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Digital Literacy Progressions

Started by Janet McCarroll 20 Aug 2014 3:26pm () Replies (38)

We here at st Mary's Tauranga we are in the middle of a review process, re working our Writing, Reading and Mathematics Learning Progressions. ( Which we will willingly publish and share on completion)

My wondering: I am hoping the  group will be able to help me. Is there a progression of digital litericies/progressions at each year level?  

Hoping someone can help.


  • Tash Jacobs (View all users posts) 21 Aug 2014 1:14pm ()

    I can't help with the digital literacies progressions but here is a link to work on the Reading and Writing Progressions which may be helpful.


  • Robyn McDougall-Winchester (View all users posts) 22 Aug 2014 9:33am ()

    Thanks for the link, very helpful as we are in the process of writing our own progressions.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 22 Aug 2014 9:44am ()

    Hi Janet

    I also am not sure about digital literacies/progressions, but I'll do some investigating.

    In the meantime, are you aware of the Kid-speak literacy progressions that have recently been made available? Here you will find a link to the kid-speak progressions as well as other resources teachers have shared around the literacy progressions.


  • Janet McCarroll (View all users posts) 22 Aug 2014 9:55am ()

    Hi Nathanial,


    Yes, we are aware of the 'Kid Speak Literacy Progressiosn' recently made available from MaryAnne Murphy and her team of teachers across the country. Great work team. 

    We at St Mary's Tauranga, have developed and reviewed our own 'Kid Speak Progressions in Literacy and Numeracy, some years ago. They are currently being reviewed at present. We have examined the 'Kid Speak Progressiosn' sourced from the VLN, to help our review, ours are shaping up a little differently. In our review, we are thinking that Digital Literacies need to become infused into our school progressions, hence I am seeking advice, seeking exemplars of Digital Progressions. I am hoping that someone may be aware of such a resource, that we could examine as we attempt to add Digital Literacies to our Litearcy and Numeracy Progressions.



  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 25 Aug 2014 8:34pm ()

    Two differing opnions?

    1. Having progressions in digital literacy ensures that every teacher using technology in their classroom...

    2. Having a digital literacy progression gets in the 'way' of technology.  Teachers may see this as something to teach to, and not a tool that is just part of every day life.  

    I probably have a different view of technology than a lot of others.  I see no point in handwriting as a skill (an art form I could agree with) as well as spelling (with voice recognition) when we have tools now that can do it for us.  Is this not the reason behind technology?  I view a strong staff pedagogy in using digital technologies is more important than a series of skills that need to be acomplished by certain year levels.  

    If staff don't have the skills, knowledge, confidence, then make professional development in I.T a focus every year until it is.  I think my rant for the night has come to a close..  Wink

  • Janet McCarroll (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 10:11pm ()

    Hi Hamish,


    Many thanks for your inspired response!

    Opinion 1:

    On reflection, having progressions in 'Kid Speak' in Reading, Writing and Mathematics, provides the learner with a clear road map of where  am I at and where to next for their personalised learning pathway. Useful in developing 'Assessment Capable' learners, who can knowledgeably articulate where they are at and teach others the concepts they have securely grasped. If I teach, I understand.


    2. Having adigital progression may get in the way of technology? Depends how you use progressions. As learning is not lineal, the routes and arrival points the learnere may traverse, could typically be drwan as a squiggle, not a straight line. How useful it would be for a learner to recognise the points of mastery on the road map, be able to 'teach' other, by example, modelling or using digital device to create and publish their learning, for other learners, who have yet to grasp, what they have secured.

    Yes, technology is a tool, but it has infinite possibilities ineducative contexts. The smartest tool yet! 

    I'm thinking that as long as the pathway or map didn't inhibit the ability to 'create'., infact open routes for exactly that, then, we have s road to venture?



  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 28 Aug 2014 6:30pm ()

    Hi Janet,


    I developed a set of progressions for a school I worked at 3 years ago.  I didn't bother keeping a copy when I left as I really didn't think it was somewhere I wanted to be at, or work at.

    This decision was mostly based on the school, and its lack of vision with digital technology, resources, and traditional classroom teaching.  

    At Ngatea Primary (my current school) 2 classroom teachers, myself, D.P, and Principal are working on a different plan/ way of learning for 2015.  We currently have an open timetable of teacher workshops that students opt into.  (we sometimes opt students who need to do this workshop in for them)  We do also have students booked into sessions for Reading, Writing and Math based on level, social groups, novels they are reading and project they are working on.

    What we want it to have a timetable that is totally blank.  No subjects on it... and have student select the content based on their PBL's (passion based learning)  These could be any project that the student is passionate about.  Through these passions, teachers, students, community experts will offer workshops and conferences with students to support their learning.    So because the students needs will pop up whenever, and where ever, its hard to develop digital competancies for student learning.   We will have years 5-8.  Unfortunately we have a high schools needs to think about...  

    I think the more dynamic and 'modern' teaching and learning becomes, the more we foster student pasion and focus less on knowledge, the less there will be a need for learning progressions and .... *cough* national standards.  


  • Roimata Baker (View all users posts) 28 Aug 2014 7:42pm ()

    I am so inspired to read this Hamish.  Are you blogging about this journey? I wish you all the best and hope all goes well. What an awesome direction you have taken.  Not for the faint of heart haha!

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 28 Aug 2014 7:58pm ()

    Thanks Roimata,

    I am very lucky to be part of the school.  I do have a blog, but hadn't put anything about pedagogy and our schools Journey.  I will now!  : )

    The link to my blog should be in my VLN profile. 

  • Janet McCarroll (View all users posts) 06 Sep 2014 7:59pm ()

    Hi Hamish,


    I am really interested in your innovative approach to your curriculum planning. I like the idea very much of the 'open' PLD, workshops for both teachers and students. I have always thought the idea of including parents into any optional teacher PLD workshops, beneficial. Your PBL concept, facilitated by community experts, aligns with the 'Big Pictire Learning' concept from both the USA and Australia, where this approach is practiced in pockets.

    I think I was referring to a more 'conceptual' set of digital progressions. 

    Perhaps my initial request came from the notion of wanting pedagogy to drive the use of new technologies, rather than the technologies driving the learning. I really am of the strong belief that pedagogy must be the driver, not the technology. The use of the technology must have a purpose which is conceptual, transformative and deeply personalised. The latter driver, sits comfortably with your approach to the open curriculum/timetables/PBL.

    I think I must come to visit you to talk.

    I have been really interested to read the research paper I located through the VLN

    Exploring Teacher Professional Learning for Future-Oriented Schooling
    Working Paper 1 from the Back to the Future1
    Jane Gilbert2
    and Ally Bull
    New Zealand Council for Educational Research

    I would have loved to have been involved in those discussions!!!!

    I agree wholeheartedly in their ideas presented re the paradigm shift in thinking required by teachers. Designing the PLD programmes to educate 'future focused' teachers, is indeed an incredibly important unknown we must explore. 




  • Barbara Reid (View all users posts) 31 Aug 2014 10:11pm ()

    You might like this article - Research on Spelling Automaticity

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 8:16am ()

    Hamish I couldn't agree with you more. This topic was raised at the recent #educampwest in the weekend. I struggle with the disconnect between the use of technology with traditional teaching methods. Whether we like it or not, handwriting and spelling are becoming irrelevant. Therefore why do we still teach it. Serious questions need to be asked of what our focus should as classeroom teachers, however I think the answers will frighten alot of people.

    Desperately seeking brave, courageous and visionary leaders :)


  • Leigh Hynes (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 8:32am ()

    I think the questions frighten a lot of people.  Seriously, have you raised this with educators?  The reactions are often vitriolic.

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 8:54am ()

    Cheers Justin, and I agree Leigh.  The 'traditions' in teaching are hard to break.  Just because it was so, is not reason to continue.  I think we all know the problem is that parents went through a school system, so they 'know' all about education.  I posted this on twitter a few weeks ago, and think its appropriate here as well.


    I watched 'Dead Poets Society' recently after Robin Williams death.  I knew it was a great movie, but had forgotten the side themes within.  One was about the tradition of a high achieving school, and how Robin's role was to keep to that.  He decided it was better to encourage his students to have free will, and follow their dreams.

    Every week I meet with our team of year 7-8 teachers, and we discuss what we can change, are we catering for the students?  How can we better meet their needs?  We already have a modern aproach to teaching, 3 single cell'd classrooms, walls removed to enable modern teaching and learning.  Students plan their week around workshops and lessons given by teachers and students alike.  Students like it better than traditional teaching, but we are looking at changing it again.  Moving to the next level of modern teaching and learning.  This is along the lines of: cleaning out the timetable, and students planning their entire day/ week about their passions, and using these passions to learn about curriculum subjects.  Example:  group of students competing in a cheerleading competition.  They are making their own uniform, planning their routine, organising funds, logistics/ transportation.  These students are learning reading, writing, math (as well as the others) but in a context that they are passionate and driven about. ..  exciting to be apart of this learning!

    ** @justin; Mike, Leigh; do you mind if I cut this and put it in my blogg?  Some good discussion here **

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 8:42am ()

    Yes I have had this discussion with some colleagues and they simply do not see or comprehend the skills our students are going to need as they move towards the future. I feel we are doing our children and students a massive disservice by not asking, debating and addressing these questions.

  • Mike Thornley (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 9:04am ()

    Justin and Hamish I have enjoyed reading your posts! This is something we are working though as a school. We are slowly recognising that our pedagogy around the use of technology is dated and needs to change. As a leader I have put an emphasis on prodiving research for staff to read and discuss. It has been a very powerful tool. We made IT a professional goal this year and definitely again next year as teachers like students need time to apply there new knowledge.

  • Robyn McDougall-Winchester (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 9:19am ()

    I have been interested reading all your posts. Currently we are part of an e-Learning contract, which has opened several cans of worms regarding teacher capability and inclusion in classroom programmes. Like our own students staff are at different ends of spectrum and needed support in different areas, with the understanding that IT is here to stay and will rapidly progress with education. We dont at this stage have a progressions but is something that will be developed over time. I have included a link to some apps that mey be useful for in class sue of ipads, particulalry to support SENCO students with low literacy. If any one is interset we have a list of apps available for classroom use, email me and I'll send to you. 



  • Tash Jacobs (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 9:24am ()

    I have been enjoying following this discussion.  Thanks to all involved for their 'think alouds' which provoke others to think as well.  For me the key thing to remember is that technology is merely a vehicle in the learning process, therefore we need to ask ourselves how technology can enhance the learning within the authentic context we have created rather than what can I do with this app etc.  From there comes a focus on how can we push the boundaries for our learners in order to accelerate their learning and open their thinking to new possibilities which haven't even been thought of yet...ie empower them to think and create for themselves!

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 26 Aug 2014 1:26pm ()

    Mike good on you. I commend your approach and what you are doing. I think we need more leaders like you in our school who have the vision and courage to explore and implement change. Until this happens, most schools will continue to deliver the status quo and not challenge or quesion the needs of our children and how we meet them. Please share your journey; the successes and the challenges so that we may learn more about how change can come about.

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