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Growing leadership of e-learning | NAPP Kōrero 6 - Resourcing

Started by Karen Spencer 03 Apr 2013 2:49pm () Replies (168)

Kia ora koutou, talofa lava and welcome...

interconnected woven circlesThis kōrero invites you to think about those leadership skills and understandings which might be important when planning to resource e-learning in your school. We have all heard stories of schools investing heavily in technologies first and then deciding afterwards how they will be useful...or inviting students to bring in their own devices before considering how this might support the curriculum.

We know that e-learning is driven by curriculum and pedagogy - so what does this mean for leaders who need to grow a kete of services and technologies to support this in their school? 


Some resources to kick start this mahi...


From Enabling e-Learning Leadership, Dr Cheryl Doig outlines the change process and explains how to sustain change. As you watch, ask yourself what kind of leadership capabilities would be needed to do this and how does this relate to resourcing?

[Link to video with transcript]


Our key questions...

  • How might principals grow their capacity to lead the resourcing of e-learning?

  • How might your decisions about school resourcing of e-learning impact on property, personnel or finance?

Cool WEBINAR: You can access the webinar recording for this kōrero via this link

[Image credit: CC Hazel Owen]


  • Andrew Murray (View all users posts) 24 May 2013 9:28am ()

    I think making good decisions is all about understanding and listening to the community.  Successful teachers and school leaders are extremely aware of their purpose. They understand that they are the connection, the conduit that will enable the student to bridge the use of knowledge with the willingness to learn that knowledge.

    Understanding your own community means making calls that suit them. No one school is alike in its eLearning needs. It is not about giving all students a tablet or iPad. Conversations have to be deeper than that.

    Leaders must be aware of each student’s knowledge level in the area presented and evaluate the student’s willingness to gain additional knowledge in the area. Daily technological advances are moving students ahead at a light-speed pace. For teachers, the art of education has never been more challenging. Students are no longer content to sit in a chair and listen intently to knowledge being poured out by a highly educated teacher. As we consider the challenging problems of today’s educators, student family life, technology, rigorous curriculum or social interaction, we must realize that the real test of teaching skills rest in the ability to assess the students’ knowledge level and their willingness to understand the use of that knowledge.

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 26 May 2013 3:33pm ()

    Andrew I agree about listening to the community.  As Cheryl Doig says you have to have staff committment (I personally like the phrase buy-in!), but I also think you have to have community/family committment.  These sectors have to understand the reason/purpose for e-learning & see its relevance.  Teachers shouldn't be using ICT as a means to occupy students, but rather as a means of consolidating student learning (in the junior areas) &/or as a means of exploring new learning & understanding.  I think most schools/teachers have moved away from using tecnology for presentation purposes only (even though this can still be part of e-learning).

  • Caroline Gray (View all users posts) 26 May 2013 6:54pm ()

    Hi Leigh, the community understanding the purpose for e learning is very pertinent to the situation I am in. I am working within a Steiner framework where the phrase digital dementia is often used. BYOD is not an option in a school which is intentionally wireless free and strives to bring students into the world through physical interaction with nature and practical activities. Digital technology is not available to students until Yr9 (we are an area school, Yr1 to 13).

    For me as a mainstream leader now supporting curriculum and assessment changes in a Steiner school, my remit is complex. I deliberately model e learning to coax the old guard ‘into the light’. The parents and school community are divided about my work but I return every time to the question of ‘who is this education for?’

    The Principal is behind me but resourcing is minimal and we do not have an IT technician, so I have to be very tactical in my choice of strategies. Interestingly this has made me a great deal more particular with what I keep in my kete and less likely to use a site or tool unless it is really likely to enhance outcomes beyond any other learning activity or rubric we already encourage. This leadership work requires me to keep checking: is this work really heightening the formation of judgement and creativity?

    My leadership focus is fostering student voice both at an individual level and also at a systems level. I consult with our tamariki to participate in decisions about appropriate sites and software which complements their education. I expect them to bring their knowledge to supplement the Waldorf experience, meet with and advise their BoT and their teachers about how we should resource their learning. We have had some really cool and diverse outcomes already and interestingly, even the most diehard and digital savvy of our students (and there are a lot believe me!) can still see the need for balance between the ‘outward practical gesture’ and the digital ‘inward’ process.

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 26 May 2013 7:05pm ()

    Caroline - love your last sentence the need for balance between the ‘outward practical gesture’ and the digital ‘inward’ process.  Life and education is always so much about a balance.  And as much as I know I am teaching students for their future (& all its uncertainties), I still do like some of the 'old fashioned' ways  - as in pen and paper!

  • James Hay-Mackenzie (View all users posts) 24 May 2013 4:35pm ()

    A principal needs to have the vision to see the importance of e-learning in a school.  I do not think that a principal necessarily needs to run e-learning, but needs to use expertise within a school.  My experience is that young staff embrace technology and it is they who have to lead e-learning.  This is a fantastic opportunity for many young teachers to develop leadership skills.  Experience leaders in a school need to mentor these young leaders in their new position. 

  • Andrew Murray (View all users posts) 27 May 2013 7:23am ()

    I agree James I do not think a principal has to run eLearning but has to be seen to support and embrace it. This can be done in a number of ways such as classroom practise, staff meetings or creating extra time for those who lead it. I think this is a prime examople of it being about the walk not the talk.

  • Marcel Kuijpers (View all users posts) 27 May 2013 10:03pm ()

    Totally agree with these sentiments. A Principal would certainly struggle if they were expected to lead and run all initiatives in the school, including those in relation to e-learning. While it is crucial that the Principal needs to be seen to support all initiatives being implemented, I believe that to be more successful in terms of buy in, other teachers with greater experience and/or motivation and enthusiasm in the area need to be given the opportunity to drive them. A more co-constructive approach will get more staff on board and is also a good way for others to be able to work on their leadership skills.

  • Kerry Hall (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2013 9:30pm ()

    Completely agree with the comments that have been made here. Principals need to embrace new initiatives such as elearning but using the ditributed leadership model and utilising experise or passion within the teaching staff can lead to greater buy in, bigger changes being implemented and at the end of the day increased outcomes for the students because staff feel they have a say rather than a top down model being employed.

  • Nathan Fortune (View all users posts) 07 Jun 2013 8:05pm ()

    I agree too, with all above comments. Direction comes from the Principal, but can and should be outworked through distribution, as you have said Kerry. A principal simply does not have the time to run all initiatives and it is better to let someone with the passion and drive to implement e-learning to be given the opportunity to lead it. I like what  Dr Cheryl Doig said in the clip on page 1, about ensuring that staff take ownership/ and display a committment to the e-learning journey rather than 'buy-in' through having discussions about how elearning can make a difference in children's learning and achievement. As teachers this is what we all want.

    PD is an important aspect of e-learning. It will cost both time and money! Some schools will have staff members who are confident and able to lead this, providing 'coaching sessions' for less confident teachers, however sometimes external agencies will need to be sourced to provide this, adding to the expense. As technology continues to expand at an incredible rate, we also need to be smart about what technologies are used and what software is purchased and subsequent PD given. It is important that staff members down feel swamped by it all, at the same time.

  • Nigel Wilson (View all users posts) 23 Jun 2013 1:01pm ()

    E-Learning is similar to many changes that require leadership. As with all changes, elearning purchases /PD $s need to be embedded in the strategic plan and have clarity of focus. A school should have inspirational teachers who can drive this in the school – even in small schools this needs to be a number greater than one. The principal needs to work with this group to ensure developments are linked to strategic plan. New ideas can lead into a new strategic plan, but may not be immediately followed through.

    Principals need to keep up to date with the new e-learning tools and ideas through various websites (and this korero has introduced me to more). Keep the focus on student learning and use the known positive learning effects as a reminder of why change is needed. The movement from “computer rooms” to BYOD has knock on effects for property but may not be immediate as schools try to ensure equality of access. The property infrastructure around networks may also change significantly over the next decade. Experience with e-learning will become part of any appointment as schools try to build their personnel capacity.

  • Mark Tan (View all users posts) 25 May 2013 1:20pm ()

    At what point will leadership be shown by the MoE with regards to allowing e-learning technologies that are so often pursued at the primary level to be applied in the NCEA formal assessment process?  It would appear that pen and paper continue to rule in that domain

  • Xanthe Sulzberger (View all users posts) 25 May 2013 1:47pm ()

    Hi Mark,

    l think we are slowly getting there. With internals, there are innovative teachers who are diversifying assessment tasks to incorporate blogs, wikis, learning logs, e-portfolios etc as a means to assess student learning. For me in Health & PE(and I put my hand up to being a bit of a geek with IT) it is very exciting times as I am already implementing anytime, anywhere teaching and assessment mechanisms which, I feel are enhancing student outcomes. However it does take a culture change in learning and teaching.  

    As the 'millennials' come through our system they will demand for us as teachers more personalised and diverse ways to assess in senior school.  School leaders will have to provide these opportunities, and the MoE will have to provide the means to resource. Interestingly at the SPANZ meeting earlier in the year, Karen Poutasi eluded to this with the interesting term 'heutagogy'. It's the great read and will put the link below.


  • Mark Tan (View all users posts) 25 May 2013 2:14pm ()

    Hi Xanthe,

    Great to hear that you're utilising IT in your internal assessments.  Loved the reference to geek - that term is almost retricted to us oldies now as all kids are so IT savvy they could all be called geeks!  Cool

    I agree that these generations coming through will almost force our hand to change the way we work, operate and assess.  I'm particularly interested in the work being done on the externals with regards to IT - when will it happen, how can it happen, etc.  Great read on your link too - appreciate IT!

  • Jim Peters (View all users posts) 26 May 2013 11:42am ()

    I'm interested that you refer to 'culture change' in relation to changes in assessment practice, Xanthe. What do you mean by that? If you were appointed principal in a school that was dragging the chain in adapting to new ways of assessing student learning, what would you do? Where would you start?   

  • Xanthe Sulzberger (View all users posts) 26 May 2013 8:12pm ()

    Hi Jim,

    The 'culture change' comes from teachers, students and the community.  What I mean by this is as out students come through the schooling system, they will have experienced a different learning culture than, say the students we now have in Year 13.  This is due to the avaliability of resources readily at hand at any given stage during these students educational journey.  Right now with my students it is hard to get them to change from common assessment formats (ie: typing up on Word) and experiment with alternative assessment formats (ie:blogging) as they have had limited experienced in using these formats for internal assessments.  However I see this will change in the future due to students coming though with alternative skill sets from primary school.

    I think before adopting a change in e-learning culture in assessing, questions need to be asked as a principal before starting:

    * The thing I am hoping to change is ....

    *The way I can see change is....(how to measure)

    *The current level of IT knowlege in staff is.... People who have a good level of expertise that could steer change are.....

    *The way I am going to support staff in this change is....

    *Changing the way we assess could have some negative effects.  I am jubious that is could influence..... I will look to overcome this by.......

    * I plan to look at data of this change by.... if do/don't observe the expected benefit on that date, my plan is....


  • Jim Peters (View all users posts) 27 May 2013 8:20am ()

    Thanks for that explanation, Xanthe. Your set of questions is very good. I was also interested in what Tim had to say. The whole area of assessment in the digital age intrigues me. As you and Tim point out, there is rapid change taking place in NCEA. I'm wondering how 'older, pre-digital' principals are coping in the fast changing environment. How are they growing e-learning leadership, I wonder? 

  • Tim Gander (View all users posts) 26 May 2013 8:52pm ()

    Hi Xanthe, 

    In leading change we have to be following some example and guidelines from the NZQA when integrating technology with senior students taking NCEA, I know that the new standards are encouraging teachers to assess through blogs etc. but does anyone know anything about how the NZQA accept moderation material?  I have been using 'coaches eye' to teach and assess biomechanics, the students talk and record analysis to prove understanding.  It is all saved in an e-portfolio and marked.  After speaking to a colleague who had been to a NCEA workshop they claimed that they would only accept written work.  Is this still the case?  I know you can link google docs for the moderation, does it go as far as video clips?  The accepted formats need to be clear and encouraged if we are to be modelling it in our schools for other staff - this is an important area that we all need to understand?!

    On a side note it's great to hear you are adapting your internals to incorporate blogs, wikis, learning logs, e-portfolios etc.  I am attempting to do a similar thing here in Gisborne and it seems to be going quite well - I agree with you on the excitement factor - as well as enhancing results!!  I'd be interested in looking into what you have been up to, do you have a blog or any resources - have a look at what we've been doing here..... http://bit.ly/15c37X9

    Good point in your answer to Jim's question, I really feel that quite a few of the students coming into year 9 are equipped with skills that will enable them to be digital learners, but some secondary schools are not equipped with the staff or facilities to maximise their potential as 21stC learners - hopefully webinars like this will move us all in the right direction.  I'm really impressed by the amount of passionate educators who are contributing to this forum, looking forward to Wednesday!

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 02 Jun 2013 10:46am ()

    It is interesting the primary vs secondary level of experience and exposure to IT and the current tools/social media.  At my school all year 7s and 8s work one to one on lap tops, but when they move off to college unfortunatley the local colleges to not have the same level of IT.  So perhaps some skills our students learn will get forgotten or surpassed by other new skills/programmes.  Maybe the fact that so many young people are on socail media sites all the time will help?  Interesting that there really seems to be no clear path that ALL schools HAVE to take in order to provide ALL students with equal opportunities for ICT,

  • Fiona McNeill (View all users posts) 02 Jun 2013 5:11pm ()

    Hi Leigh

    In my area we have the same situation with primary students experiencing a wide range of e-learning skills and choosing which tools to use for thier learning.  Most primary schools have come out of their 3 E-Learning clusters and are beginning to develop clear e-learning visions and strategies as part of their  strategic plans.  Teachers communicate with each other to develop effective programmes.  Most schools seem to have at least two teachers who are skilled, enthusiastic and drive change within the schools.   Communication is the key.  The result of this in the primary sector has been for intermediate schools to address the issues they have of skilled students coming through.  Interesting to note that parents are making choices about Intermediate schools based on what their e-learning vision is.  The challenge is now for the colleges to step on board.


  • Hamish Dufty (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2013 8:22pm ()


    I really like Dr Diog’s use of the word commitment instead of ‘buy in’. This develops the sense of purpose and direction. I like the statement that e-learning and its use in classrooms is not optional but and important part of what is and will shape future learning. I also agree with her comments on why are schools using ICT tools to do something you can do with a pen and paper.

    I see that within our school environment the majority of our staff have little understanding of what e-learning is and why it is important but are supportive and willing to learn. The e-learning framework will become an invaluable tool. We need to develop a clear vision and pathway for effective e-learning in our school; it cannot be just one or two classrooms with one lead teacher. The issue of sustainability within e-learning is the issue that concerns me the most. Within a small school our resources (intellectual, equipment and structure) are limited and often this falls on to one person. What happens if that one person, who is the driving force, leaves? This must be a key area for Principals to take a lead.

    Dr Doig made another valuable comment in that students will develop their own understanding of e-learning and we need to be there to provide them with the pathway and tools – trust them. Isn’t this what teachers should also be doing? We have made sure that we don’t jump into the latest thing – BYOD being one area we have stayed out of. We are making sure we are structurally sound first (robust wireless capability throughout the school, suitable server, teachers with access to tools, etc.) and have the tools (smartboards, ipads, notebooks, blogs, etc.) that we feel would suit our students. I feel we are on the right path.

    I agree with Fiona’s comments about the trend of schools using their ICT or e-learning as a way of gaining students. I believe schools must make sure they are using e-learning to it greatest capability and not just the same as 10 years ago. This is a worrying trend as a perception develops amongst parents is that a good school, often with BYOD, is an e-learning school. I also totally agree with Leigh’s comments. Student access to e-learning tools is an area Primary schools are succeeding at.

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 28 May 2013 11:16am ()

    The discussion has been fast and furious over the last couple of days, ranging from the importance of knowing your community to staying focused on the curriculum that is localised to each of our schools.


    Vision and focus

    Caroline's post about staying true to the pedagogy and vision of her Steiner school within a digital world and being guided, in resourcing decisions, by that vision really emphasised, for me, how important tailoring to our students and whānau needs really is. Jim's questions remind us how important it is, in this thread, to try and include examples of what our ideas look like in practice, so do keep these coming:)


    e-Learning and resourcing at senior levels

    The discussion related to resourcing e-learning at NCEA is another interesting one. I do feel that the focus, though, is still on the curriculum here (even though we can get bogged down with the demands of assessment;). What are we assessing? How does it help students' demonstrate understanding from a position of strength? How can they best show that learning?

    As Xanthe points out, there are increasing examples of schools appreciating that the NCEA assessments are in service of the learning process, and that technologies can support a multi-pathway, connected approach. While we can do little to alter the external assessments, Karen Poutasi's speech suggests there is appetite for change. There is also a lot of leeway in the way we manage internals, and also in the way we prepare students for externals, all of which is in the hands of the teacher. Here's the link to the update which advises schools on how to manage online submissions using MyPortfolio.

    The issue for us in this thread, perhaps, is not NCEA per se, but what a leader might need to do to resource their school so staff can confidently design courses at senior level to cater for different needs and strengths, with technologies woven in that process?


    And a final reminder: Registrations are still open for tomorrow's webinar > /event_calendar/view/796037/webinar-growing-leadership-of-e-learning-napp-korero-6-resourcing.

    See you then!

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 29 May 2013 2:05pm ()

    Great conversations everyone, looking forward to this afternoon's webinar.

    I've enjoyed the comments about knowing/listening to your community and it's also got me thinking... Does a leader need the e-learning expertise to help make resourcing decisions?

    Just 'turning left at the lights' a bit...

    Here’s another point of view from principal Lyn Hilt (America, Teacher Learning Community), where she talks about good leadership as being less about the technology and more about someone who is willing to develop relationships with students, staff – beyond the physical buildings.

    She goes on to talk about the importance of leaders modeling social media and web tools for teachers, so that they can gain confidence (from seeing a leader model the tools) as well as knowing support systems are in place for technical support.

    So, (all techie issues aside), does a leader need to possess certain e-learning skills and capabilities to make e-learning resourcing decisions? Why not take the VLN poll, Can a principal be a leader of e-learning without leading this themselves? or take a test and see if you have the… 21 signs you’re a 21st Century principal.

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 02 Jun 2013 10:50am ()

    being less about the technology and more about someone who is willing to develop relationships with students, staff – beyond the physical buildings

    Isn't this so true?  Once again we are taken back to the 'people factor'.  Without the relationships there can be no/little effective learning.  We need the support and guidence of others to help us take the next step in our learning, in whatever curriculum area, but more importanly in areas of IT as so many can feel inadequate and lack the confidence.  We also need the leader to really have that vision, to 'enthuse' about it and get others excited.  So taking time to establish strong and positive relationships is very important.

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 30 May 2013 11:07am ()

    Talofa lava, kia ora koutou,


    Webinar: Overview and recording


    A huge thanks to those of you who attended yesterday's webinar, with particular thanks to Karen Morgan and Tania Savage who generously gave their time to prepare and share their stories of managing e-learning resourcing as leaders in their schools.

    For those who were unable to attend - or if you want to experience it all again! - here is the recording link (Firefox/Safari are preferable to Chrome):



    The powerpoint slides are also available below:



    Key points


    Some of the key points that we covered (and there were plenty) included:

    • the importance of a clear focus, with pedagogy and philosophy driving the decision-making
    • how a leader might respond when the context or environment are uncertain
    • that staffing and professional learning are our most important resources
    • the value of networks and relationships with your community to sustain you in small schools or through periods of staff change
    • knowing the needs and strengths of your students and your whānau/community, and designing for those.


    There were also practical examples of how two schools have managed the resourcing process - always good to peep through the doorway at how other schools are managing, both in primary and seocndary.

    Thanks again to all who attended and shared their ideas and comments. It's always good to come together from across NZ to kick thoughts around together, as well as in online forums such as this one.

    And let's keep the examples and queries rolling in this kōrero, too.

  • Kathy Hughes (View all users posts) 02 Jun 2013 6:13pm ()

    I agree with you Leigh. The  assimilation of effective IT programmes schoolwide is often dependent on relationships and always on communication.  Teachers can often feel still quite bewildered even after a cluster contract because of the varying levels of competence/confidence before entering into the contract. IT is not always the only PD running at the time and again the least understood/liked is put to the side. Fiona mentioned competent lead teachers and thankfully that is often the case, with other teachers challenging themselves and still a few dependent on support. Management at my school has enabled the lead IT teacher to cover these situations. Teachers who are not confident are supported to include aspects of e learning to enhance their class programmes with the goal of being able to plan competently alongside their colleagues. 

  • Rebecca (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2013 9:59am ()

    I agree with the comments regarding that the principal might not be the one actually leading the e-learning changes but supporting collegues within the school who are leading this change.  This change can be very 'new' and 'scary' to schools and a lot of thought and planning needs to be in place before making significant changes.    The stategic planning model that is shown in the above slideshow is one way to help with these changes.  There is no point implementing BYOD systems when the infrastructure isn't able to handle this.  There is no point implementing a class set of iPads without teacher support etc.  I think schools really need to think about the needs of their students, their staff, their community and a big thing is are they ready for the changes???...sometimes smaller steps are the best.

  • Linda Baran (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2013 10:45am ()

    Yes Rebecca - I agree that there is no point in giving a class a set of iPads without supporting the teachers first. PD in e-learning could be a whole staff venture, or as you say, select 2-3 keen staff members to train and they can implement a plan and support all staff. I recently read an article about Peru's One Laptop per Child programme. The idea was that students would teach themselves given the powerful technology, but research reports suggest that the programme failed as teachers were not trained to facilitate the porgramme. What has worked well for us is to select one piece of software or app to focus on school-wide at a time and build on this. Exploring the potential of GoogleDrive has been powerful.

  • Fiona McNeill (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2013 11:30am ()

    Originally we began with one piece of technology and immersed a core group of staff members in the possible applications for that technology.  By focusing on one or two applications, those staff members then began to develop quite diverse approaches on how to weave those applications into student learning.   Each of those core team members now support other staff members through professional development and modelling. (Students do, of course, add many ideas to develop from what teachers know.) We are now at the beginnings of diversifying by using a wider range of technology as we develop more ways for them to complement student learning and effective teacher practice.   Sitting behind that, of course, has been a very clear strategic plan.   It certainly takes time to develop systems within the school   As Rebecca said, you need the  infrastructure within the school.  By taking small steps and bringing people on board through strong support networks and clear pathways schools can build strong elearning communities.  Community consultation and communication is vital throughout the ongoing process.

  • Justin Harper (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2013 8:07pm ()

    Kia or Rebecca,

    I completely agree with you about the need for smaller steps... but am concerned at the number of these steps that schools need to take asap.  I was at a course the other day and there was a presentation by a teacher of a year 5 class, the students were all presenting there materials on embedded youtube clips in their e-portfolios and blogs (the teacher said "what's a blog?").   This highlights the very important ingredient for all NZ schools, we have a wave of very techy students coming through our schools now.

    I've colleagues who are holding on tight to the 'chalk and talk' way of teaching (I'll have to confess that I'm a maths teacher Laughing)... these teachers will have to upskill and learn quickly.  This new wave is here now and the idea that you can just sit this 'latest fad' out is not realistic.

    As such I fully endorse the common sense approach of consistently presenting the advantages, uses, benefits of technology.  Teachers that see the tangible rewards for their practice will come round, but the later they leave it the steeper the learning curve will be.


  • Ian Dickinson (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2013 8:57pm ()

    Hi Justin

    I read your thoughts with interest, having just spent 2 days in Hamilton with our senior staff forming some thoughts about the new revision of our ICT Strat Plan, and one of the strongest things that has struck me (through the glittering fog and flashing LEDs of the latest gadgetry and digital devices) is the responsibility we have to our students to do 2 things;

    -Identify and appoint the right staff- skilled in eLearning, able to make the best of the resources we have, make authentic connections to real-life, purposeful learning.

    -Train and equip the teachers we have with the knowledge and skills to make the best of the resources we have, and then hold them accountable for its utilisation for the benefit of all our learners. I'm tiring of hearing teachers finding and becoming obsessed with barriers, and how technology is a barrier to their learning- all too often, it's a barrier to the prehistoric way they are used to teaching!

    It was a very eyeopening couple of days in some great schools- getting out of our little comfort zone is a good way of questioning our thinking, and doing some collective reflection! 

  • Linda Baran (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2013 6:35am ()

    Thanks Justin.  I agree - we are in the 21st Century now, so we have no choice but to use the 21st century skills. Principals need to put IT skills high on the list for new employees and expect that all staff upskill. We would expect people in the medical field (surgeons, radiographers) to embrace new technology, so I don't see that the teaching profession should be any different.

  • Rebecca (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2013 9:59am ()

    I agree with the comments regarding that the principal might not be the one actually leading the e-learning changes but supporting collegues within the school who are leading this change.  This change can be very 'new' and 'scary' to schools and a lot of thought and planning needs to be in place before making significant changes.    The stategic planning model that is shown in the above slideshow is one way to help with these changes.  There is no point implementing BYOD systems when the infrastructure isn't able to handle this.  There is no point implementing a class set of iPads without teacher support etc.  I think schools really need to think about the needs of their students, their staff, their community and a big thing is are they ready for the changes???...sometimes smaller steps are the best.

  • Suzanne Bradburn (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 5:06pm ()

    Rebecca I like your comment about there being no point implementing BYOD systems when the infrastructure isn't there to support it. We started BYOD this year with our 1250+ girls school and it is certainly throwing up a few unexpected challenges, mostly in terms of the challenges each different device brings around connectivity or lack of it. The great thing though is we have 10 or so passionate staff from provisionally registered through to 25+ years in teaching who have maintained positivity, PD sessions and inspiration. We also have a principal who has made it a key area of her leadership so she attends all related meetings and fields all related complaints. It's been a great journey so far...........

  • rox batkins (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 7:33pm ()

    Yes I totally agree Suzanne re the challenges around connectivity issues etc. We are due for our SNUP, and last week I trialled (unsuccessfully) to get students onto the net with their own devices. Consequently, I am now awaiting our onsite upgrade before we try again! Of course, I am sure that even after our upgrade there sill still be lots of teething issues, such as which ISP can give us the best deal for our buck. 

    I appreciated Yolanda's earlier comments where she discussed her school's ICT focus being linked to the appraisal process. I really believe that e-learning through ICT should be a school-wide approach, and feel that this would be a good way of ensuring that all staff were on board with the schools ICT philosophy.  

     It was also very helpful to read the posting regarding school fundraising to deal with the issues of replacing/increasing classroom IT devices. This is a real concern for me, as our school advances their ICT approach and philosophy. Yes, we can rely on student to BYOD, however I am very concerned for those less privileged students and their lack of ability to BYOD, and the limited devices that our school currently owns, or able to upgrade.


    We are currently looking at our WIFI options, linked to our onsite upgrade. My question is this: 

     When there are so many of our students/whanau who do not have internet access in the home, how can we as a school extend our WIFI so that homes in the immediate area can access our internet usage?

    I would really appreciate feedback/ideas from others

    Cheers, Rox

  • Nathan Fortune (View all users posts) 07 Jun 2013 8:40pm ()

    The MoE needs be more transparent and begin to provide answers to the questions being asked by schools in CHCH. Our school is part of the rejuvenation/renewal programme yet it is a very difficult task that our principal / BoT faces, when it comes to decisions around financing for e-learning. All 5YP funding has been frozen, and questions around SNUP and ultra-fast broadband continue to go unanswered. How can our school consider where and when to invest when we have so many unanswered questions.

    What is the point making future plans about infrastructure when there are so many uncertainties.

    ISPs and Ultra-fast broadband costs open up another can of worms, which will have a major impact on school finances. The current cost of this service is out of reach for many schools and until the MoE provide a means to counter this, schools will continue be unable to make the most of 21st century technology.

    Rox, you may want to read the article below( in relation to your question):



  • rox batkins (View all users posts) 08 Jun 2013 7:01pm ()

    Thank you Nathan for the article, it was very helpful. I was on our schools IT team who visited Pt England School last year, which was a truly inspiring visit! Yes, they did speak to us about their ICT cluster, enabling every student (I think from year 4 up?) to own a laptop. Also the rollout of wireless to homes in the vicinity. The "Interface" article has refreshed my memory on this and will be helpful when considering how we may best serve our lower income students.


  • Yolanda East (View all users posts) 09 Jun 2013 8:52am ()

    Nathan and Rox I completely hear what you are highlighting around the issues that arise for principals in making decisions as to how they will finance e-learning. We had a SNUP upgrade about a year ago now, yet we still encounter problems regularly with all students being able to access the Internet in our computer suite where we have about 20 computers. It can be very frustrating. We have soaring internet bills as teachers are now using ‘Mathletics’ as part of their maths tumbles / activities, so in classes daily students are using 3 ipads and at least 2 computers in every classroom, and our computer suite is booked for every block and at lunchtimes.  As a school we haven't suddenly acquired extra money to fund our growing Internet bills. We desperately need faster broadband. We now use 'Assembly' too as our school management system. It can be a challenge for teachers trying to log onto this site in the mornings and afternoons just to take the roll!

    As yet we haven't gone down the BOY devices route yet would like to explore this option further. Currently our SNUP wouldn't cope. However on this thought. I was wondering whether in terms of helping to finance having a device for every student if any school has gone down the leasing route to provide a device for every child. I remember seeing a couple of stalls at a conference two years ago where companies offered to lease devices such as laptops to students. This meant that families paid a small fee each month / week to fund the device but had the reassurance that if anything went wrong the company took care of all repairs and maintenance. Also families had the option to then purchase the device at the end of two years at a heavily reduced rate. It was a way of making devices more accessible to our families who would struggle to buy a device for their children to use at school. I'd be interested if anyone is using a company they would recommend ... or equally if there were any thoughts around the pitfalls of doing this in primary schools?

  • Kathy Lauridsen (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2013 9:03pm ()

    Thank you for the webnair opportunity last week, what a fabulous way to run PD across the country.  Throughout the year I have been struck by how we have so many teachers who are lacking in IT knowledge and yet so many schools have been involved with IT contracts, what has happened to all our IT leaders?  SUSTAINABILITY.  Surely this is  a key word.  Lets US as leaders set expectations, grow the vision and empower our staff about 21 century learning or else push them so hard that they consider a change in career.  My benchmark is ' would I be happy with that teacher teaching my child and knowing my child is being prepared for 2020?'

    What influence do you have?


  • Andrew Murray (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2013 7:50am ()

    My experience has been that some of teachings best IT teachers are no longer in teaching. The industry is such that the resources are not there. I do not think it is about the financial compensation while that may come into it. I gaze across at the coperate world and see the opportunities which the education sector cannot afford. What do we do about that? Somebody else may have an answer.

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.