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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]


  • Carmen Kenton (View all users posts) 25 May 2014 2:50pm ()

    Kia ora Koutou

    For secondary schools that are not getting remodled classrooms in an open, space-for-a-purpose-room, but are still working with boxed, subject-purpose-rooms, we have to consider how modern learning environment ideals can be bought into the learning in that space and into the spaces beyond the classroom.  So much of my learning occurs in this device and it doesn't matter where I take it.  Our students are like that too.  What we teach them to do with that information is the modern bit; what we allow them to do with that information in the learning space we have available at school is good pedagogy.  Resourcing this creative use of information is important.  Educational leaders need to give direction but they also must give teachers permission to think this way about their teaching, to explore and experiment with their teaching.  Encourage their teachers, share their discoveries.

    Nga mihi

    Carmen Kenton

  • Philippa (View all users posts) 05 Nov 2013 7:12am ()

    I have enjoyed reading the rich korero around this subject.
    In our focus on leadership we consider the role of the Principal in leading change. Identifying what change is needed; for what reason so this can be clearly communicated to BOT, staff and families.
    I don't believe the principal needs to be the "expert" but does need to have knowledge and understanding. This could be gained through strategic attendnace at conferences or workshops attached to conferences such as SPANZ. If time is the issue, send one of the senior team, like a "scout".
    Which leads me to anther point, how important it is to build the capacity of others.
    At the end of the last century we had teaching training on such things as word, excel, powerpoint, publisher. The group that attended were encouraged, well supported and set up well to start the digital learning journey .
    I think now teachers abilities are much more diverse, but what is important is ensuring their is a culture of trust and collaboration so we can learn and be inspired by each other.

  • Sean Wansbrough (View all users posts) 21 Oct 2013 6:20am ()

    At our school we have just introduced BYOD. My question is - How do we effectively manage the change to a digital environment when we have teachers (and learners) at so many different starting points?

  • Alison Tuck (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2013 7:31pm ()

    That's a really good question Sean. We have started on our BYOD journey, but we are still making baby steps. Our key concern as a leadership team is about equty within our school community. It is really diverse, so for some students the move to BYOD would not be an issue, we know that for others there would be a major challenge. So our work is about making it an even playing field for all. Community consultation is going to be an important component.

  • Trudi Kareko (View all users posts) 20 Oct 2013 2:08pm ()

    Interesting discussions taking place!  I can certainly see the many positives of having a principal with a sound knowledge, clear vision, and effective pedagogy around the use and integration of e-learning.  Leading learning is key here and effective school leaders need to ensure they have a firm grip of new technologies and digital tools.  A shared vision is equally important and I believe a sound understanding of how the integration of e-learning will impact student outcomes is vital.  We have been on a great journey together and our principal has made sure to involve all staff and build strong commitment from all!  E-learning and developing our own teacher capabilities and pedagogy around e-learning and the use of digital tools is expected of all staff and written into our strategic goals.  Our staff are eager to enhance their ICT skills and are committed to ensuring e-learning enhances student achievement.  Our students are showing high levels of engagement and student agency, which has numerous benefits to all! 

  • Angela Pilkington (View all users posts) 15 Oct 2013 9:10pm ()

    So what does this mean for leaders who need to grow a kete of services and technologies to support this in their school?  Sustainability - building elearning leadership capacity of a group, rather than individual.  Implementing an induction process for new staff members (teaching/non-teaching) and a tracking system to monitor when to upskill and extend current staff members.    

  • Pauline Jansen (View all users posts) 18 Oct 2013 2:40pm ()

    Hi Angela, I have seen most effectively done in the past school's having an induction leader who is ideally someone in the leadership team who's main role at the beginning of each year/term times. This person is obviously highly skilled in a range of key area specific and essential to that learning centre.  The role of the induction mentor is to model, give feedback on practice, meet regulary to discuss against specific criteria to be actioned during the induction period.  This gives clear guidelines and expectations for consistency in e learning practice across the school/learning centre area as well as identifying strengths and needs for further support and development of the staff member.

  • Angela Pilkington (View all users posts) 15 Oct 2013 9:02pm ()

    Growing leadership of e-learning - So what does this mean for leaders who need to grow a kete of services and technologies to support this in their school? Definitely invest time in gathering a range of sources that shows how elearning makes a difference to student outcomes.  

  • Jacqueline Hill (View all users posts) 15 Oct 2013 10:07pm ()

    I agree, the improved levels of engagement are often easy to see but proving that elearning is making a positive difference to student outcomes seems trickier...does anyone have sources of data for this yet? It'd be so useful for encouraging colleagues to widen their range of skills, even try something new and for sharing with the families of ur students.

  • KristinM (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2013 6:06am ()

    I agree Jacqueline that engagement does not necessarily lead to achievement.  I have obeserved the use of tablets across a whole range of classes where they have been introduced this year.  What I have noticed is that, in some cases, teachers' perceptions that students are engaged in learning are not accurate as quite often students are actually engaged in other things online not associated with the learning in class.  Classroom observation data, as well as data that we collected through student voice has been very powerful for us moving forward.

  • Mark Edwards (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2013 1:04pm ()

    I agree with Jacqueline's and Kristin's observations that a classroom full of students engaged with technology doesn't necessarily have a direct link to improved student outcomes. Infact in the 8 years that I've been teaching I have never been able to reliably link any pedagogical change to improved student outcomes. This is because learning isn't a factory where inputs can be measured against outputs. So much of what the Ministry says about the importance of personalised learning is because every student's life is different. Every student learns differently because they add what happens in the classroom to the experiences they bring to the classroom (some people call is constructivism). The trouble is the Ministry then expect BOTs, principals, teachers and whanau to use evidence based practice to decide what works and what doesn't as if classrooms are a factory. The Ministry needs to realise the fallacy of evidence based practice. There is no way to directly link teacher inputs to student outputs as evidence. It could be the other things happening in the student's life that makes just as much difference as the iPad in the classroom (e.g. a reunited family group, an interested Uncle, a visit to a museum etc etc). I think technology can raise student achievement but so could: stability of employment for families; policies that narrow the income gaps; smaller class sizes and a University system that doesn't rely on students sitting for 4 hours exams to "handwrite" their learning.

  • Kathryn Eltringham (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2013 4:03pm ()

    As the e-learning leader and ICT leader at school, like many of you, I find myself juggling issues of technology, pedagogy, learning and finance constantly. Like chickens and eggs, I find I can't have one without the other.My learning thus far:
    - Vital to have a strategic plan and vision. What is the purpose of ICTs in our school?
    - Vital to have policies and procedures in place. BYOD protocols. Security of devices and online. Access.
    - Vital to have funding. Lease or buy? Grants?
    - Vital to have the infrastructure in place. Networks. Clouds. Wireless. LMS and SMS. How are these all accessed on site and off?
    - Vital to have pedagogically skilled and ICT savvy staff. PLD. Mentoring. Appraisal
    - Vital for whanau and students to understand why these technologies are important for learning and engagement.
    - Vital to have technical support who make the systems operate in a user friendly manner.
    - Vital to keep up...

  • Sharina Mahutariki (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2013 3:38pm ()
    • How might your decisions about school resourcing of e-learning impact on property, personnel or finance?

    On finance, from a fixed bucket any one decision affects another. Employing new personnel could become even more important if you are looking to drive e-learning effectively, perhaps even creating positions to allow for this expertise to be on site. This may include the board agreeing to fund or partially fund a staff member out of BG in order that the initiative gets off the ground.

    As mentioned above there is essential property that must be in place but in addition then the learning tools (tablets, laptops, smartphones etc) then need to be available for students. There are issues of equity, especially in a small school that would have an impact on a boards strategy and school finances.

    Resourcing in terms of staff development would need to be a priority if effective use of this teaching and learning approach are to be effective. This PD would need to be ongoing and monitored.

    Access to effective e-learning programmes for staff and students would be a huge factor in the resourcing schools allocate for e-learning. It is only one of a number of teaching methods so its access and sustainability would need to be ascertained before decisions on resourcing are made.

  • denis pyatt (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2013 10:21am ()

    your 2 postings on this korero show that you have a clear grasp of the issues around resourcing elearning. I'm intersted in your comments about the BOT funding a staff member out of BG to help with this. What are the dangers of funding staff members out of BG? Will this develop a belief among staff thatnthere is a bottomless pit of staff resource available? where will the funding come from? And will it be sustainable? The Christchurch earthquakes, and the immediate disappearance of their "csah cow" foreign fee paying students, taught many schools a huge lesson about the need to ensure that staffing paid through the BG is not seen as permanant.

  • Sharina Mahutariki (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2013 3:37pm ()
    • How might principals grow their capacity to lead the resourcing of e-learning

    Firstly know how resourcing works in a school. This includes staffing, property and finance. The operations grant includes a component for ICT but it does in no way compensate for the ICT spending in a school. A school needs to be SNUP’ed, be wireless and have ultrafast broadband to have the backbone needed for effective e-learning.

    If the principal showed active leadership in terms of learning and assisting staff to learn, this would help to grow the capacity. Data demonstrating the effectiveness of this delivery method would be a useful aide in selling this to staff and parents

    It is important that there are staff willing to drive the e-learning and accept that not all staff want to be involved or have the capacity to be involved. Effective training for the leaders is essential so that they have a clear vision as to what they want to achieve and always have in the back of your minds it MUST enhance teaching and learning to be worth spending time on.

  • Pauline Jansen (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2013 12:35pm ()

    Thank you Cathy for your post and particulary the thought provoking questions you posted.

     I agree that the elearning purchases and PD is embedded in the strategic plan, although there would need to be a few processes to undertake to begin to build a common philosophy as a school about elearning iteself (What is it? What does this mean for our school?) and the importance of elearning (What does this mean for the students we teach, how will this impact on my teaching and learning style - What do individuals need to do in order to work towards the school's elearning philosophy?


    *  Ensure you have an inspirational teacher (or yourself) who can drive this in the school - This is so instrumental in ensuring that there is a driver on the bus who is not the Principal.  The role of the inspirational teacher/leader in your school needs to have a team around them also.  This is the engine room necessary for elearning to begin to be realised in any school, once the philosophy is established and the journey has begun.  It is essetial that elarning is seen as a medium/tool not a subject -develop this well as a sub group in the school as priority, other staff who are ready will begin to see/learn/develop theri own practice, and be supported in the process.

     Keep up to date with the new elearning tools, ideas which is displayed throughout various websites. This is the forum group as mentioned above that will begin to be the voice within the school. Having a go-to Wall/Pinboard in teaching admin area may be of benefit for teachers to access information, take 'how to sheets' etc.  Regular promotion and shareing of tools, ideas etc will be necessary to keep people enthusiastic, thought provoked, and in turn elearning masters at their own level!

    Just my thoughts........... thanks again Cathy for the prompts for my thinking.

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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