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2013: Leadership and strategic planning for e-learning | NAPP Kōrero 14

Started by Karen Spencer 22 Aug 2013 3:36pm () Replies (346)

Planning strategically for the integration of technologies across a school community can be complex, challenging and rewarding by turns. A principal will draw on a wide variety of competencies to balance the needs of learners, staff, the community and infrastructure. Increasingly, many schools in New Zealand are turning to the e-Learning Planning Framework to help inform that process.

In this Leadership story from Enabling e-Learning's media gallery, Tony Zaloum and Mark Quigley, school leaders at Orewa College, talk about how they have juggled a number of complex dimensions as part of their e-learning planning [transcipt on the Enabling e-Learning site]:

This kōrero will unpack some of the attributes and competencies that e-learning leaders seem to have, and explore ways in which the framework can be used as a smart tool in your review and planning processes.

There will be two webinars [the second repeats the first] as part of this kōrero, which you can register for below:     Webinar 1: 11 September   |   Webinar 2: 30 October

Our key question: how can principals take an active role in their school’s strategic planning to use technologies as part of effective teaching and learning?


  • Linda Baran (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2013 7:58pm ()

    I think this is key for schools that are future-focused and becoming modern learning environments. The e-learning planning framework obviously provides goals and a starting point for strategic planning.

    From my experience, these are the things that need to be considered:

    -  what infrastructure is in place regarding internet access

    -  the current IT devices available.  We have really moved foward over the last three years as our Year 7&8 students have their own laptops. I realise this is a luxury, but any way (eg BYOD) that you can get all students on a internet capable device will make a huge difference

    - how much you are prepared to let paper go. Parental pressure has meant that we still have books for maths and some other skills areas (eg. science for diagrams, spelling/grammar)

    - what you are hoping to use IT for.  We have been committed to collaborative IT (GoogleDrive shared docs), critical/creative thinking with Scratch, iMovie, GoogleSites, Garageband.  Use of IT for thinking and creating, rather than just presenting

    - making the most of e-portfolios. This has been powerful. A great way to document process, reflection, evaluation, peer assessment etc etc

    - allow for student voice, student initiated learning. IT allows for vast choice for 'finding out', contacting experts, surveys (great what you can find out from the community with a class blog), presenting learning

    - think of ways to encourage personalised learning. Once students are aware of their next steps, how can they drive their own learning using IT?  Can you get parental support for flipped classrooms?

    - getting parents on board. Tekkie Brekkies have worked well for us to encourage parents to learn about the ICTs their children are using at school

    - connections.  How can you make the most of global connections?  We have had great results with Rock Our World for example.

    - most importantly .... keep reading online. Blogs, Twitter etc have amazing advice and ideas for using technologies for quality teaching and learning. Principals need to dive in and give everything a go. I think it is challenging for a Principal to have a meaningful discussion about planning for e-learning without at least some experience of what can happen with ICT in the classroom.

    We also need to be mindful that there are IT backlash movements out there. An exec at Google sends his children to a Waldorf school - at primary level there is no tech used, but lots of hands-on activities. So, I believe there needs to be a balance. Not everything can be done with a laptop or iPad - true STEM involves testing and creating with 'real' materials. The maker school movement certainly has some merit.

  • lsmith (View all users posts) 03 Sep 2013 4:05pm ()

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Linda.  I absolutely agree with many of your points, but wanted to jump in and emphasise your point about Principals needing to keep reading online.  The connections I find in my little twitter feed are extraordinary.  I can't believe there are so many things I would be oblivious to if I didn't have this at my fingertips every day!

    In response to the key question above, I believe principals need to be looking at every aspect of their strategic planning and asking how technologies and elearning can be embedded further to benefit teaching and learning.  To be sure it is authentic, effective use of technologies I ask: could this enable learners to communicate, and/or collaborate, and/or create more/more effectively/more efficiently?

  • jason broderick (View all users posts) 21 Nov 2013 7:22pm ()

    I definitely agree lsmith. A Principal needs to be strategic with resourcing(staff and physical resources). They need to either have their finger on the 'pulse' of what is best or have access to those who are knowledgeable about what is best for an education context. I also strongly feel that the Principal needs to be as you write, 'authentic'. Authentic in how they want ICT to be embedded within their school. It doesnt need to be exactly like the school down the road, but importantly meet the needs of their school community.

  • Julie Peterson (View all users posts) 29 Sep 2014 7:16pm ()

    I certainly agree, I find Twitter to be a powerful professional learning tool and it is simply amazing how open people are to share and contribute ideas. I think the Principal does not need to be the 'expert' but is at the very least 'in the space' where dynamic learners are connecting and growing.

  • denis pyatt (View all users posts) 01 Oct 2014 10:37am ()

    Thanks for the prompt Julie. I haven't yet made it onto twitter. But your comment about the necessity for principals/leaders to be "at the very least in the space where dynamic leaders are connecting and growing" made me feel guilty! See you on twitter.

  • Andrew Jones (View all users posts) 08 Oct 2014 3:31pm ()

    I agree. With things piling up on top of you it is quite nice to be 'forced' to do some professional reading when a notification comes through. Are you following EDtalks?

    With regards to the Principal being active in strategic leadership, I agree with those who have said that it is about giving it a go and creating systems within school admin that 'encourage' staff to branch out in using technology through modelling possible contexts. However it is also an opportunity to empower some staff and provide them with a platform to take their first tentative steps in becoming educational leaders; identifying strengths in others and then creating an environment for these to flourish is a key aspect to being an effective Principal. 

  • Vivita Rabo (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2014 8:15pm ()

    I echo the reflections and propositions around utilising techonology effectively so that it facilitates great teaching and learning! I love how twitter is so instant and can be such a professional 'go to' site to collaborate, share and network with other teachers! Being a Teacher of the Deaf, technology really sparks that 'fire', that motivation and enthusiasm with our deaf students, it is first of all visual, appeals to their visual and tactile learning styles, also awakens their creativity senses but again to sustain fantastic innovative ways of learning as such requires great vision, effective leadership and a system whereby everyone has a part to play, power sharing for the success of students!

  • Amanda Picken (View all users posts) 04 Nov 2014 9:11pm ()

    I agree with you Andrew - as a principal you may not necessarily have to have all the knowledge and understanding of the use of technologies – but needs to be equipped to a certain degree to draw on enough understanding to be able to lead the implementation. This way other people can be empowered to support you with your vision. Other things to be considered could be:

    • Practicalities and equity issues
    • How does it link into the 5 year plan of the college – what is the sustainability of introducing new technologies?
    • How will it be phased in? (if that’s appropriate)
    • How will the learning be provided to the staff so that teachers pedagogical approaches integrate the use of technologies to enhance Learning
    • How does it fit with other PD and initiatives in the school?
    • Identify the key personnel who can lead the use of technologies?
    • Not doing a scatter gun approach – identifying the most appropriate strategies to upskill as a school whether that be google docs, online portfolios, blogs etc.
    • Modelling technological practice – wherever the principal is at. 
  • Bill Hubbard (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2013 1:32pm ()

    School leaders such as the principal have a role to play in so many parts of successful eLearning implementation. Colleagues such as Mark, Helen and Tan state how important it is for staff and students to see the Principal as a successful and powerful user of digital technologies - and how confining it is for the school community to have a Principal who openly distances such technologies. It is all part of the Principal modelling safe 'risk taking' in any area of professional growth - being seen to take a chance of getting it wrong occasionally. 

    Another vital step that the Principal can take is to take the staff through pedagogical step from 'Emerge' to 'Engage'. This is the toughest step to take in my opinion. Almost any teacher can take a laptop and project a Powerpoint onto a screen - but to move beyond this 'digital chalk' to handing the process across to the students is a MAJOR shift for some teachers. A good Principal will be the one who differentiates for staff between the different stages of the eLPF with home-grown examples. 

    An effective Principal will find day-to-day ways in school administration to model how powerful sharing, collaboration and publishing is with modern products like Google Apps for Edn or Office 365. As Linda Barans first post suggests, Flipping the Classroom is a vital pedagogical shift - this shift can be modelled by the Principal when he/her gives some collaborative task before a staff meeting and the staff meeting itself is to deepen that exploration, rather than start it.

  • Phebe Sorensen (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2013 1:07pm ()

    Hi Bill,

    You have made some really valuable points.  Our school started using google docs a few years ago and staff now prefer to use google docs and work collaboarativly on projects.  We also have the google teacher dashboard for teachers to use with their class.  It makes it so easy to integrate ICT into the classroom programme, and students are beginning (at different levels) to move from consumer to producer.

  • Kathy Lauridsen (View all users posts) 04 Nov 2013 10:18am ()

    I agree with Bill also.  I think as a Principal sometimes if an area is not a particular strength putting the right people in the right place can make a huge difference to change.

  • Carl Allan (View all users posts) 21 Oct 2013 8:41pm ()

    Hey Bill,

    I agree with your statement about the principal taking the staff from the "emerge to engage" step. Introducing google docs to our school has been a vital step in this process. It has meant that staff can see first hand the benefits of using such a tool and the obvious advantages to efficiency and accessability for all. It has gone from a tool used to guide admin tasks such as minutes and deadline monitoring to a collaborative  approach to planning and assessing.

    The principal played his part in resourcing PD and devices and from here we are moving into making this available to students to enjoy these benefits also, once we sort the infrustructure and cable capability in our area. This has been a strategic and extensive process that has been roled out over this year, staff first then infrustructure,personal and then students.

  • Leigh Hurford (View all users posts) 06 Nov 2013 8:09pm ()

    Hi Bill, I really like your comment about the importance of a principal assisting staff to move from 'emerge' to 'engage' and agree that moving teachers beyond the 'digital chalk' phase can be a biggie.

    E-learning can be so powerful but I think there are still a number of barriers including infrastructure, availability and accessibility of devices, emphasis and expectation put on staff to immerse themselves in e-learning. Even more so, I have found our school protocols created around the use of internet, websites, blogs etc can have a negative effect on motivation (especially with staff) - staff see all the restrictions, lack of access rights and all the hoops they are expected to jump through so e-learning is put I the too hard basket!  This really frustrates me because the e-learning possibilities are endless. I understand rules are necessary but think that making e-learning as easy as possible for staff should be a priority to encourage and empower staff, enabling them to make a change.  A principal must embrace technologies rather than distance staff/students from them.

  • Paul Tyson (View all users posts) 07 Nov 2013 9:18pm ()

    Absolutely agree Leigh- we too have had a number of frustrations mainly around the number of available devices we have and the slowness to get new policies up and running, like BYOD. Teachers are keen, willing and enthusiastic to give things a go but find that we have to wait for 'someone' who has time to write up some document. Should this not be a priority? I think schools need to have a clear plan of attack and work through a set timeline to put in the necessary supports. Acquiring external support maybe a sensible option? Sometimes the most frustrating aspect for staff is that some Principal's themsleves lack the knowledge to lead and implement in this area and need to upskill themselves on the potential impact that increased use of effective IT tools will have on student outcomes.

  • Simon Scott (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2013 4:26pm ()

    Hi Paul and Leigh, agree with both of you.  I believe that the principal really needs to do a balancing act when resourcing e-learning possibilities.  On one hand they need to ensure that they are keeping up with the technology and ensuring that schools has these resources available and the infrastructure available to handle it.  On the other hand they need to ensure that they don't rush into it and staff are comfortable with the devises and are able to use them tho enhance the learning in the class.  Our school had the policy of introducing devices to the teachers that wanted them, 1 per class so they could get used to them.  The BOT then spent a significant amount on a infrastructure upgrade.   The next step was to introduce more devices.  I believe this has been successful as staff are comfortable with having 3-4 devises in the room and they are being used!!   Our problem is that we all want more devices as they have had a significant impact on student achievement, especially our target children. 

  • MelindaBell (View all users posts) 08 Nov 2013 8:46am ()

    Hi Bill,

    I find my head nodding as I read your post as I totally agree with all the points you make.  Especially as at this time in my current school we are really only just touching the cusp of an emerging elearning vision and implementation plan. We know we are behind the eight ball in terms of elearning and exploring all the options we can take.

    I admire the way that our Principal is engaging in this process, as a relative 'novice' herself, by engaging with different professional services for advice, building an elearning team within the school and having an open mind to all options and suggestions out there. She is showing herself to be a learner alongside her staff but also building a team around her to ensure that elearning can become embedded within the school and staff.

    This is a good model to be part of as I can see it from the ground level/ the beginning and will have a strong model to build upon when I myself become a Principal.

  • T (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 12:55pm ()

    You make a valid point about anybody being able to take a powerpoint and project it onto a screen.  It is all to common for this technique to be used in classrooms and for teachers to believe they are integrating ICT because they flash a youtube clip or their students play maths games on computers.

    Having high expectations of teachers to get in ther and start using these tools is a great place to start.  Providing support for less confident teachers to scaffold their new learning is essential.

  • Carmel Jolly (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 3:40pm ()

    Hi, I agree that it is vital to ensure that teachers get PD to support the use of ICT in their programme. At our school the principal has gathered a team of interested and knowledgeable people around him to lead the charge into using Ipads in our school. Teachers are everywhere on the continum and so to ensure this is a success teachers need time to play, support to use the apps and time spent talking and observing others who use them successfully in their rooms. But it essential that it is planned strategically and the princiapl is one of the key players.

  • Glenis Sim (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2013 11:15pm ()

    Yes, Principal doesn't need to be the expert but needs to make sure there is an enthusiastic, capable person leading the team and they are given the support necessary to engage all members of staff.  There is no harm in the Principal being seen as a learner, as well as being the support behind the system.


  • Suzanne Bradburn (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2013 8:40pm ()

    Agree with your comments Glenis about the Principal being seen as a learner rather than the e-learning expert. It gives the Principal the opportunity to model best practice through inquiry.

  • HelenAlmey (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2013 7:54am ()

    I agree, but also to get PD in technoligies appropriate to their curriculum areas.  I will sound like a luddite, but I am concerned about the phrase ' digital natves' that is used for the learner's today.  My experience is they are not.  Some are, but some can do discrett things well, but are not that savvy.  AND ensuring that the technology does not dirve the learning.  Just becasue it can be used does not mean it is good learning.  AND I am also concerned about fairness of access.  OUt of school, not all students have access to technology - and depending on the assignment, is that fair?  Google docs is escellent, but not for the student who has no internet access at home or a laptop/computer.Of course we should use and embrace it in our classrooms, but as was mentioned earlier, until it becomes dependable, reliable, safe and controllable, accessible for all, - as pen and paper is- I have some concerns. We have an LMS, but as was said previosuly, unless staff are trained to use it, it becomes defunct - which it now is with the advent of Wikis, blogs, etc that teachers make. Interesting times as the pace of change and develpment so fast.Encouragement is the key and good modelling.

  • Alison Tuck (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2013 8:06pm ()

    Hi Helen

    You make some really good points that resonate with my experience at school. A number of our students appear to be digitally savvy, but when it comes to using that knowledge for learning, it appears there are some holes in their experience. The equity of access issue is quite large for our school, and even though we have evidence that 85% of our families can acces the internet, it would appear that this is not typical of the home situation. For students doing digital at home is not so easy. That of course has implications for what staff may want them to do in their own time. We had an LMS system which is now defunct. Staff have lost their enthusiasm and the last two years of professional learning seems to have been wasted. We were riding the wave, but now it seems we have to start all over again. This becomes quite frustrating and we lose the good will of staff.

  • Aloma (View all users posts) 18 Nov 2013 9:36pm ()

    Hi Carmel, so far the biggest progress I have had re use of technology has come from key staff members being available for a quick buddy up when I know what I want to set up. I have sat through a lot of PD workshops but implemented little due to not having the matching technology available, time to experiment or ability to make it meaningful in what I am currently working on. The principal's role in this respect is to then have a learning environment in the school where the tech experts have time to be available and a shared vision of what the benefits for the school/children will be if they find time to help colleaguess at whatever stage they are up to.

  • Eric Daubé (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 5:22pm ()

    Our key question: how can principals take an active role in their school’s strategic planning to use technologies as part of effective teaching and learning?

    Kia ora Aloma,

    We have operated a variety of systems over the last four years at our school, to embed expertise within the staff. A commitment was made by the principal/BOT to fund the staff to attend ie the ULearn conference two years ago  as part of the strategic plan's focus on staff pedagogical development.

    Whilst there has been considerable shift from the early days of 'new tech is best' to a focus on the learner and the learning opportunities new technologies can bring, there has not been enough investment in 'the stuff' and frustration sets in even if there is the will.

    ...so I see the principal's role:

    1. Ensuring uptake is pedagogically driven
    2. Is a learner alongside his/her staff
    3. Ensuring there is adequate resourcing
    4. Developing a team of experts within the school
    5. Reviewing past PD - the good stuff we've forgotten about
    6. Ensuring the school's vision drives direction
    7. Planned, on-going, regular and collegial PD.
  • Anau Kupa (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 7:46pm ()

    Agree with your comments - I do think money and PLD is a huge factor in implementing and sustaining elearning and tools.  We're fortunate enough to have an Elearning team and Amanda (BeL facilitator) to drive this in our school. This year we've focused on PLD for teachers and next year we're focussing on the classroom so it's exciting . Principal support is crucial in ensuring this is implemented and sustained. 

  • Hadleigh Benson (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2014 1:33pm ()

    Hi Anau, I see similarities with your school set up compared to my one. We also have an e-learning team that is represented by one member from each of our syndicates. This allows for team meetings to have PLC for e-Learning as well as organisational matters too! We have an on to it Principal who is ensuring the PD is consistent and relevant for our learners.

  • Matt Dalton (View all users posts) 24 Nov 2013 7:49pm ()

    Ka pai Eric.  I think your points from 1-4 are the key roles for the Principal in taking an active role in strategic planning relative to digital technologies.  The reality is, not many principal's are in a position to lead through expertise in this regard.  It is important that they get a good team and empower them to lead such a programme.  The principal needs to be seen to be highly supportive so that all staff see it as important and not another initiative or fad...

  • andreahunter (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2014 10:09pm ()

    I agree with you Matt. If the Principal doesn’t have the knowledge or expertise they need to work alongside an expert/s in the school to lead the learning.

    The eLPF is the guiding document for all e-learning.  It is an excellent tool for self review.  We have a Blended elearning strategic plan that has been created from the framework.   Staff capacity has grown through the development of eportfolios and class web pages, creating stronger partnership between home and school.  

  • Ian Dickinson (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2013 9:19pm ()

    Tania- I couldn't agree more! The phrase '21st Century Learning' is spoken about too often- in my experience from a teacher advocating something which de-skills teachers like Mathletics etc. I'm not sure where I heard this first, but we try to think about 'producers vs consumers' of information. We are aiming to make a shift from our students (and teachers) being immense consumers of media and information, and more about using ICT to develop and share knowledge and learning. The 'producers vs consumers' phrase is a bit simplistic, but a good starting point if you've got some of the teachers who belong to the powerpoint/ youtube clips generation!

  • KristinM (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2013 5:53am ()

    Hi Ian, I really like your 'producers vs. consumers' analogy when thinking about the position shift teachers need to make in their thinking about how to use ICT in their learning programmes.  Much of the focus of PLD around ICT over the past decade has been about teaching students how to be critical consumers of online material, so for many teachers the shift to using ICT tools as a means of creating new knowledge is a huge (but necessary) jump.

  • Daryl Warburton (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 11:10pm ()

    Well put Ian. I think this idea of 'producers vs consumers' will be one of the defining concepts for those that have and those that have not in the future. The economic divide facing our society will only be heightened when low decile students get stuck in a cycle of consumerism and reliance. If we can facilitate students to becoming producers of new or remixed ideas then the future will hold more potential for them. 

  • Matt Dalton (View all users posts) 24 Nov 2013 7:44pm ()

    Hi Bill, not all principal's are in the position to become poweful users of digital technologies.  I do agree with your sentiment though... They need to be seen to embrace the concept for the school and ensure that they have good people around them to drive it.  I think the principal needs to become a learner in this regard if they do not possess the skills themselves.  As a principal, they cannot be expected to be the leader of everything, but need to embrace everything that is progressive and of value.

  • sghailes (View all users posts) 06 Dec 2013 6:36pm ()


    Principals need to keep grounded in what they are directing in the use of technology to ensure that it is to enhance the teaching and learning within their schools for all students.

    There is nothing like doing (agree with Bill) and after being emmersed in a year of a blended e-learning environment culminating in an e portfolio for study, to understand the need for careful consideration around steps in our schools with regard to current e learning technology and how it can suit some but not all learners.

    Within strategic planning, ensuring that developments not only meet present foreseeable need but in fact build the capacity of a school to be responsive to future needs and vision.

    There is a certain amount of practicality that comes with that so that...

    -       technology is not implemented for the sake of trend

    -       technology is used to enhance the pedagogical practice of the school

    -       that Professional Learning resources are also planned for and matched financially to enable the effective implementation and adoption of technologies by staff and students

    -       to look to evidence based practice to guide next steps

    -       to look also to what has works in schools and education and to whether that can be enabled within the setting and culture of the school

    -       is the community of the school able to access the technology through sound infrastructure and providers

    -       is the community ( looking at the organisation and the whanau it supports) able to access technology in financial terms or does the school need to plan to implement support around that


    Principals need to get a team around the process, need some early adopters and key influencers and stem the decision making from the pedagogical goals of the school in the way they intend to respond to their learners with best practice.


    In my work when introducing and finding the best fit of technology for a student to enhance their learning I look to the SETT framework for inclusive technology implementation.

    This could be perhaps be viewed in a framework for schools in general...

    S – Students – what are the goals for students in their learning at your school?

    E – Environment – what is already done in the environment to support these learning goals?

    T – Tasks – what are the actual tasks that enable the student to achieve their educational goals?

    T – Tools/Technology – what could be included as Tools to enhance the presence, participation and achievement of all students using the data gathered in the first 3 steps?


    Tease out the specifics of each as a team and remember to plan for the professional learning to support any change.

    These processes take energy so buy in is required (use the strengths of the team) and recognise the opportunity to develop leadership in others to build further capacity.

  • Trudi Kareko (View all users posts) 08 Oct 2013 10:06pm ()

    Thanks Linda for such an informative list! 

    This will really help my team and myself and certainly help for any future leadership roles I may have Smile.  I really enoyed reading your point about knowing what your hoping to actually use IT for.  I agree that IT can’t be seen as a means of presenting but must be used to develop our students thinking and creativity.  We are enjoying using our GoogleDrive and shared documents and I have seen the benefits our teaching team have gained from the collaborative planning and the ability to establish and maintain real learning communities (through the effective use of IT). 

    We are a fair while away from having our parents, whanau, and local community on board with IT but I love your ‘Tekkie Brekkies’ and would see something similar working well in our school setting! 

    I will definitely take on your advice to keep reading online and make sure I make the most of the amazing advice and ideas for using technologies for quality teaching and learning.  You’re absolutely spot on when you talk about the idea that school leaders need to dive in and give everything a go.  Well I’m off to check out twitter Laughing!

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 09 Oct 2013 6:57pm ()

    Google docs is such a good way of communiating and keeping everyone in the loop.  Works really well at our school and while it is not perfect, we have all, after time, come on board. So that is also a hige part of E-Learning  - being realistic about how long it will take each teacher to become confident and capable.  Important then for those that pick things up quickly and easily do not scoff at others that need time to adjust.  Yep proably goes against the ethos of geraing our kids for the 21st Century, but we still have to cater to individial needs (for staff as well as student)

    We have tried an afternoon a week that staff can go to if they want on all things 'tekkie'.  Works for a while until other pressures take over.  Like the idea of the morning.  As always though finding time (or realising that giving this time up is benefical) is the hardest part.

  • Geoff Childs (View all users posts) 10 Oct 2013 11:30am ()

    I agree Leigh. Google docs are a great weay of keeping everyone in the loop and also being able to see who has been in to have a look at a praticluar doc, make additions etc. It is also a great way of saving time for things like minutes etc

    Interested in strategies that schools use to support staff to develop the knowledge, confidence and apptitude to use these technologies

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 10 Oct 2013 6:42pm ()

    Interesting question Geoff re how schools/staff help each other to develop the confidence etc in using such technology ..... can only talk for my school.  Google docs was interested by one staff member who then really proceeded to push this as the only way to work .... there was no discussion on the pros and cons, no one staff meeting where we were all shown what to do etc.  So needless to say was met with some resistence!  Howver over time we are now all using them and personally think the google doc system is really good (certainly not perfect) and through asking lots of questions when needed an answer, have become confident, a little bit knowledgeable and developing apptitude in how and when to use.

    I think however the best way to introduce new technologies is to staff as a whole group so everyone gets the same message and training/understanding with an explanation of 'why' we (the school) should consider using/buying into.  Guess there are times when the principal will just say 'this is what we are doing', but for some things better to approach more in a way that allows for open discussion, a chance to 'play' and a change to see the benefits.

  • Phebe Sorensen (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2013 1:13pm ()

    A strategy that has been succesful at our school has been asking a few teachers to show how they are using google docs in the classroom.  It is only about 5 minutes at the the start of a staff meeting and has inspired others to try out new things.  Also, it hasn't always been the 'ICT savy' teachers who were asked to present and I think that sometimes inspires other to give it a go.  Also, teachers who are more confident offer to work alongside teachers who may need support during class time to introduce new ICT tools - we are lucky that our teachers are able to use their specialist release time to support others if needed. 

  • Trina Bennett (View all users posts) 11 Nov 2013 9:46pm ()

    Yes AKO in its true form- the Learner leading the Leaders- love it...

    We have turn arounds where staff opt to take others on learning journeys- for example- navigating around on tablets and using IPads during Senior staff for note taking etc. A great way to build trust and meaningful dialogue in the Elearning journey.

    We have an ICT team- one is for Infrastructure and the technical side, one is for practical. The Techincal look after lags in equipment, day to day running etc, while the rest of us run apps, professional development on needs rather than wants, and the emerging EBunnies are happy.

    'Playing with devices and new learning' excites and sustains curiosity in children- so why at times do we not practice what we preach?

  • John Topp (View all users posts) 17 Nov 2013 11:27pm ()

    Phebe - This is a great idea. Reading through these posts leads me to thinking about the progression from unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent to consciously competent to unconsciously competent. Getting staff to show what they are doing allows people to know what they don't know and acknowledge where thay may be in terms if ICT's and their integration into programmes of learning. 

    An interesting outcome of moving into the 21st century for some staff is that they are put into the same position as the students in their classes in terms of a learning process. 

  • Pauline Jansen (View all users posts) 18 Oct 2013 4:25pm ()

    I agree Geoff, we as school communities are developing a greater deal of collaborative practice and the use of Google docs allows this to happen effectively and efficiency.  The sustainability and support for ensuring that the use of online collaborative documents continues is dependent on a number of factors being; individual support, attitude towards digital learning and collaboration, valuing the use of elearning vision in schools, and finally effective pedagogy that will underpin the development of each individual in turn to effect educational outcomes for our tamariki!

  • Sharleen Nathan (View all users posts) 20 Oct 2013 10:08pm ()

    Kia ora,

    Strategies that my school has used, is to devote our weekly PD afternoons to upskilling staff.  This has included full staff meetings (although with 150 staff this can sometimes get out of hand if you are required to do practical tasks).

    I enjoyed splitting up into smaller groups, where a staff member was in charge of each group and they ranged from beginners through to advanced groups.  The focus was on using the school LMS; although, for the advanced groups we looked at wikis and apps. 

    I've also worked with a couple departments to help them set up wikis and show them how to 'drive' them; although, the best way to learn is to play (set up a sandpit for trying out stuff).

    We've also had a few staff members share what they have used in the classroom that has been effective.

    You will find their are staff who are doing really great things in the classroom using blended learning and they are a valuable resource to share (in a large school, sometimes they are a little harder to find!).

  • Chris Jansen (View all users posts) 11 Nov 2013 6:52am ()

    Kia ora 

    I have jumped in here because I agree wth Sharleen that the biggest part of principal supporting e-learning and technology is not the 'toys' themselves but the shift in pedagogy of teachers.   I think the coming years as technology is becoming more and more 'normal' will ensure that schools do have an effective professional learning process in their school.....rather than just a weekly one size fits 'sheep dip'.  Progressive schools frame their staff professsional learning as a personalised inquiry and link to to their performance management system.  No where is the need for differentiation more obvious than when it comes to learning specific strategies around technology.  Based here in CHCH this issue has been accelerated as we are going to have a whole lot of modern learning environments a lot sooner than we normally would have and this is going to put even great pressure on getting staff up to speed especially in the area of co-construction of learning, differentiation, student inquiry etc.  I have had occassion to talk with some of the architects who are being engaged by the MOE in the renewal plan and they believe based on their experience in other new school projects in Porirua and Auckland etc that the actual building is about 20% of the project - the human change is about 80%.  Clearly schools are looking to get up to speed very quickly and its going to be great to be a part of it! 

  • Kerry Hall (View all users posts) 11 Nov 2013 9:24pm ()

    Great point Chris - the building doesn't make a difference the way it is used does and the values and beliefs that drive the paractise are important. I have just come back from a tour of different schools in Auckland that have MLE. Some were amazing - the pedagogy was in place and the schools were humming. One I visited had amazing spaces but the pedagogy was not in place and the result was resentful angry teachers and very traditional teaching that did not make the most of a great opportunity.Pedagogy is the key and the driver of this is the principal. If he or she  dont have the expertise then they need to get the right help - an informed DP/AP, educational experts or a lead teacher to help the staff see the values and beliefs that will drive the principles and the practise. Then the BOT and the community need to be brought along for the journey as well. 

  • Carl Allan (View all users posts) 21 Oct 2013 8:31pm ()

    Hey Geoff,

    We have also found google docs a great example of how Etools can aid our practice in terms of efficiency and practicality. It took a while for a percentage of our staff to come on board the advantages (while not perfect) made even the oldest P.E teachers see the relevance of using such a tool. In terms of admin its great but also for collaborating on planning and assessment. We are just in the process of making this available for students to access as a learning tool and like staff i agree with Leigh that the pace of learning around this doesnt have to be a one size fits all approach. Individuality when it comes to learning styles and pace must be catered for both students and staff in order for this tool to be used to its full potential.

  • Trish (View all users posts) 23 Oct 2013 8:03pm ()

    We have been using Google docs this year and have found the docs an effective and efficient administrative tool.  We also use docs for our teacher reflections and journal which feed into our Appraisal system.  We can share our journals, which are about our teacher inquiries, with other staff members and receive feedback from them. Our level and whanau teams use them for planning and assessment too.

    This term a couple of classes are trialling using google docs as learning tools.  They will then become the "experts" and support other studnets and staff.

  • Michelle Fielding (View all users posts) 10 Oct 2013 8:14pm ()

    Google docs is also being developed in my school, the use of it to record the teacher inquiry journey for my team has been a non-threatening way to show the learning and teaching that has been happening.  At times it has been just about learning to use google docs and letting everyone 'play' in a non demanding way by inviting responses to questions and ideas.   Team meeting agendas, meetings and messages posted on google docs with the expectation that you come to a meeting having added something has worked well.

    We have also had afternoon 'sandpits' where staff can come along and share something they have done, ask any questions, or learn something new has also been successful.  

    At the end of each term one syndicate is asked to share some of the learning they have done and this has been great in seeing what others are up to.  Each week one classes blog is 'advertised' in the school newsletter for parents to view.  Simple ways that keep teachers thinking about how they are using elearning in their classes.  As a leader maintaining and planning these things are vital. 

  • Hamish Hislop (View all users posts) 11 Oct 2013 7:37am ()

    The idea of a school support system for staff to improve understanding of how technologies work is useful but sometimes a waste of time. Staff always need take up time with change but a leader such as a principal would want to see some implementation.  I have been running tech support for my staff for years and nothing really changes with their teaching practice other than experiementation. The students are not seeing the benifits. The biggest impact on staff has been attending conferences such as Ulearn and becoming inspired by the best practicioners in the world with technology. Principals should be making sure the road blocks for technology are lessened and activlely encourage inspiration for staff. I believe that is as rewarding.

  • Vicki Knell (View all users posts) 20 Oct 2013 6:50pm ()

    Michelle I got some ideas that I'd like to suggest to my staff from your post. Providing a purpose that is non threatening yet useful in the first instance is a good way to get staff on board. Also making the link to journalling particularly for aprraisal purposes is always going to be useful. We thought we might trial a few ways for our staff to record their annual learning journeys and evidence for the RTCs' through evernote, google docs and prezi. It will be interesting to see how we go over the next 12 months.

  • Jan Thomas (View all users posts) 28 Oct 2013 9:56pm ()

    What I am reading is that many of you are connecting to the world and embedding ICT/google docs into your learning; upskilling the children and enabling them to enter into the future with a focus.

    Our school has begun to share at staff meetings what each teacher is using google docs for. The things have ranged from powerpoints on famous people with criteria to times table charts, career research and tables showing details about NZ towns. The bonus for us is that children can access their google docs at home whereas in the old network system it was only accessible at school.

  • Helen Hardwick (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 12:48pm ()

    I agree leigh, google docs are great in terms of communicationg but I feel should not be the only way we do communicate. Since Google docs have hit town I get at least 1 google doc each week..and interestingly one of our Core Hods asked me only recently how to open and edit the document (up until this point the DP thought this particular Hod was ignoring him).  My NAPP inquiry has involved the use of basic computer skills - one thing I have learnt from this experience is not to assume people know how to do certain things and also not to assume that because lots of adults and students are IT savy many are still not.

    Organising time for staff to "play" with docs, apps etc is always good. The issue I think can be that this is usually on top of other meetings and commitments. So work has to be done to ensure what we are doing is future focussed, realtes to 21st century teaching and learning and aligned to the school vision. Staff need to have confidence that it will/can improve student achievement, mean teaching is more interesting and challenging. Without a shared purpose staff tend not to engage. We are going down the netbooks road next year...already some staff are nervous about how this may be implemented into the school.

    So how do you prioritse e learning along with everything else, PB4L takes up pretty much every staff meeting, junior literacy and numeracy achievement, restorative justice, Maori achievement, using data smarter. To do any of these things take time, strategic and careful planning.

    Interestingly today we had a power cut ...no internet, computers..the staff response to this was interesting - What do we do now? Go home?



  • Julie Earl (View all users posts) 19 Nov 2013 7:06pm ()

    Helen you have highlighted a key point regarding having too many initiatives going at once in a school. Teachers are busy let alone having time to think and digest information about multiple initiatives. I subscibe to the school of thought that it is much better to do less and do it properly. Priorities.....the debate should be had amongst staff...what will make to most difference for learning?

  • Jacqueline Hill (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2013 12:32pm ()

    At times, even the most competent and enthusiastic staff can feel overwhelmed and, as you say, new initiatives on top of already busy workloads is often hard to digest. 

    In terms of what makes the most difference to learning, we have just surveyed our students asking them questions like: what do we (teachers) do in terms of digital learning that is helpful, what about e-learning motivates you , what apps / sites etc. help you to learn and why, what do you wish teachers did more of ... it will be (once it has all been collated into a manageable fom!) really valuable in terms of narrowing down what students perceive to be the most useful and make the most difference for them.

  • Anne-Marie Barbalich (View all users posts) 18 Nov 2013 7:48pm ()

    Hi Leigh

    I have recently has a really exciting experience with google docs....

    We purchased a small pod (of 4) netbooks.  These enable the children to access (via wireless) from anywhere in the classroom- also doubling my class allocation of 4 desktops (configured as a 3+1 x-tenda.  All these computers are internet-ready...and the new purchase has the added advantage of SPEED!  

    We have fitted this Year 4 class out with email addresses, so they can log on to their own google docs account.  I also arranged a couple of designated "feedback buddies for each student".  These people would have "commenting and editing" access to their documents, opening the possibilities of intersctive writing.

    Within the first week, the children dropped the practice of drafting their writing on paper.  They now plan what they want to say, then draft, give and respond to feedback from myself or their peers, rework their writing in response to feedback and share their completed writing with parents as well as wider familied.  

    The impact of this technology on the children's writing has been immense.  Giving and recieving feedback has been really motivational.  Because the feedback is given and recieved in real time, the childrens' writing has actually become an interactive activity!  The quality of the writing shows significant shift... firstly because the writers are motivated- enjoying the process of writing (simplified and speedy) and also because we are able to make suggestions about how the writing can be improved- no need for it to grow stale over time.  And the tedious process of rewriting (especially for boys) is shortcut!

    Parents are excited too- as they are able to share in their children's writing immediately...an added buzz for the children whose parents work shift or live in another city!

    My next step??? I can see real possibilities for this as a means or sharing learning with families... a sort of 21st century 3-way interview!

  • Aloma (View all users posts) 18 Nov 2013 9:22pm ()

    Hi Anne-Marie, sounds like your group have taken a massive leap with really just a handful of resources but it is the way you have set it up that has made the difference. Fantastic that the parents are connected in such a timely way. Reporting to parents will look and sound different soon won't it.

  • Janet McCarroll (View all users posts) 19 Nov 2013 1:31pm ()

    Hi Anne Marie,

    Exciting to hear how your students have responded to using Google Docs for writing with the purpose of receiveing feedback. Giving and receiving feeback, refining strategies for this is a particular interest of mine, as I near completion of my Masters Thesis on 'Assessment and  Student Self -Reporting using e-Portfolios'.  Hattie alerts us to an awareness that peer to peer feedback is a strategy increasingly employed and encouraged in classrooms and in the on-line environment. Hattie suggests that this requires a well scaffolded environment where students have developed 'assessment capable strategies' and as Absolum also points out, sdtudents require the acquired langauge to be effective at feedback/ feed forward stragies , just as we teachers also require this support, to enable us to teach our students these strategies. I was surprised to learn:

    " As Nuthall ( 2007) has shown, 80% of feedback a student receives about his or her work in elementary ( primary) school is from other students. But 80% of this student- provided feedback is incorrect! "( Hattie, 2009, p.4)- Visible Learning A Synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analysis Relating to Achievement 

    This got me thinking deeply about how best feedback is given and received in the online environment. At our school we have valued 'dialogic learning conversations' between teacher and student and student to student. These conversations have been resourced ( teachers released to conduct learning conversations with students), whilst the school developed a learning vision: " To develop assessment capable students, teachers, school leaders and parents". This has been an interesting three year journey, enhancing the assessment capability of students. We incorporated the learning conversations in 'Learning Stories' in the e-Portfolio, collating and archiving the 'learning conversation' between teacher and student using audio or video files of the student self reporting to the teacher. This is rich evidence of progress and achievement, offering an insight into the student's strengths and learning gaps, used to inform next teaching steps and curriculum design. We focussed on Literacy and Numeracy Learning Stories, but have begun exploring the Conceptual Curriculum and Creativity using the same student self reporting model developed in the Learning Stories. 

    I am inetersted in your use of Google Docs, as our LMS was  an identified barrier, as ease of use for all stakeholders has been an issue! We will use Google Docs in 2014. 

    It's great to hear of your students enagaement in their writing! Very exciting. 

    I think students need to be explicitely taught the startegies to provide effective feedback and feed forward, just as their teachers do. But thats a whole other story! Congratulations on your efforts to date. I'd be interested to see how your story develops!

  • Blake Carlin (View all users posts) 27 Oct 2013 2:11pm ()

    I would have to agree Linda, the use of e-portfolios for myself has been instrumental in involving students as active participants in their learning. It has also really helped involve whanau in the aprtnership having them regularly contribute on their childs learning has helped create a far more positive outcome driven partnership between and class and home

    Our class BLOG in addition has been instrumental in sharing all facets of school life. Our weekly sports round up is great especially for students who are perhaps not so academically motivated.


    I am in the process of developing a regular session next year for whanau who say they are excluded because of not having internet. I hope that regular supportive as you suggest techie brekkie sessions will encourage these parents to also buy in to thsi partnership.


    It has helped that our principal is very supportive of technology and our school is well-equipped and finances prioritised for this. There are also great staff in place with the relevant knowledge to provide support. 

  • Brandon Payne (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2013 5:57pm ()

    nice ideas Linda. The work around portfolios can be a real struggle. I find sharing the students work with parents the biggest part. Making sure files are accessible on all operating systems and that they understand the process the students work through.

    Did you have any issues with parents not having the ability to connect at home? if so what were some of your solutions?

  • Linda Baran (View all users posts) 17 Nov 2013 9:45am ()

    Hi Brandon. Yes, getting parents on board is a real challenge. They have their own passwords to get onto the portfolios, so losing passwords is often an issue. We ask for parent feedback on their child's work, but this happens rarely. I send out regular emails to remind parents to catch up with the latest entries in the portfolio. We also ask parents to share their thoughts about their child's portfolio entries at learning conferences, so the expectation is that they've viewed them before coming in for an interview. The best way generally, is to get the students on board, and tell them that part of their homework is to sit their parents down and share their latest work.

    We tend to avoid the file accessibility issue by making sure there is no downloading required - documents are copied and pasted in, or more complex ones are added as an image. Sound files are brought in as Voicethread or Soundcloud, so the content is online. Videos are uploaded to Youtube, or the media gallery on the LMS system, with a link on the page.  We try to embed as much as possible - any apps we use online tend to have an embed feature.  The students are very good at problem solving to find the best method to upload their work.

  • Marcel Kuijpers (View all users posts) 28 Aug 2013 9:02pm ()

    Thank you for this comprehensive list Linda, clearly you have put some thought into this key question.

    At our school, that being a large secondary school, the implementation of IT and e-Learning into the classroom is quite a challenge. While we do have Wifi and the opportunity for students to BYOD, we are clearly a long way away from reaching our goals but are definitely on the right path. We were fortunate enough to be given a blended e-Learning PD opportunity this year which has certainly helped decide how best to move forward.

    As you can imagine, in a secondary school with a large staff, it is always going to be difficult to get everyone on board in terms of IT but what has clearly helped is having the Principal showing full support in all aspects. This includes working with the BOT to provide the all important financial support, and even making an effort themselves to enhance their own IT skills (especially when they have publically acknowledged they are somewhat lacking!). While another member of our SLT is in charge of things related to IT, having the Principal take a vested interest and publically support the need for a change in culture has helped to create greater buy in and provide the encouragement that some staff have needed.

  • Mark Tan (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 9:00pm ()

    I think that Marcel has hit the nail on the head as such with reference to getting everyone on board.  Change is challenge but it is also opportunity.  My observations increasingly tell me that one of the key roles in Principalship is the managing of staff as the professional leader - that is, motivating, inspiring, leading, modelling, experimenting, sharing, etc. so as to develop a specific culture within the staff.  Applying such to IT is vital.  The Principal is the key person to 'drive' this (although this can be delegated but must be seen to be 100% supported) so as to see if utilised successfully and therefore sustained in its use and development (through PD, tech upgrades, etc.).  As Marcel noted, having a vested interest and supporting it publicly goes a long, long way . . . as does the opposite!


  • Hamish Dufty (View all users posts) 11 Sep 2013 9:38pm ()

    Thank you Mark. I totally agree with your discussion. The principal is the key to driving any change and with the growing importance of e-learning in and around learning they must be the one who provides the opportunity for staff and students to explore the platform. As a small staff we definately have the teachers with the drive and inquiry to explore how e-learning can aid teaching and learning but in the same breath have teachers with no drive to explore these opportunities for their students. We have not jumped on the BYOD bandwagon as we know that our community would struggle to provide devices for our students - therefore as school we are on the way to having enough one-to-one devices available for 50% of our students. I believe that before we jump head first we must change the thinking of our staff. I have been looking at the SOLE delivery for inquiry learning and really like the way it combines collaborative thinking e-learning. 

  • timstuck (View all users posts) 11 Sep 2013 10:03pm ()

    I agree with the concept that the Principal is the key to driving change and must they must be seen to lead this change. However, I have been involved in forming an IT cluster/group within the college I teach at and it has been extremely beneficial to tap the shoulders of teachers with varying degrees of expertise in the field of e-Learning. This group has been able to identify the common needs of staff - but importantly it has extended those who want to focus on teaching as inquiry (eg, using BYOD, Flipping the classroom, etc) and assist those who struggle with technology. The reality is staff members are at various stages with current technology so it vital/important to support them all so that the staff are not frustrated when developing IT skills. A good example of differentiated learning! From my recent experiences this has been an essential element and has allowed staff to buy into the e-Learning experience.

  • Geoff Childs (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2013 9:19am ()

    This Top Down/Bottom up model of change can be really effective. Sometimes the Principal role is to support and enable others to lead the change that implements the strategic direction of the school. As you say Tim and good example of "differentiation" is when PLD is personalised for staff. What happens to staff that are still reluctant to commit to e-Learning?

  • Helen Hardwick (View all users posts) 02 Oct 2013 9:43am ()

    Agreed Geoff -  Principals dont need to lead the e - learning, but they should be modelling life long learning by getting involved in the PD and be seen to going through the same struggles as other staff may do. In a profession where as a teacher you have a responsibiltity to adapt/change your teaching to meet student needs it easier for a Principal to encourage this if they are also on this journey. The personalised PD is also very important I feel..this year in my school the Hods have led there own department inquiry - so it is relevant to school, department and individual goals.  The only downside to this is that the SMT need to exercise a high trust model as they expect all Hods to be doing this (Hods have support to do this) and not spend the time doing other things which has happened.

    Some of the reluctance from staff in my school to jump on the e-learning bus is due to 2 things:

    1) we seem to introduce technologies and then it fades away (due to connecting issues/student access)

    2) we seem to have so many things going on (far too many meetings) so there simply is not enough time put aside a approriate amount of time to e learning.

    I fibbed 3 things

    3) We do a day on e learning technology and then have no follow up as to how its going? sharing best practice? next steps etc as we have then moved on some other PD.


  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2013 6:04pm ()

    Helen I so agree on the 2 (main!) issues you point out as barriers to getting teachers on board.

    1) we seem to introduce technologies and then it fades away (due to connecting issues/student access)

    This is such a big issue - so many times as teachers we have gone to access sites & been unable to connect.  Another issue for us is when laptops etc don't work - well they never do until the principal comes in and touches them!!  (He must have magic fingers eh??)

    2) we seem to have so many things going on (far too many meetings) so there simply is not enough time put aside a approriate amount of time to e learning.

    I think this is true too.  When you are planning for a class/teach full time, giving up this time to browse the internet/sites etc, it a hard call.  And once you get into a site you end up going al over the place - so guess being disciplined helps.  Almost worth having one staff meeting a week where all you do is explore sites.

    Another issue I think teachers can have is 'really and truly' knowing how to use/implement/integrate ICT into the dialy programme.  Being able to visit other schools/classes and see 'the sites you want to use' in action is also very beneficial.

  • Tina Heaps (View all users posts) 09 Oct 2013 12:57pm ()

    I find that a lot of the e-learning PLD focuses on how to utilise different platforms.  What teachers really want to know is how to successfully implement them into their classroom.  If PLD was more centred on teaching and learning strategies (through the use of e-learning) perhaps some of these issues would be minimised. 

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 09 Oct 2013 6:51pm ()

    I agree Tina.  We all know of and can find some great 'sites' but implmenting them successfully into the classroom while still 'teaching' and keeping an eye on literacy and numeracy progress is the challenge.  This is why I am sure some teachers give up.  Not that they don't want to, just the 'mechanics' become too hard.  Classroom management has to be well established too.

  • Hadleigh Benson (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2014 1:35pm ()

    Hi Leigh,

    what about integrating these into the subjects? Luckily they can be used as a way to manage classroom behaviour. The old reward for learning works a treat!

  • Suzanne Bradburn (View all users posts) 15 Oct 2013 10:07pm ()

    I agree Tina, they want specifics about how they can use it in their subject (secondary) and assurance it will enhance outcomes for learners.

  • Pauline Jansen (View all users posts) 18 Oct 2013 4:32pm ()

    Yes Tina it is the skilled based platform approach that I think I understand you referring to.  Yes the carrot intitally should be around the hype and excitement of finding out a strategy that works best for them and therefore can confidnetly implement this into the classroom programmes.  Ultimately it is then using the thinking/idea to generate the self created elerning opportunites, and ideally co-constrcuted with the children/group where the learning really begins.  It is capturing these 'windows of opporunties' for each staff member that requires support, and having just-in-time support/feedback is critical to future success.  Perhaps the component of a yearly professional goal with elearning is essential for 21st learning educators, wih regular supports around them to critically analyze etc, in order for the natural evolution of elearning in one's tool kit?

  • Phebe Sorensen (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2013 1:22pm ()

    I see what you are saying and I know that many teachers feel that (the 2 concerns you have listed above) are barriers to effectively using ICT.  I think as Prinicpals we need to think of strategies to break through these barriers and some of that is about how we are trying to use the technology to enhance learning.   I also believe that if teachers are using a wide range of ICT tools and devices in their personal time they develop greater confidence and ideas of how they could be used in the classroom.  As Principals, I beleive that we have some reponsibility to have a digital presence and keep up with new technology as I am sure that the 5 year olds entering our school will begin to arrive with more and more skills and knowledge in this area. 

  • Ian Dickinson (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2013 3:14pm ()

    I'm interested in Leigh's responses to Helen's points; 

    1- Introduction of new technologies. True, I can see this is an issue, but it's easy to get caught in a trap of 'short-termism' and trying to keep up with the school next door or one deemed to be at the forefront of the field. I think the key is to retain some flexibility, and deal with the big advantages that the technology brings. We have moved away from being tied too closely to one type of hardware, and have avoided fixed lists of software, apps or sites that are the supposed 'panacea'. We prefer to deal with the principles of portability and connectivity; a range of devices are encouraged that encourage movement and collaboration, and one key piece of software, as a portal for student learning- this software also being used for our stuff communication and organisation (so they are familiar with the tools the students use).

    2. Diversity and range. I'd say now that it is impossible to keep up with the innovations that are taking place, so why even bother! Focus on utilising student strengths in this situation if you can- the learners are far more advanced and confident, and this is a great asset in an intermediate school (I don't have to know everything, because I know I have students around me who know a heck of a lot more than I do- and they are up to date with the latest trends and fads). Take a bigger picture view; what is going to help students, and what is the key function of what they are doing? Are they accessing and searching for information? Is the tool a useful device to help them collaborate and receive feedback on their learning? Will the site enable them to share their learning and information with a wider audience? Does the app helps them practice basic, core skills they need to develop? I'm genuinely amused by some schools who decree a set list of sites, apps and pieces of software for teachers and students, and then discourage those who stray from the prescribed list- this is what causes frustration. Once the lists have been published and shared, they are immediately out of date. Stick to the principle of function is what I say- these are the values that don't change, even if the technology does.

  • George Rogers (View all users posts) 17 Oct 2013 6:55pm ()

    I agree Leigh. Time to to get up to speed with IT/e-learning is crucial for the students we teach. One way of over coming this potential barrier is to involve your students in planning lessons. My daughter ,after school one day, asked to down load an app, I said the usual 'what for?', her reply was to make an I movie. She sat there for three hours crusing in and out of google and then she showed us an amazing inspirational movie. She is only seven years old, but a seven year old taught me in twenty minutes how she achieved what she did. I hope  the barriers suggested are not an excuse to suffocate the creativity of a our youth.  I hope that the reluctant teachers can see what a seven year old can do, and I hope that by the time she gets to secondary school we have open minded creative innovative teachers......our youth are worth it.

  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 18 Oct 2013 7:05am ()

    Well said George. This whole creative process becomes incredibly powerful and individually empowering when there is a teacher in the mix, one who is prepared to take a risk alongside their children. The same is true at a school level when there is a leader in the mix. Leaders recognise the need for support, exploration and reflective time and institute structures to address this. Much has been said of the pivotal role of the principal, not necessarily as the 'digital expert' but rather as an active empowerer and enabler. I would like to add the importance of the senior management team in ensuring the success of such transformational processes. They are often the ones who can identify and support staff who can lead change and who, at times, will decide that not all change can be led from within. To grow leaders of learning we have to feed them!

  • Marino Tiuka (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2013 3:41pm ()

    Kia ora George,  thanks for sharing.  I agree that involving the students is a useful and quite beneficial practice.  It has certainly been evident in the past that some teachers have directly or indirectly put barriers around the creative flow as it were of students often out of fear of what they may not quite understand.  The use of technology, apps and all the modern tools we now have are no doubt huge obstacles for many to face but as your story has shown sometimes we just need to be open to learning from the learner and not be put off and thus miss out on the possibilty of something great. 

    A strong team of leaders that enable the appropriate support and PD to assist the teachers with the use these new technologies will also reap positive benefits in more ways than one.  

  • George Rogers (View all users posts) 17 Oct 2013 6:46pm ()

    Geoff, I totally agree abthe peri principal leading change in a school. But equally, the principal needs to be able to delegate to those who are the experts. As for reluctant teachers, I have learnt this year that small steps for some is ok....change may take a long time, as lheading everyone is paddling towards the vision.

  • dianewiechern (View all users posts) 11 Nov 2013 10:29am ()

    This is exactly the journey that our school is on. Interestingly, just as we know that 21st Century learning has shifted away from the model of a teacher in a classroom, as the holder of power and knowledge, our school's learning about developing as a successful elearning community has also followed that model, where the principal's role has been more about being informed, and enabling others to contribute to  the "collective learning table" as appropriate.

    I  have found both the elearning framework, and Louise Stoll's change management work to  have been invaluable in informing our strategic direction and choices in developing as a successful elearning community. Actions such as checking a school's current reality, identifying key individuals and building trust have been time consuming, but worthwhile in the long term, to  avoid the trap of well intentioned, quick fix ICT "add ons", that actually do little to support teachers to  go  through that paradigm shift that is required to truly move towards elearning that has rich, successful learning outcomes for students. effective leadership in this area has to  be one of the most fraught that there is, but there is also  so  much transferability in the learning for leaders who cut their teeth on being the drivers of the development of schools as elearning communities.

  • Fiona McNeill (View all users posts) 14 Sep 2013 6:14am ()

    I agree with you Hamish.  The staff must be on board and have sufficient professional development to implement e-learning within schools.  The key person to develop a positive culture of change for staff must be the principal who needs have a good understanding of the big picture in terms of how e-learning can evolve within their school and provide the opportunities for teachers to develop effective teaching practice  using the devices that they have and will have within their rooms. We have found the need for this process to be quite deliberate.   It takes time and excellent professional development for staff to learn what possibilities are out there. We have found that using key teachers to mentor other teachers a good way to go.   As a staff we have been using an inquiry approach linked to our appraisal process, using e-learning programmes to record our reflections.  This has been great for more reluctant staff who are simply expected to develop their inquiry this way and have sought guidance through the process.  The principal learns with the staff throughout the process which enables him to have a better understanding when discussing reflections with staff.  We are a long way down the track, ready to trial blended learning classrooms.    Everything is linked to our school vision, strategic plan and each step has involved community consultation.

  • Hamish Dufty (View all users posts) 16 Sep 2013 11:54am ()

    This sounds really exciting Fiona. We are taking little steps at the moment - supporting staff with needs while letting those with the skills start to take some of the lead. We have used 2013 as a chance to explore different platforms and for teachers to get their heads around what they can do to enable great learning and teaching. We really want them to become technologically proficient. It is a real change in mindset for a lot of staff and the key is that the leaders must walk the talk - this has already caught some out. Our implementation of devices into classrooms has worked well with those staff members who are out of their comfort zone finally seeing the light and now realise that they must explore the technology. It is interesting that often it is an outside voice who motivates these people instead of the ones right under their nose! I also feel that many are finally realising that most of our homes are already connected to classrooms via the various platforms available - no more excuses. Staff are becoming really excited about how we can use e-learning in 2014 and in a way that is so a benefit for out school. 

  • Cj Healey (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 8:19pm ()

    Fiona, my opinion is that the Principal, supported by the BOT (who play a huge role in giving license and resources to back e-learning) has a primary job of 'enabling' a culture shift from learning 'from' technology to learning 'with' technology. With such a strategic direction, supported with appropriate and relevant PLD then our students needs can be met. Of course, in an ever evolving landscape there are pertinent questions that also rapidly expand the e-learning horizons such as - what is e-learning today and what will it be tomorrow?  What exactly does it look like? Who leads it and who owns it?

  • Ian Smith (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 9:36pm ()

    If a school is to embrace true e-learning and move from "substitution" stage then it needs to be prepared to make serious changes to the structures that operate in schools. Resourcing will change, no longer will  budgets be decided by subjects but a far more collaborated approach is needed. This is easier to achieve in the primary and intermediate sector. However as you point out this sort of change is a "cultural shift" in secondary schools. Some schols are now adopting a more business like approach to the funding of IT for e learning and as you point out the landscape for  e learning is constantly shifting. Many business's will off set 20% of their total operating budget to cover their spend and development of IT and this is being adopted by schools.If a school moves to this sort it leads to a more collaborative approach to learning but the principal and all SLT have to be the leaders in this cultural change.

  • Jim Peters (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2013 8:26am ()

    CJ and Ian ..... you both use the term 'culture shift', which has got me wondering if we all have the same understanding of what a culture shift is. When I visit secondary schools I am struck by how alike schools are (there are exceptions, of course). Yes, I get different vibes in different schools that tell me something about climate and tone etc but there are also many similarities in school adminstration and organisation (e.g. the 5 or 6 period per day timetable) that have been entrenched for decades and are structures that were developed when teaching and learning was very different from what it is today - and what it will be in the future. I wonder to what extent 'culture shift' is constrained by the old structures?  Is old-style school organisation going to limit e-learning aspirations? When we make prouncements about effective teachers in the future how will we assess balance between their e-learning skills and subject content skills? Will e-teaching capacity be the biggest priority?  I think these are going to be big issues for  tomorrow's school leaders. As you said, CJ, it is an ever-evolving landscape and there are many questions that need answers.       

  • Ian Smith (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2013 9:41am ()

    I wonder to what extent 'culture shift' is constrained by the old structures? I think Jim that the real constraints are the thinking that education is a process that you go through to get yourself to a point whereby you have achieved. In a recent seminar I attended by Max Graves he stated the ministry's intention for Level 2 to become the bencghmark for all New Zealand students. Therefore, the thinking is still a top down model and that learning needs to support students to be able achieve this goal. Is this really the goal of students to achieve Level 2? ( It was this thinking I was jugghling with when I came across my Hitler quote) Or is this a socially contrived goalpost to be able to say that we get value for money from our education system. I think that we need to change the way we think by turning it on its head, secondary school builds upon the foundations laid during the early years of learning. If a student does not achieve Level 2 by the time they leave school will they have failed?

  • Jim Peters (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2013 2:05pm ()

    Kia ora Ian .... so ... what is success; what is failure?  What can schools do to enable every student to be successful? Is NCEA level 2 really the 'be all' in terms of defining success and failure at secondary school? What responsibility do principals have for student failure? It gets pretty complicated, eh? 

  • Glenys Rogers (View all users posts) 29 Aug 2013 10:40am ()

    From the perspective of being the principal of a small semi-rural primary school who encouraged our Year 4 - 6 students to BYOD most the above points are ones that we have had to work through.  Our BOT has also lead the way encouraging us to be innovative and forward thinking.  Our school's values have been incorporated into how we plan all aspects of daily life so it was not a major step to work with families on being a respectful and responsible digital citizen.  Initially we worked from key Competencies to "e-competencies" then to digital citizenship.  It took us several years of ICT PD and involvement in Blended E-learning to give the teachers the confidence to let go of the paper and consider this as an option.  We have kept our parents informed all the way and yes there has been some resistance although as they see how motivated and enthusiastic their children are this is lessening.  The infrastructure and hardware has been the biggets hurdle but we have been snupped and have UFB and purchased a reliable wireless system so that on most days it works consistently.  Some of our Y4 6 students now choose multiple tools for any task - they are creative in their use of all learning environments and are able to share with younger students.

    I have been excited about how far we have all come and I endeavour to say that publically as often as possible.

  • Andrew Murray (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 11:44am ()

    PD plays such a massive role in this. It something that is changing our school environment. Schools often have formally constituted Professional Learning Communities and less formal but just as effective Communities of Practice. These underpin the Professional Development and Learning Program, creating the collaborative culture that could be easily supported by ICT and involve constant access to research, sharing of praxis and of pedagogy and constantly engaging in professional dialogue with peers. In short, ‘anywhere, anytime’ Professional Learning. This is important issue for the SLT and HOFs to figure out.



  • Leigh Hurford (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 12:40pm ()

    I also agree that PLD has a massive role in this.  Our school has incorporated different technologies, some of which every classroom/teacher has now got and others that are being trailled by certain staff as someone else has already mentioned.  However, while our Principal has been keen to get teachers and children using different technologies, I am finding that some are not used as well (or in some cases at all) because staff are not confident in their use of the technology.  

  • Nathan Fortune (View all users posts) 15 Sep 2013 11:37am ()

    I agreee Leigh. PLD does play a massive role here. It is really important that the PLD is effective, meets the needs of all staff members and is aligned with the school vision, and the schools e-learning direction. We have been involved in some PLD this year, that while it has been interesting and useful it has had too much of a focus on use the of apps, with little consideration for the direction that the schools e-learning should take. It has highlighted for me the importance of having a clear e-learning vision, and ensuring that strategic planning guides this learning.

  • Janet McCarroll (View all users posts) 16 Sep 2013 4:48pm ()

    Leigh, you have identified the fundamental element in designing the Professional Learning and Development programmes for schools to create, if all learners including the teachers are able to develop their talents and realize their creative potential. Alignment between the school vision, strategic plan and the PLD programme for teachers. Educators recognise the need for change and want to take control of their own learning. PLD design in the past, I doubt has met this need. Leaders have a pivotal role in a school/learning institution to model ongoing  self learning. PLD as with all learning design, should be challenging for students, teachers and leaders. Embedding inquiry into daily school practices is recognised as a fundamental effective change agency, as described in a vast scope of current research. Both teachers and  leaders, like students, also require the ignition factor or engagement of the immagination, for ideas to take hold. Bold, innovative methods of PLD, which are personalised, future focussed, aligned to inquiry processes and set the bar high, may stimulate engagement from all teachers, including those who do not see the need to make change. Elements of choice to attend PLD, as we provide students choice, democratic decision making in designing the learning programmes as we do with students may help us move to a more personalised approach to Professional Learning. Inviting parents to attend selected open sessions of PLD. If we are wanting our teaching staff to gain a knowledge base for improving student learning outcomnes, there is sense in offering the same PLD to parents the first teachers. How would your staff react? At my school we have not trialled this approach of opening our doors to selected PLD for both parents and teachers, but its an idea we have certainly discussed and some staff could identify potential benefits for student learning. The following quote cited in Realising the Power of Professional Learning, Timperley, 2011, p.1, speaks loudly to me:

    For far too many teachers...., staff development is a demeaning, mind numbing experience as they passively 'sit and get'. That staff development is often mandatory in nature... and evaluated by 'happiness scales'. As one observer put it, 'I hope I die during an in-service session because the transition between life and death would be so subtle'.

    I do believe that the tide has turned. Most teachers want to learn, just light my fire! The responsibility lies with those who are entrusted with  meeting the needs of all learners, students, teachers, parents and school leaders, system wide.

  • Helen H (View all users posts) 24 Sep 2013 3:23pm ()

     Janet I really love the idea that parents get the same opportunities for PLD.  I can see that working really well in our semi-rural high decile school where quite a few of the parents are on the same wave length as us (educators - we all want the same for their children/our students) but not sure how it could pan out across every school.

    I think it is all about tapping into peoples passions, to ignite that fire, and this is hard enough to do for just the teachers in our school let alone for the parents too.  So this year we have taken our first step to a different approach to PLD for staff.  The whole staff  have one huge commitment of Te Reo with Te Wananga O Aotearoa and then they have their own teacher inquiry, linked to RTC, where they could choose an area of passion to pursue.  The funds were put aside to go to anything that would support them in this – it could be another school that is down the track on what they are interested in, a course, seminar or conference – whatever tickled their fancy and, of course, developed their skills, passions etc.

    It was a huge learning curve for all involved, as let’s face it, gone are the days of the ‘old fashioned’ PLD that got rolled out to every school.  Let’s move away from the ‘mind numbing experience’ that I am sure we have all been exposed to and dangle that carrot of ‘choice’ instead!

  • Janet McCarroll (View all users posts) 25 Sep 2013 2:10pm ()

    Helen, taking an indepth learniing approach to one particular focus area; Te Reo with Te Wananga O Aoteoroa and personalising the teacher's needs within that focus area, I presume with an inquiry approach?

    You talk of tapping into people's opassions, to ignite that fire. My thinking is that we don't know what we don't know and sometimes it is necessary to have the fire lit externally, through encountering ideas, practice and innovation in ways we have not met within our own context.

    Last night I was utterly priveldged to attend a key note at GreenPark Primary School in Tauranga by Stephen Harris. What an outsatnding educational leader. To me he modelled the absolute best in terms of educational vision, passion and moral purpose. he lit my fire! I want that for every teacher at our school. I would love to visit his school, which was visited by Charles Leadbetter in 2012 and cited by him as "the most innovative school in the world"! How's that for an accolade!

    Do check out:  www.scil.com.au

    Interestingly, Stephen says that within his school, teachers seldom leave the property for external PLD, rather his teachers collaborate, learn from each other and only attend conferences to present and share their innovation. I was very very impressed. I guess, its very important to haev our own wonderment and awe ignited, just as it is for our learners!

  • Helen H (View all users posts) 25 Sep 2013 3:21pm ()

    Hi Janet, the indepth learning into one focus area is with an inquiry approach -the teacher could choose using the school approach or what would work for them.  The Te Reo this year is purely for upskilling ourselves in this area but 2 of our teacher have chosen this for their passion project and it could move into an inquiry approach next year depending on individual teachers.

    It is true that we don't know what we don't know or at times where to even start to look for the things that are going to ignite us and that was the hardest thing for this approach this year - not knowing where the inspiring practice is in the area of passion for the teachers and finding that 'PLD' - so that was a learning curve for theleadership team and the staff.  I too have been lucky enough to hear Stephen Harris speak at the CEFPI conference, Disruption, earlier this year (and our principal has been lucky enough to have visited his school and bought back amazing insights, ideas and photos of fantastic practice and just good things to have in your school) and I agree, an outstanding visionary leader who has that ability to really challenge and excite with his ideas.  I would love to think that we could look no further than our school for all PLD (and there are some fantastic ideas happening especially through the passion projects) but that is not where we are at quite yet ... 

    But this is where the school vision (including the ICT Strategic Plan and all that encompasses), PLN's and VLN and any online communities twitter, facebook, pinterest come into play - we will never know what we don't know until we start to look and the expectation now is that you do look deeply into all the areas that have been mentioned in this korero - future focussed learning and teaching, persoanlised learning, modern teaching spaces, team teaching etc etc and it is upto the principal to know about these things and to be the leader in these areas - not necessarily the expert but definately the one who is in the know.

  • Senga White (View all users posts) 25 Sep 2013 3:33pm ()

    Thanks so much for your posting Janet.  I have spent the last hour investigating Stephen Harris and found a treasure-trove of information to inform my thinking!

  • Leigh Perry (View all users posts) 25 Sep 2013 8:18pm ()

    Interesting about teachers not leaving their own school for PLD - we are almost at that point.  Between us as a staff there is so much knowledge and skill base that we can share with each other.  The other advantage is that we know our students and our community, so having PLD that is going to really work for the school and wider community is the best option.

    I agree too that sometimes we do need someone else to set us on a path of learning and skill building and by learning new skills could even ignite the fire!

  • Geoff Childs (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 2:52pm ()

    this is critical if a school really wants to get significant school wide shifts in thinking and practice. The conversation, sharing and supporting that happens on duty, in the staffroom or over a coffee is, as you say Andrew just as important as formal PLD and can lead in some instances to significant shifts. It's often that "just in time" conversation that leads to a teacher following up on a new idea. How do school leaders creat a climate where this can and does happen?

  • Lavinia Sekona-Vimahi (View all users posts) 05 Oct 2013 12:29am ()

    Definitely!  Learning talk/incidental conversations are just as impotant as those shared during PLD because colleagues are open to talk and share ideas, they are more willing to trial & error, observe one another, become critical friends, discuss & reflect upon successes & areas that need clarity.  This type of climate is definitely created and encouraged by the School Leadership team.... walking the talk.

  • Yolanda East (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2013 9:24pm ()

    How true it is that we get the right types of PLD in place for all our staff. It takes a wise principal to ensure that all staff can access PLD bearing in mind the differing range of expertise amongst staff at any school. The challenge is keeping that PLD going, so that even once an ICT contract has finished staff can continue to up skill so that they and their students become confident 21st Century learners. Principals need to regularly communicate with staff about their ICT needs and embed this yearly into the strategic plan now and into the future. It will need to be at the forefront of all learning.

  • Phebe Sorensen (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2013 1:30pm ()

    I agree with what you have said Yolanda, targeting PLD to a larger staff is very challenging, especially when our staff memebers are often at different places in terms of skills, confidence and pace at which they work.  Our ICT leader often splits the staff into smaller groups and asks teacher experts to lead each smaller group on a specific skill or task, or organises staff into mixed groups and asks us to complete a challenge that is then uploaded onto our own staff e-portfolios.  I think that regular communication with staff on this issue is important.

  • Hamish Dufty (View all users posts) 16 Sep 2013 11:59am ()

    Totally agree with you Andrew. PD is essential to supporting, inspiring and initiating e-learning or any other development. 

  • Chris Herlihy (View all users posts) 30 Aug 2013 11:56am ()

    Finding people on the staff that are passionate and knowledgable will make the startegic planning a lot easier.  We have a staff member this year who has taken on the lead role and is able to trial their ideas in the class.  It is beneficial to have someone who gets their hands dirty on a daily basis as they come with a different perspective to senior management and the board. 

    This year we have been reviewing our values and fitting them into our reviewed vision as part of the Blended E-Learning PD.  It has been a really valuable exercise as it has involved children, staff, community and board and we are finally getting a clear direction as to where we are heading.  The staff have taken it on board and the core team are actioning ideas in their class which is great to see.

  • Nigel Wilson (View all users posts) 10 Nov 2013 9:15pm ()

    The e-learning has to sit at the top level and Chris you have described how it has been brought into that by making it part of your review of the school values. The direct consultation and involvement of students, parents, community, BoT and staff give clear direction and integration. This is not something that we have done yet but I can see a way forward.

  • HelenAlmey (View all users posts) 17 Nov 2013 3:29pm ()

    I agree absolutely.  And it is part of that delegated leadership that is essential in the role as a Principal.  I like this model of having a passionate person lead the learning.  With e-learning there are always going to be detractors, luddites and sceptics. You need someone who believs int he technology AND has made it work in a meaningful way to lead the change.  As a Principal, you utilise the skills that are present in the staff to help achive your vision.  I have to do that in my sphere re e-learning sceptic that I am. I worry about the pace of change re technology  though.  Do you have to draw a line in the sand and say' come on, let's at least start somewhere' instead of waiting for hte next ' thing' ?  Also security worries me a lot - the issue of safety and these technoligies  - for the student and the teacher. Should that hinder the implementation of technoliges in the classroom or school?  It is an issue at my place re BYOD.  The big NO has gone up from the technology co-ordinator because of security.

  • Julie Earl (View all users posts) 19 Nov 2013 6:56pm ()

    We have over 1500 devices connected to our network ( wireless) but have filters in place so students and staff are protected ...to the extent that is possible anyway. School culture plays a big part around safety I think. Although there was some anxiety when we opened things up it has been much less of an issue than we imagined. We do focus on teaching safety etc...

  • Fina Hallman (View all users posts) 30 Aug 2013 12:18pm ()

    Wisdome Chris wisdom.

  • Fina Hallman (View all users posts) 30 Aug 2013 12:22pm ()

    Teaching in a year one and two class digital media is being used for the children to show their whanau their learning on a weekly daily basis. Engament with learning is increased I am one of those Chris that is getting their hands dirty on a sily basis and this is leading otheres to adopt the same approach. The role of the principla is to seize upon those with dirty hands and give them the wings to fly and allow them to inform and lead others if their dirty hands are successful.

  • Shanthan Naidu (View all users posts) 30 Aug 2013 12:25pm ()

    How can principals take an active role in their school’s strategic planning to use technologies as part of effective teaching and learning?

    Appoint staff to use different technologies and tools over the year. Review the use of technologies and impact for student learning and teaching. Highighting the pro's and cons of using different software. Involve key people in the strategic planning process - that can make realistic and measurable goals that can be achieved with the timeframes set. Principals can discuss effectiveness of e-leanring with other schools - reviewing advantages/disadvantages. Get staff to share their findings and get feedback from all members from the schooling community.

  • sarahd (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2013 6:11pm ()

    Sounds like this could be very effective as an elelment for strategic planning - the action, would like to hear more about the revieiwng and measures for impact on teaching and learning. We identified in our school charter (through consultation) the big picture - where do we want to be in 2015? interestingly the steps to get ourselves and our students there, did not necessarily align very well with teachers esposed theories, certainly they contributed to the charter. so in closing that gap we have had to enter into further discussions to get everyone on the same page. Some staff still see it as other peoples responsibility not theirs to get technology up and running - now the reason i say it like that is it's very hard to solve equipment/tool issues, wants, needs and desires for technology in the classroom, when people don't acitively let you know what's going on in the day to day classroom use of technology. At syndicate level we have been working on a smaller plan to intergrate IT into the classroom and then going back to Principal/BOT. Theory - if you start at the 'chalkface' then it will be better embedded in daily classroom practice (cause for some staff it was not working very well the other way - difference to date, teachers are more empowered). The Principal is open to this, and that's the key, sometimes you have to turn it all up on its head and start again. Thoughts anyone? 

  • Annette Herbert (View all users posts) 30 Aug 2013 5:01pm ()

    How can principals take an active role in their school’s strategic planning to use technologies as part of effective teaching and learning?

    I feel a principal needs to have an understanding of where the future of teaching is heading, is really important. Leading with a passion in IT will model to staff the importance of all students (whatever their age) being exposed to technologies on a daily basis. I have a personal passion with the use of IT in the classroom and have been fortunate enough to help generate the strategic plan for my current school in this area.

    Focusing on student learning in the present and where it may be in the future. Who will take lead roles in this and what the school as a community can do to help ensure a successful delivery. Looking at who can up-skill staff, students and families with the new learning strategy. Having faith in curriculum leaders to 'lead effectively' and model best practice to the rest of the staff will also ensure the strategic plan is successful.

  • Andrew Murray (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 11:24am ()

    I agree Annette a principal mus thave an understanding of where 21st century teaching is heading. It does requre more than passion. It needs to be embedded in school culture. The prinipal must be seen to be a life long learner. It needs to part of what is occurring the PLN. I believe a principal can take an active part by not merely seeing IT as an add on, eg a par tof a PLG but actually a goal that is entrenched into all PLGs.

  • Mark Tan (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 9:03pm ()

    I'll second that!  Having an understanding of where it is all heading is key . . . I've seen a number of schools attempt to upgrade to the latest 'fad' or the newest tech out with no clear plan, understanding or strategic goal.  This has resulted in piles of technology being stored in the back of classrooms and in resource rooms.  Sadly, without a plan it will fail.  We are in an exciting and new era with BYOD and the like - the key question here is where are we going and why? 

  • Lavinia Sekona-Vimahi (View all users posts) 05 Oct 2013 12:32am ()

    Without a plan & set goals...... there is no success in that vision!

  • timstuck (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2013 8:21pm ()

    I have heard the following phrase mentioned a few times now at various courses…..”there has been a global paradigm shift in education”. That is, the centrality of text based learning has moved into multimedia and the use of collaborative tools via the internet (e-Learning). This shift has fundamentally changed the way in which we teach, and how leaners can learn more effectively and far more efficiently.

    Firstly I think you have to look at your e-Learning capacity. Does the ‘technology’ within the school you are leading drive the decisions, or do the ‘Curriculum learning needs’ of the students within your school drive the decisions?

    The school vision must integrate e-Learning throughout. The community’s needs drive the vision – the community, the staff and students, need to be fully engaged in its on-going development. There is a responsibility to deliberately mentor all community members to use technologies to extend and enhance teaching and learning. The main focus should be on enhancing the school curriculum at all levels. This is driven by students’ learning needs.

    The reality of implementing change – find teachers within the school who are currently using technology and set up a cluster or network of like mined individuals. This identified group needs to help work towards the school e-Learning vision. PD sessions, including using competent staff and students, must occur to allow good practice and modelling to demonstrate the use of ICT’s in the curriculum.

    To sustain an e-Learining community you must create a blended, inclusive, reciprocal professional learning culture that is focused on student achievement with and through technologies. 

  • Andrew Murray (View all users posts) 05 Sep 2013 11:39am ()

    I agree Tim. In the design of an ICT supported Professional Development program, one that would include the ongoing Professional Learning of Teachers with respect to eLearning, it is important to remember that often learning will lag behind that of development. This is an issue that comes with the territory. It is one that puts teachers as learner off as they never gain the mastery that they are used to feeling in many other area.

    I also beleve there is a necessity for a principal to have vision and mission, the core purpose of the organisation, to be one of the anchors of any Professional Development Program.

    Indeed part of this vision must be the Teachers perceiving themselves as leaders of learning in the classroom. Principals and teacher alike must recognise if you wish to create an innovative learning climate, then you should lead by example. Teachers must role model their own love of learning, and seek to ‘walk their talk’. Every teacher should be a learner. Please never say that you know everything, because at that point, you will no longer be a learner. In teaching, best-quality learning is not just something that you DO. It is something you ARE. It is who you are, that will determine the learning quality in your classroom.

  • sarahd (View all users posts) 02 Sep 2013 11:13am ()

    "the future of educational leadership lies in forging stronger links with curriculum, pedagogy, assessment
    and student learning (Vivianne Robinson, 2009)." Elearning is no different.
    Professional leadership in e-learning should builda culture of elearning (elearning as defining ‘e-learning’ as learning and teaching that is facilitated by or supported through the appropriate use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). - TKI) within the school/classroom and community, there is a need for that to be strategically planned for, this culture needs to implement, monitor and evaluate the integration of IT for improved learning, teaching and administration. Planning for elearning needs to focus on  teaching and learning. IT needs to be used strategically to improve learning and teaching, and there is a need to provide support for teachers and students alike through the provision of effective professional learning. To be 
    effective schools needs to have a clear and shared understanding of how ICT can improve student learning outcomes, which is reflected in the school’s vision and goals. This shared outcome/vision needs input from the teachers, parents/whanau, students and other providers. Schools should have the exepectation that there is IT used effectively, which will transform learning and teaching, enhance learning opportunities and improve learning outcomes for all students. ICT needs to be a fundamental part of the teacing and learning in the classroom. The Principal needs to be the leader through action but can also facilitiate others to lead in this area. The Principal can establish and foster a shared eLearning vision, develop an eLearning plan linked to a shared eLearning vision and school priorities, s/he may distribute and share responsibility for leading eLearning. There is a definite need to secure the school community’s commitment to the eLearning Vision (consultation and review), facilitate all aspects 
    of ICT implementation so that it supports individual, team and whole school improvement across the school encompassing data, including student learning outcomes, to inform the eLearning Plan. It is a many layered task that requires a firm and identifiable commitment to ongoing development.

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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