategies: Integrating e-learning, leadership inquiry and classroom practice | Kōrero 14 2015

    Bringing Transformative Change

    This year our school has taken on a new ICT journey and I was given the opportunity to lead this journey and make changes within our school. The goal of this journey was to improve e- learning in a way that would lead to improved student outcomes across our learners. This ICT journey has been my NAPP inquiry during 2015. I have discovered mostly through trial and error what works well and what doesn’t. I have spent some time looking at the Five Dimensions and carried out a survey with our staff to find out where they think we are at and where we need to go next. Overall the responses showed that staff have wide spread abilities with e-learning and the understanding of current practices within the school. Our next steps are to further develop understanding of the e-framework and set direction for 2016. From the survey I came up with a few questions for staff. What do we know? What do we need to learn next? How will we get there? How do we use ICT to improve students learning outcomes? How can we engage our community?

    I have attached the link to my ICT inquiry. There is heaps of information and reflections on what we have done this year to set up the use of Chromebooks within our school.

    One of the real challenges in how to measure success. How do we really know if what we are doing in  e-learning is improving students outcomes?


  • Bridget McDowall 20 Jun 2015 6:07pm () in Resourcing how and why of e-Learning | NAPP Kōrero 6 2015

    You have made some excellent point here. I agree that the technology is constantly changing and evolving and we need to keep this in mind when purchasing new devices. We are currently in the process of introducing leased Chromebooks to our school and it has been an exciting journey so far, but not without problems. I am in the process of trialing the Chromebooks in a Year 5/6 class and am problem solving as I go along in the hopes that when this new technology is introduced to the rest of the staff that they will be as excited about it as I am and be able to introduce to their classes with as few problems as possible.

    Next term I will take staff professional development on how these devices can be successfully implemented into the classroom to enhance learning. I am amazed everyday with how engaged the students are with this technology and how all learners can access it successfully. 

    I am hoping that in the future we will be able to create a success and useful home-school partnership  and would be interested to hear more about your journey and how you are approaching this as a school.