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MLEs: Learning spaces and resourcing | NAPP Kōrero 6

Kia ora koutou, talofa lava and welcome to this kōrero on, Learning spaces and resourcing.

imageBest Evidence Synthesis on School leadership and student outcomes, talks about the need for leaders to strategically allocate ‘material, intellectual, and human resources’ that are aligned to pedagogical and philosophical purposes. (Page 41)

In terms of resourcing Modern Learning Environments (MLEs) having clear understandings about learning and effective pedagogy as well as the influence of physical spaces and digital technologies will fundamentally drive decision-making processes.

In an Edtalks video, Mark Osborne asks, how can we create learning spaces/environments that enable different learning processes to become rich, real and relevant for our learners?

In an early video from Enabling e-Learning, Developing learning spaces Hingaia Peninsula School senior leaders talk about how their school vision for learning has driven decisions for planning Modern Learning Environments. A little over a year on, their story is focus on Campbell Live.

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Click on the image to view the video on TV3 News

In a 2012 Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum on Raising Achievement, key questions around MLEs included:

  • What are the key dimensions of a modern learning environment?
  • What do modern learning environments imply for our learning institutions and the teaching profession?
  • What needs to be done differently?
  • What are the leadership roles in 21st century learning and who should lead the change?

The responses from the esteemed panel can be viewed here.

The key questions for us are:

  • As leaders, what preparations do we need to undertake - to ensure strategic decision-making and leadership enhance MLEs?
  • What strategies should, or could, principals apply in their role in resource allocation for e-learning and modern learning environments?

This korero is supported by, WEBINAR: MLEs: Learning spaces and resourcing | NAPP Kōrero 6, Thursday 26 June, 3.45-4.45pm. Registrations for this event have now closed.

Some resources to kick start this mahi...


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 28 May 2015 12:18pm ()

    Some people might be interested in this collaborative presentation for secondary schools on Modern Learning Environments, Pedagogies and Practices. Please feel free to add your own ideas and examples to the Google presentation as well.

  • Gaylyn Lockington (View all users posts) 24 Nov 2014 7:41pm ()

    I like the point raised by Mandy about..'finding teachers who are passionate to pilot MLE'

    In our country the school do not own the building therefore making major changes will require the school going to the CIIC, an organisationn who owns and maintains all government buildings in the country. This is a very lengthy process.

    Some schools just go ahead and make the changes but at their own expense without any reimburement or support.

    In my current school the teacher took the inootiative to re-design hios classroom at his expense (or the English department) where he went out looking for sponsors for new computers and now has 8 computers at the back of his room for student use, he has painted his classroom put up new curtains and have some very colourful and educational posters around the room. It's a totally new envirnment and the students love to go in there. There are books all around his room for students to use for pleasure or educational purposes, it's simply amazing at the transformation so yes i agree, finding the teachers who are passionate to pilot MLE is vital.

    His sound system in there is amazing. The sounds that comes out of his room although very noisy, is loud and clear and is now our staff PD room, even Advisors from our ministry would request to work in that room.

    When there is a will there is a way!

  • Tony Pekepo (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2014 8:43am ()
    • As leaders, what preparations do we need to undertake - to ensure strategic decision-making and leadership enhance MLEs?

    Interesting korero. Some very thought provoking post. As Todd says research, research, research. It important to visit other schools using MLE to raise student achievement, but just as important, I believe school leaders should also visit non-MLE where student achievements are high. What comes to mind, are Montessori. Waldorf, and Steiner schools. How can their philosophies/ideas support other school leaders within the move towards a MLE?

    Good read also:

    At Waldorf School in Silicon Valley, Technology Can Wait - NYTimes.com(2)

  • NICK RAYNOR (View all users posts) 27 Oct 2014 12:51pm ()

    Alison- thanks for posting the 16 trends. I don't think anyone can argue with these points. 

    Throughout all of my thinking around the subject of MLEs, it would appear that many schools are starting with the issue of changing learning spaces and technology. How many are really effectively changing their pedagogy to meet the needs of all learners? If we define successful teaching as an action that results in strong rates of progress and achievement, then this can happen anywhere- a skilled, committed teacher can work wonders in any learning environment and usually this will be a result of high quality relationships being formed with their teacher ( another minor reservation I hold about MLEs- whereby many now see 100 students being taught by 4 teachers as the desirable model- will students lose the special connection/ relationship that develops in the 'traditional' model?). I am sure that this successful teacher will be aided by a quality learning environment and tech tools but it will be the high quality teaching and learning that will make the most powerful difference.  

    A second thought triggered by your 16 trends- many of us are adapting our pedagogy to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society but the key indicators of a school's success (or indeed a country's educational success ie PISA rankings) are the traditional assessments in reading writing and maths. Should we not (and should the Ministry) be placing greater emphasis on skills and competencies such as creativity, adaptability, social/ communication development, original thinking and entrepreneurialism for example?

  • Suzanne Donovan Skeens (View all users posts) 26 Oct 2014 5:16pm ()

    As leaders, what preparation do we need to undertake – to ensure strategic decision-making and leadership enhance MLEs?

    As Todd stated right at the beginning of this discussion “Research, Research and more Research” is so valid. Research takes many forms, visits, data, experts etc. Individual contexts need to be considered of course but at some stage we need to stop researching and begin strategically planning. The planning will not be linear. It needs to be responsive, adaptive and open ended. We need to consider how we will ensure that each step forward is sustainable and succession is guaranteed.

    What strategies should, or could principals apply in their role in resource allocation for e-learning and modern learning environments?

    The resourcing allocation of e-learning and MLE is potentially a conundrum. If a principal is lucky enough to be starting up a new school or if you are unlucky enough to be moving to a new build because of the Christchurch earthquake the situation is different from a principal who has to use their 5YA to fund the changes. If you are lucky to be starting up a new school you can plan your build and select your staff. But if you are moving your school from single cell the journey is very different.

    My thinking is that the most effective strategy for E-learning and MLE can be your students. When a critical mass start demanding more devices and different spaces teachers will need to get on board as will their families. How do you do this? We know that each school employs different PD models and will know which works best for them. We have found at our school that push and pause as a method is effective and the PD model of teacher enthusiasts blazing the trail has worked in other curriculum areas and the one we are currently using as we head towards BYOD and MLE. My role as one of the leaders has been to encourage while clearing the way i.e. sharing data or show how it fits with foundation documentation. We have four classes with teachers really pushing the boundaries. Children are talking and teachers are now asking for PD, more devices and environments that are conducive.

    The issue now is how do we ensure that the MLE’s and the e-learning is available in a timely and equitable manner so as to not create a barrier to the tide of change. We are also considering carefully the impact of SOLO on these two initiatives. We are very determined not to have MLE with single cell Pedagogy (socially structured) or e-learning without different levels of understanding.

    Of course the principals are the ones who have to move heaven and earth to get the ball rolling. Our principal has worked with the Ministry for three years without a 5YA because our buildings were in such disrepair and so now we are getting a 7.5 million dollar upgrade, all MLE’s. The order in which you move things depends on the context. A local school have just bought in BYOD and it has caused complete chaos for them so different contexts require different strategies and timing considerations. I am still learning when to push and when to pause, that is wisdom I suppose. 

  • Suzanne Donovan Skeens (View all users posts) 26 Oct 2014 5:14pm ()

    I really like the analogy of how we maintain and renovate our own homes. I just had to say that I am always in awe of how unbeknown to me, I am so influenced by fashion when it comes to couches I like and colours. Perhaps we are being influenced by fashion with MLE's and even though the plumbing in my home is really old (told to me by the plumber after I broke a water pipe) it still works really well. So now I am wandering about your analogy, which I still think is valid and wandering, why we are messing with what works well. And there lies the issue. Is what we are currently doing working well? Is it meeting the needs of our learners and will it serve them well into their future? Thank you Mandy.

  • Hadleigh Benson (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2014 1:37pm ()

    There is also the community consultation stage. Schools that are determined to go down this path need to inform as many people as possible. This includes the BOT, parent community and teachers. With the same voice being said, it makes the idea more enticing for others to accept.

  • Nenah Kelemete (View all users posts) 02 Sep 2014 3:40pm ()

    My question is... how does a decile 1a school make the leap into MLE? 

  • Geoff Childs (View all users posts) 18 Aug 2014 11:13am ()

    Loved the pencil metaphor. Apprasial seems to be the focus in many schools. How does a school ensure apprisal is a positive performance enhancing process as opposed to a compliance driven tick box exercise left for many till the last day of term, and for some SMT put on hold until the next year? The link here to MLEs please?

  • Vicki Wilson (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2014 12:11pm ()

    Hi Geoff

    Reading your post reminds me of the pencil metaphor that we discussed the last time you were visiting.  I think that these people are the hanger ons, or those waiting in the departure lounge.  They know all' the lingo, attend all the PLD' but don't do any thng about it.  I am unsure if they will acknowledge that the 'world' around them has changed, they will take their practice and transpose it into a new space as it means nothing to them.  I found a wonderful quote last week they says 'the skeptical will choose to grow if they are convinced they gain personally, as they gain professionally'.  

    With these teachers, it may be a case using thier personal appraisal as a means of change, setting a personal goal for them to attain. 


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e-Learning: Leadership

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