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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]

Replies

  • Yolanda East (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2013 6:41pm ()

    Sadly I missed the webinar however I am really enjoying reading the insightful comments by so many of you in this forum. Thank you for all the comments so far. They have made me reflect upon what has happened in my own school particularly over the last three years and how ICT is being used to enhance learning.

    At My school we have been lucky enough to have been part of a 3 year ICT contract from 2010 through to 2012. Our Principle led the project and worked hard to drive its effectiveness across a cluster of local schools. What helped to inspire and motivate others was the passion of the Principal to be a learner. He hasn’t claimed to know it all and has actively drawn upon the expertise and knowledge of others. It has been a journey upon which we have all embarked together. As a staff we have differing levels of expertise and some have needed more support and guidance than others. Taking time to talk to staff about how they saw they could best develop their own skills in using ICT as a tool in the classroom, was especially a vital part of the contract in it’s first year.  Staff had to feel that they were and still are a vital part of the consultation process.

    Our ICT focus was linked to our appraisal process. This meant that teachers also had to take responsibility for using ICT in ways that would enhance learning. While our Principal and ICT Lead Teachers worked hard to provide quality PD based around what teachers requested, every member of staff had to show the quality of ‘ako’ and recognise themselves as a learner. If they didn’t they could easily be left behind.

    As a school we worked together to identify the types of technologies we wanted to introduce. School fundraisers have been at the root of how we raised funds to buy what we needed. We have a strong PTA group to thank for all their hard work in this area alongside a supportive BOT who recognised the need to promote the e-earning vision of the school. The school initially invested a lot of money on ‘mimio’, so our first priority was based around up skilling staff in the use of interactive whiteboards so that we could in turn transfer these skills to students so that they too could use the mimio as tool in the classroom.

    PD was provided through the provision of what we called ‘Techie Brekkies’. (A great way to run PD and have breakfast at the same time!) We ran several throughout our contract and these were mostly lead by the lCT team or Lainey Mills who supported us with the use of mimio.

    Staff meetings and cluster meetings were timetabled to ensure that ICT had a focus that took priority.

    Three years on we have a mimio in every classroom, at least two computers and 3 ipads. This will be added to this year with the further purchase of ipads or a class computer as requested by each class teacher. We are also lucky enough to have a computer suite.

    The next steps in our e-learning journey are now probably the most challenging. Where to next now that the contract has finished?– How do we maintain the quality use of digital devices and e – learning? How do we move all classes forward? How do we ensure equity of access to resources? How do we continue to promote e-learning so that teachers and students don’t get left behind but rather feel connected to the world through technology? How do we budget for growing internet/e-learning costs?

    Leaders need to:

    • Keep focused on e-learning recognising its key role as we move through the 21st Century - we can't afford to get left behind!
    • Utilisise the skills of teachers who can lead and promote an effective e-learning environment so that they can continue to lead and guide others.
    • Continue to consult with staff and community groups – have open learning conversations about where to next?
    • Plan strategically in terms of funding, budgeting and resourcing.
    • Explore ways to develop modern learning environments that promote e-learning.
    • Learn from the experiences of other schools.
    • Grow and learn together - each one must see themselve as a learner in the field of ICT / e-learning.
    • Promote a comittment by all to use ICT to enance learning and outcomes for all students.
  • Chris Herlihy (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 9:51am ()

    The webinar last week was fantastic.  It was great to hear from people that are up with the play and were able to share their expertise.  I also found it very useful to all have the chance to share our ideas.  When we all shared our ideas about what resourcing is I was amazed to see the wide range of responses that everyone was able to come up with.  Resoucing is such a big area and covers such a wide range of things.  I feel that as a leader it is vital to get those within your school who have a passion and hopefully some skills in this area involved in what happens within the school.  Distributed leadership is key in this day and age.  The more brains you can get on board the richer the discussions will be (as we saw in the webinar).

    We are currently involved in the Blended E-Learning PD.  We have created an "E - Team" (No "Mr T" Yet though)  These people involve Our Principal, myself (DP), 1 Key Lead Teacher (Passionate and knowledgeable about IT), 2 other key teachers.  Just under that level we have another 3 supporting teachers who are keen to give things a go.  It is working really well at the moment.

    I don't believe we can force people to change but rather lead by example and get them wanting to change because they see the benefits!

  • MariaR (View all users posts) 09 Jun 2013 2:53pm ()

    I have followed the thread of korero with much interest and time to reflect is a daily reality at school..  I watch students engage in e-learning with wonder and discovery of new information.  Last week a Year 4 was in awe as he 'versed' someone overseas in Maths.  At the classroom level I notice teachers engage in e-learning tools with a measure of trepidation yet the same awe as students.  Yes, I agree that principals supprt a collective vision but first we must look at what teachers and students are doing in the school.

    Dr Cheryl Doig noted, "Why use powerful tools to do traditional things..." In our school a number of us do this with a feigned belief that we are doing e-learning.  Our former E Learning leader visited a number of Auckland schools to 'see' what others were doing.  She was amazed that interactive boards were used as replacement whiteboards.  I think we need to look at what is used, how it is used and then have a discussion or number of discussions that lead to a school vision as articulated in korero about this topic.  I am keen to know how others have 'profiled' their e-learning before starting along the pathway to create a school vision.

  • Anjela Webster (View all users posts) 10 Jun 2013 10:04am ()

    I too have been reading the thread with keen interest - and not a lot of time to contribute yet. Really interesting core elements emerging: Active support must come from top down, ensuring PD is on offer for all staff, and elevating opportunities for emerging leaders within school in eLearning; infrastructure is enabled to support developing visions; progress and goals are linked into performance management processes; reflective practice processes partnering pedagogy on a systematic and regular basis; MoE policies and latest conversations are unpacked in staff forums to provide a bigger picture of direction and support; whanau are included in the learning and conversations around eLearning; students are given a voice in their learning.

    That list summarizes for me the key elements of moving forward with confidence in any learning center. However, as shared in several posts, the 'what is happening' is on top of the list, because technologies are too expensive for us to be using them to replicate what we've always done before the technologies were introduced. 

    An excellent book to read is Jane Gilbert's 'The Knowledge Wave' 2005. (Jane is an NZ education researcher, very insightful lady) her contributions are forward thinking and really open up discussion around what is knowledge? what is the place of knowledge construction in a digital age, and what are our practices at the chalk face encouraging students to learn?  She also discusses the nature of schools at large in light of the industrial model that has been around for years and years, and is not a sustainable model, nor desirable in a 21st C landscape.  I really recommend educators read this. It can be purchased from NZCER website, and is around $38.

    Cheers Smile

  • Peter Papas (View all users posts) 10 Jun 2013 4:22pm ()

    This thread has been fascinating. I can see that we're all at different stages in our ICT development. I'm certainly not at the top end but I've noticed a lot of rhetoric about how much assistance is available for senior leaders to enhance their IT capabilities. The MOE's ultrafast broadband and online network service is a great start. I like the section about their 'safe' service. There has been a lot of instances of students misusing social media sites, which has increased my workload considerably in the area of pastoral care (anyone else have a view on this?).

    From the TKI resources and comments on this forum, I have noticed some common themes and philosophies about E-Learning. As far as E-Learning goes, principals can be up to date, connected and prepared to model the use of technology. But if the principal is not advanced in IT expertise, he/she should be active, enthusiastic, supportive and visionary. The principal needs to think about how E-Learning leadership is distributed in the school and implement support systems (staff networking, P.D. and appraisals). Selection of key personell is imperative (inspirational and motivated), along with establishing clear structures/organisational systems. At the governance level, E-Learning needs to be embedded in the school's strategic plan, with budget allocations reflecting the BOT's and school management's committment to E-Learning. Here's a very general overview of my school's E-Learning structures (decile 4 intermediate school).

    • E-Learning is an intergral part of our technology cycles.
    • A specialist ICT teacher is employed in this position.
    • We are contracted to a company that has provided great services.
    • We are lucky to have another staff member with a passion for ICT. She took on the task of setting up a new suite seperate from our ICT tech suite, giving our students more opportunities and our teachers more flexibility. Our BOT was supportive in allowing budgeting for the establishment of this new suite.

    One issue I haven't noticed much dialogue about is the inequality of opportunity created by varying socio-economic environments that our students come from. I hope to start some dialogue on this matter, as I've had experience in co-managing community ICT projects for students and parents alike. It was rewarding and beneficial for everyone involved. Does everyone get a fair deal?

     

  • Lysandrastuart (View all users posts) 11 Jun 2013 5:49am ()

    Hi Chris and others,

    I too would like Karen for facilitating the webinair last weel and found it to be extremely useful. The content and realistic korero from those involved in what is happening is their school was suppotive and exciting. It also helped me realise we were on the right track for us and not to feel like we were drowning. I think with trying to "catch up" in order to get ahead to that 21st C place you do feel like you are drowning at times. 

    In future I wonder if it would be use to have webinairs such as the eLearing one prior to the NAPP hui so that people can then meet up in sessions at the hui for some face to face korero and create those other PLG and networks? It's is quite motivating to be surounded by likeminded people in a professional environment. I think as a resource and a way ti build capability it is cost effective and on-going, as is visiting successful schools. I was lucky enough to visit Point England and Elim schools and have to day the teahers were brilliant at sharing and giving of their time. Very motivating to see what those schools were also up to. 

  • Lysandrastuart (View all users posts) 11 Jun 2013 5:49am ()

    Hi Chris and others,

    I too would like Karen for facilitating the webinair last weel and found it to be extremely useful. The content and realistic korero from those involved in what is happening is their school was suppotive and exciting. It also helped me realise we were on the right track for us and not to feel like we were drowning. I think with trying to "catch up" in order to get ahead to that 21st C place you do feel like you are drowning at times. 

    In future I wonder if it would be use to have webinairs such as the eLearing one prior to the NAPP hui so that people can then meet up in sessions at the hui for some face to face korero and create those other PLG and networks? It's is quite motivating to be surounded by likeminded people in a professional environment. I think as a resource and a way ti build capability it is cost effective and on-going, as is visiting successful schools. I was lucky enough to visit Point England and Elim schools and have to day the teahers were brilliant at sharing and giving of their time. Very motivating to see what those schools were also up to. 

  • Lysandrastuart (View all users posts) 11 Jun 2013 5:49am ()

    Hi Chris and others,

    I too would like Karen for facilitating the webinair last weel and found it to be extremely useful. The content and realistic korero from those involved in what is happening is their school was suppotive and exciting. It also helped me realise we were on the right track for us and not to feel like we were drowning. I think with trying to "catch up" in order to get ahead to that 21st C place you do feel like you are drowning at times. 

    In future I wonder if it would be use to have webinairs such as the eLearing one prior to the NAPP hui so that people can then meet up in sessions at the hui for some face to face korero and create those other PLG and networks? It's is quite motivating to be surounded by likeminded people in a professional environment. I think as a resource and a way ti build capability it is cost effective and on-going, as is visiting successful schools. I was lucky enough to visit Point England and Elim schools and have to day the teahers were brilliant at sharing and giving of their time. Very motivating to see what those schools were also up to. 

  • Chris Herlihy (View all users posts) 11 Jun 2013 7:35am ()

    Hi Peter

    I enjoyed reading your post and it got me thinking about some of the issues that we are facing at the moment.

    One of the big issues is around the "Traditional Computer Suite".  What are peoples views on these and how are the using them?

    We currently have one with about 18 computers in it.  However we are now wanting ICT to be part of everyday learning and used within the classes.  So where do the suites fit in?  Some teachers love the place and others want it done away with and put the devices into classrooms.  We have just purchased a bunch of Ipads and Netbooks to put into classrooms of our key teachers.  I am looking forward to see how this progresses.

    Our long term goal is to turn our "Computer Suite" into a technology room with a wide range of devices that groups can go to and work in.

    What are other peoples thoughts and how are schools utilising technology?

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 12 Jun 2013 11:46am ()

    Hi Chris - I remember when we got our computer suite in the libray.  What excitement!  (This was about 7yrs ago maybe).  Now they rarely get used, except during lunch times when the library is open (with a teacher on duty in there).  Times have certainly changed.  Our seniors have 1 to 1 laptops, years 3 - 5 have classroom sets (at least 15 per class) and our juniors have 3 laptops and 6 ipads each.   I personally wouldn't want to go back to the suite days.  When IT is 'in' the classroom I think the relevance is much clearer and stronger for both the teacher and the student.  Also the teachers skills in using IT grow a lot quicker, there can be immediate access to online learning sites, the teacher can monitor students better and students soon lose the 'wow' factor of having laptops and ipads in the class.  The co-operative learning and relationships that can be established around IT being available in the classroom on a regualr basis is also a positive.

  • Yolanda East (View all users posts) 24 Jun 2013 10:59am ()

    Hi Chris

    I do have some reservations myself around what is seen as the traditional computer suite. Like you our school has a suite with 18 computers in it. We continue to use it in a timetabled fashion and teachers visit the suite either weekly for half a block or fortnightly for a whole block. There are some who then book the suite for every other available session in order to do 'mathletics'.

    My concern is that by having a suite we somehow fail to see the benefits of ICT as a tool to enhance learning. Rather it is still used by some as a fill in, or as a way to teach a few, somewhat basic, computer skills. This has a purpose - students of course needs to be ICT literate but if we are not careful we single out ICT as a separate subject when actually it should cross over into everything we do. Across the school we haven't identified clearly what skills we ought to teach or how we cater for our gifted ICT students who often know far more than the teacher.

    I guess some important decisions and questions have to be asked and made over resourcing. Previous board members agreed to invest heavily a few years ago in the building of our suite - so rather than review its best use we seem to simply justify that it is best used 'traditionally' as so much money was invested in this e-learning space.

    Several teachers have suggested that they would actually love to see the computers redistributed amongst the classrooms where they see that they could be best used as a tool to enhance learning. Computer suites almost seem old hat I guess and I tend to agree. I would rather have the additional technology there on a daily basis in my classroom at the children's finger-tips.

    It can be a hard decision for principals to make or maybe change when resourcing and budgeting has been allocated in a certain way if pressures to keep something a certain way by the board or community are so strong.

  • Trina Bennett (View all users posts) 25 Jun 2013 7:50pm ()

    Hi Yolanda

    We have a 'traditional computer suite'- where students who are NOT in digital classrooms have the opportunities to engage in eLearning experiences. Their teachers are able to focus and utilise the time they have- and also are accountable for the learning time in the suite.

    I guess enhancing ICT is down to the expertise of the teachers and the students. ICT can be integrated into the classroom curriculum with ease- again to the expertise of the teacher- and those students who are able to lead ICT opportunities in the classroom. 

    I would be more annoyed at the thought of new digital equipment in classes that 'use technology' and it is sitting gathering dust. So we have completed ICT surveys (as Staff) and were able to pin point those teachers who need professional development in eLearning. Then we did the same with students- and as a result we have digital classrooms in various teams around the school. Classroom computers are still learning tools- as students are bringing their own devices and using the class ipads/laptops- class computers are just as important.

    We are fortunate that our Principal supplies class computers, the computer suites and COWs (Computers on wheels) for all staff to access. 

    Our school has also had a considerable amount of money go into cabling and networking throughout the school- and we were badly affected by recent lightning storms- and have spent more money re cabling and replacing equipment that was destroyed.

    Personnel- lots of experts amongst teachers all over the school- and an ICT management team which controls structures and internal problems. 

  • Yolanda East (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 7:35am ()

    Hi Trina

    thank you for your comments, it is good to hear what is happening in other schools. I agree it is so important to find out what support staff need so that they feel confident with e-learning 'tools'. This has to be driven from the top. The principal has a responsibility to best decide how to grow this capacity in others through effective PD whether it be through the internal expertise of others or from experts who are brought in to the school.

    We too have an ICT lead team, however since finishing our 3 year ICT contract we seem to always be focusing on something else. ICT seems to be a little on the back burner.

    I agree too that it is such a waste if 'tools' are simply gathering dust in the classroom. I think we could do more as a school to use our students to lead ICT in various classrooms - that would be a great idea. At the moment we only have one teacher who has moved to more of a digital classroom and he's our lead teacher. Sadly once these students leave his class they don't continue wth the same opportunities / experiences. I'm sure this will change as we continue to embrace technology.

  • MelindaBell (View all users posts) 11 Jun 2013 12:39pm ()

    I have watched and read the dialogue in this korero with growing interest. 

    There is a huge demand on Principals and teachers to ensure that we are delivering an effective curriculum that embraces e-learning.  However the quality of this varies deeply on the systems we have in place in our schools. 

    We are currently involved in the SNUP upgrade and while we are all excited at school we find we are already behind the technology because the system we are installing is networked not wireless.  So portable devices for the majority of the school are still not an effective tool to be accessed in the classroom. We have only recently got interactive boards and now find that these are being surpassed by interactive tables?!  We are so far behind the eight ball, that we are doing our students a huge diservice.

    A principal then needs to think carefully about how and into who he/she invest the resourcing and training to address teacher and student learner needs.  He/she would need to distribute the leadership to ensure that the right person is leading e-learning (with passion and drive and knowledge) - or actively seek to employ a person who can meet the needs of the school in terms of e-learning.  It needs to be particular to the school and community - investing in the right place and the right thing.

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 11 Jun 2013 1:25pm ()

    Since the webinar there has been a flood of comments coming through - and thank you for the positive feedback:) It's another way to leverage the tech to pull us together.

     By way of a summary of our rich kōrero this week, I have pulled together our comments under the two key themes (from the BES Leadership) related to the competencies leaders need to make decisions around resourcing:

     

    Pedagogy in the driving seat

     

    Several of you mentioned that school communities are on different paths with a variety of needs, staff capabilities and intake. Ian and Leigh both touched on the unevenness in schools' contexts, and Nathan reminded us of the particular challenges in Christchurch. A leader's resourcing plan with a pedagogical underpinning will take into account this variety - that is both its opportunity and its challenge;) This thread has explored ways to address this through the use of the e-Learning Planning Framework and a systematic review cycle, as well as careful appointment and appraisal processes (thanks, Ian), and collaboration so that varying strengths and needs are accounted for. A clear vision needs a leader who is actively involved (if not an expert), while Rox and Peter drew our attention to the importance of the wider community's characteristics so that uneven access is part of the mix.

     

    Sustainability

     

    A second theme emerging this week has been the issue of sustainability, as mentioned by Hamish and Kathy, especially in smaller schools. This is a second component of effective leadership in resourcing. This came up in the webinar, too, and we commented on the importance of leaders staying connected to other schools/organisations to help make informed decisions. Suzanne and Yolanda both commented on how effective leaders are active learners. Maria R talked about the development of an e-learning profile here which could be a way of beginning to describe 'what it looks like' and open to review each year. It would be good to hear more about that idea:)

     

    A couple of questions that spring to my mind frm the points you have all raised are:

    • How might a leader take varying staff and students' needs and strengths into account with the resourcing plan?
    • How might a leader involve whānau and the community meaningfully in planning resourcing?
    • How might a leader manage a budget effectively so that e-learning can be resourced sustainably?

     

    Cool Keep sharing your thoughts and experiences - every post potentially reaches over 900 group members, including those not in NAPP. This thread opens a window on effective leadershp and resourcing for any school in NZ:)

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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