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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]


  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 07 May 2013 9:36am ()

    Yvette, Kathy, Anjela and Sarah - thanks so much to all of you for jumping into this kōrero to get the ball rolling. Already you have provided a really helpful overview of the kinds of 'big picture' resourcing decisions and beyond-school contexts that a leader might need to be thinking about, such as developing vision, strategic direction and resourcing the plan, such as funding professional learning.

    I'd be interested to hear from you, and others, about what kinds of skills and capabilities a leader might need to have to make resourcing decisions related to e-learning.

    Kathy raised the question of having an inspirational staff member in support which made me ponder: to what extent does the principal need to have expertise to help guide decision-making in this area, do you think? Are there some aspects that you might need to have a firmer grip on than others? The video from Cheryl Doig in this thread might indicate some ideas here.

    Keen to hear your thoughts (when you have got past the hurly-burly of the start of term!:)

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 15 May 2013 3:12pm ()

    Some wonderful posts coming through that show real commitment to thinking strategically around what it means to be a leader. You have to make a multitude of resourcing decisisons around e-learning, a potentially expensive and sometime challenging area for whole school development. Thanks to those who have shared their own school's work or readings to explore:)

    Lined up - suspension bridgeFor school leaders, the key to resourcing strategically is to secure and locate resources "that are aligned to pedagogical purposes" (BES: Leadership, p. 41). Powerful leaders use

    1. clear criteria aligned to a vision and ensure
    2. sustained funding for the priority areas (this is the tricky one for e-learning;). The plan lines up with the philosophy.

    I'm sure we have all appreciated the way in which those of you posting so far have covered some of the really 'big ideas' around strong leadership in this area. Together you have already touched on:

    • the importance of focusing on the 'why' and vision, 
    • embedding e-learning in plans and curriculum, 
    • being open with staff and sustaining the learning beyond one keen individual or champion
    • having shared leadership, 
    • connecting to others, linking to experts, keeping up to date, 
    • leaders as learners, 
    • being community-minded, working with whānau

    This video from Enabling e-Learning/CORE shows Tony Gilbert (DP at Greenbay High School) talking about the importance of staying focused on a plan driven by a clear vision and direction. He touches on staffing, learning, and purchasing: 



    I guess a big question for me is: how does a leader make sure that their e-learning resourcing plan (or any plan, for that matter) is driven by knowledge about effective pedagogy? Thoughts?

    Image credit: CC Colin-47

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 22 May 2013 2:05pm ()

    Some more thoughtful and reflective comments emerging this week and I thank you all for your consideration and willingness to share your thinking so openly in this forum.


    NAPP/Enabling e-Learning webinar : 29 May


    First of all, a wee reminder: The webinar that accompanies this forum is scheduled for 29 May (next week) at 3.45pm. We already have nearly 40 folk signed up to come along and Karen Morgan and Tania Savage are raring to go! Why not join us if you haven't already registered? 

    Across this week's posts, there have been several references to balancing differing demands, staying focused on the vision and pedagogy, the value of a leader staying on top of technology and being connected - and the role of students in this mahi. Graham asked us to consider what we might see when we talk about these different capabilities of leadership being in play, particularly in relation to passing the oars of the waka to others while keeping a strong hand on the tiller;)

    A real challenge. 


    What might it look like?


    storytellingIn the webinar, we'll be hearing from two school leaders as they tell us about their e-learning journey and the wero of keeping decisions in the line of sight of the vision.

    It would be good to try some storytelling over the next week or so, of examples of how you, or leaders you have observed, have aligned resourcing with the vision and pedagogy in the school's curriculum.

    What did it look like? feel like? what happened?

    How were you or others empowered to play their part?

    And what can we learn from your stories?


    [Image credit: CC Local Studies NSW]

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.




    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:)

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 27 Jun 2013 3:34pm ()

    Phew!  There have been a HUGE number of posts to peruse and enjoy over the last week or so and it's great to come back and consider the key points that have emerged.

    I was exploring various online resources related to leadership and resourcing to share with you all and came across this (rather handy) section of the Guardian newspaper website - ICT Leadership - which has a few interesting articles in it which you might find useful. A couple related directly to our kōrero...


    imageThank you to those who have posted recently, and to those of you reading and pondering too. I appreciate Tracey sharing the diagram on student leadership which reminds us who all these resourcing decisions are actually about - and it had me wondering how involved students are as we make decisions on their behalf. We have also had a great list of challenges from Stephen Heppell via Yolanda, and a thoughtful question from Sarah which reminded us of how our decisions are tailored to our own contexts and priorities.


    Stories of resourcing e-learning 


    Thanks to to those who took the time to share your stories, to crack open the door so we can see what is happening in other schools. The VLN offers us a visible network to make it easy to follow up on others' stories and ask more questions of them that you may have:

    • Hine's Digital Classroom and the way decisions wove through property, personnel and finance
    • Jon Bowen: BYOD and the challenge of infrastructure and the management of professional learning groups
    • Paul Sibson and communicating with whānau
    • Helen H and the 3 year e-journey
    • Ian Dickinson and the way technology threads through teaching and professional learning




    A number of practical resourcing challenges have been raised which would all make good threads of their own: Equity and funding, professional leadership in areas where everyone comes with different readiness, and sustaining infrastructure development. Other threads in the VLN that touch on questions raised might be of interest here:

    • Sustaining motivation in professional learning related to ICTs > check out the Professional Learning groups. A useful start might be e-Learning as Inquiry.

    A crunchy final question

    As we draw towards the end of this term, I'd like to ask a final, crunchy question which is more about leadership than technology:
    >>> What has made a difference to your leadership practice over the years that you think has prepared you to manage the resourcing e-learning? Laughing



  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 15 Jul 2013 3:21pm ()

    Kia ora koutou,

    I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed (so far!) to this kōrero. What richness of content has been created, not just for those of you on the NAPP programe, but also for anyone wanting to view and reflect on this topic in their school, in NZ and beyond. The thread remains open for continued exchange.

    We have achieved, I think, a good balance of reflection on the underpinning principles of effective resourcing, and the sharing of stories that show leadership in action.

    In many ways, this is a kōrero about effective learning, rather than about technology. For our students, there is no 'traditional' or 'in the past' way of learning - there is only the 'now'. There is no 'technology', there are just the tools of their time. The onus is on us to make sure that the learning they experience today connects to them as individuals, allows them to build on what they know, harness their passions and show what they understand in ways that build on their strengths.

    If anything, this thread highlights that if leaders are to lead resourcing from a pedagogically sound position, they will be connected to their staff and wider community and on top of current thinking around effective learning.

    It seems appropriate, as you embark on a (hopefully) restful break, to leave you with this Enabling e-Learning video from Dr David Parsons of Massey University, who reminds us what 'the point' is when we are trying to juggle the budget, develop our plans and keep the school waka sailing towards a clear vision...[transcript is on the main site]

    Have a wonderful break, everyone.

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 30 Aug 2013 9:37am ()

    Thanks for your question re the N4L, Erika. I guess it depends what you'd like to know but there is a comprehensive set of questions on their website here - http://www.n4l.co.nz/schools/faq/ - and schools can register their interest here - http://www.n4l.co.nz/register/. 

     The Ministry provides its information for schools via Enabling e-Learning here: http://www.elearning.tki.org.nz/Ministry-initiatives/Network-for-Learning2

    If you, and others, want to engage in further discussion on this, pop over to this thread in our Technologies group: /discussion/view/827388

    Cheers, Karen

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