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Tony Sears's discussion posts

  • Tony Sears 31 Oct 2015 3:20pm () in Sustainable Strategies: Integrating e-learning, leadership inquiry and classroom practice | Kōrero 14 2015

    Hey Debra,

    I really like your initiative of 'Google' tutorials. This seems to me to be a great way to upskill teachers in their ICT practises and use the technology at the same time. You make the really important point that unless there is time or personal help provided any initiative like this is unlikely to be hugely successful.

    There are so many initiatives competing for time at staff-meetings and professional development days. I just think that if the resources are there for teachers to use at their own pace there may be an incentive to learn something new.

    Our school staff are becoming more familiar with sharing Google docs and folders and we are gradually moving away from Moodle and using Google Classroom etc. It seems that developments are happening at a rapid rate. For example the increasing reliance on the 'cloud' for data storage and web based software that allows it to work on a variety of platforms.

    I think it is hard for teachers to keep up with the new developments. I'm wondering if I need to get my e-learning committee members to take one area of responsibility and develop Google folders related to that area in which staff can access helpful hints and tips or inspirational/educative material?

    I would value others thoughts on how they provide ongoing e-learning PD within their school. 

  • Tony Sears 31 Oct 2015 2:46pm () in Resourcing how and why of e-Learning | NAPP Kōrero 6 2015

    We are in the process of initiating a couple of BYOD classes for 2016, one at year 7 and one at year 9. It has been a challenging but exciting journey to get to the point where we are nearly ready to do this. 

    One key aspect is making sure that the infrastructure is robust. By this I mean that there is a good wireless network. This year our school has had lots of connectivity issues. We were N4L'ed and SNUP'ed this year and we also moved to having an outside provider maintaining our network and computers. This has not all been plain sailing and at times I know many of our teachers have been frustrated by connectivity problems. As schools become increasingly reliant on computers, networks, wireless, access from home etc. when things go wrong it can really ruin your lesson or programme. There is a temptation to revert to previous ways because there is less that can go wrong.

    It is essential that staff have networks that are reliable and easily restored when outages occur. There is nothing more frustrating than encouraging staff to leap the digital divide only to have them lose confidence in the infrastructure they need to use the resources effectively.

    Schools are often at the mercy of a couple of IT people who manage these networks. It seems to me that there needs to be good systems set up to future-proof this knowledge. It can be disconcerting when someone who understands the network leaves and someone else takes over. Often techies are loath to share their knowledge, probably believing a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I guess it is essential that processes etc are documented carefully to ensure smooth transitions if someone critical is leaving.