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Resourcing how and why of e-Learning | NAPP Kōrero 6 2015

Kia ora koutou, talofa lava and welcome to this kōrero 6, 2015 on, Resourcing and e-Learning.

 

Just to set the scene, it is important to have a common understanding of what e-learning is as well as the purpose and potential of e-learning before school leaders commit to resourcing decisions.

 

E-Learning is defined by Enabling e-Learning as, “learning and teaching that is facilitated by or supported through the appropriate use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Whatever the technology, however, learning is the vital element. e-Learning is not simply associated with modes of delivery or the functionality of a particular technology, but forms part of a conscious choice of the best and most appropriate ways of promoting effective learning.

If, best practice e-learning enables accessible, relevant, and high-quality learning opportunities that improve student engagement and achievement”, how might resourcing decisions define processes required to ensure e-learning capacities get the best chance to grow – e.g: establishing priorities across all school resourcing, confirming a process for teacher capacities to grow, confirming processes for inclusion of student voice and community voice and involvement?

 

Smart tools like the e-Learning Planning Framework (available online) can help schools to support self review about how well ICTs and e-learning are currently being used to support learning, as well as next steps to work towards desired goals so that technologies can be used, “....effectively across the curriculum to connect schools and communities and to provide accessible, relevant, and high-quality learning opportunities so that every student is better able to achieve their full potential.”

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Image taken from LIVE webinar | Using the e-Learning Planning Framework online tool and analysing your data, 25 March, 2015, Greg Carroll

 

The key questions for us are:

  • Why do New Zealand Schools need to resource “widely and wisely in growing e-learning capacities”?

  • How do principals lead “resourcing widely and wisely in growing e-learning capacities”?

 

This kōrero is supported by, WEBINAR: Resourcing e-Learning | NAPP Kōrero 6, Wednesday 10 June, 3.45- 4.45pm. Join us as we discuss the implications of effective e-learning with NAPP participants and invited guests (e-Learning Planning Framework, Connected Learning Advisory). Hosted in Adobe Connect with Tessa GrayREGISTER NOW!


 

Some resources to kick start this kōrero…

Replies

  • Garth Powell (View all users posts) 12 May 2015 8:32pm ()

    I have really enjoyed reading the posts made by everyone during this discussion. It has been a good chance to see how other schools are progressing with e-Learning and what they are developing. Often we get so isolated in what we are doing in our ‘school world’ we forget that there are others out there, and this is a great opportunity to check out what is happening elsewhere.

     

    Having started working my way through the reading web links and watching numerous clips, my brain hasn’t stopped thinking about e-Learning and what this looks like in my school. 2 clips in particular - Cheryl Doig and Karen Melhuish Spencer, and the post by Claire Amos that started off this discussion have lead me to a lot of reflection.

     

    In our school we have sort of ‘stumbled’ our way through the use of ICTs. The task of implementing good practice and purchasing has fallen to the young staff members who are into technology. In the good times we have spent lots of money on technology and then not factored in replacing that technology a few years down the track when it starts to get old, breaks, slows down and the money isn’t there. We haven’t had a vision around e-Learning in our school, and there has been no whole school approach to a shared understanding or use of these technologies. BUT this isn’t to say that we aren’t doing fantastic things. The children do get access to a range of devices, apps and tools, and they have some high quality instruction. It just hasn’t been carefully thought out to ensure it aligns with our vision, strategic plan, budgets of the future and needs of the students (now and into the future).

     

    We need to begin to develop the shared vision of what we see e-Learning in our school looking like. But where to begin and how can I as a leader facilitate this task? I liked how Cheryl Doig talked about wanting ‘buy in’ from the staff, but expecting a commitment from the teachers to do the best for the students. Cheryl and Claire both mentioned a number of starting points and had very clear processes to work through. Karen did a great job in defining what e-learning is.

     

    Our staff is a mix of older experienced teachers and some younger ones, with a VERY wide range of understanding, ability and confidence when using ICT’s - both in school and at home. Over the past year we have really been questioning the why of what we do, who we are here, what we believe and what we want for our students. Some of the thinking coming out of this for us is around the children having personalised learning that they are in control of, and that we must be future focused, and help prepare the children for an unknown future. The jobs that we are preparing them for may not yet have been thought of (which makes it hard for us as teachers to prepare the children for, and also harder for some of those teachers who don’t quite believe this thinking). After reading the latest Interface Magazine - Issue 63, Term 1 May 2015 it really helped me with answers I can provide to those reluctant to believe teachers. On pages 24 and 25, two teachers spoke about potential jobs in the future. Nicholas Patterson said that: “My goal was to get them beyond just consuming technology and teach the knowledge and skills to become creators and designers of technologies.” Callie Ballara also mentioned a movement in education called ‘Maker’ culture: “...students are encouraged to participate in hands-on, craft-like activities that can naturally lead to programming, electronics and scientific experimentation.” The jobs of the future will be around creating technology: using technologies to create, discover and explore this world and beyond.

    So when we begin developing a vision as a staff around e-Learning, I will have some answers of what the potential jobs for our students could be and how important it is that we provide the opportunities for our students to actively participate and succeed in this world. I think this will be a good starting point.

  • Jane Hambidge (View all users posts) 12 May 2015 9:14pm ()

    Our school too is just beginning the e learning journey in our first year of BYOD. I have now realised that I am not clear on what my school's vision for e-learning is and how it aligns to our wider school goals. This could be because as a staff we were certainly not consulted about what we think is vital to successful e-learning!!! From the readings I now realise an integral part of resourcing e-learning as a school leader (and developing a long term vision for e learning ) is to consult widely with staff, students and the wider community and keep them involved in the process throughout.  I read with interest the "e-learning framework"above and will add this to my toolkit. That would seem an excellent place to start.

  • Teressa Smith (View all users posts) 17 May 2015 7:36pm ()

    Your post shows the importance to have a shared vision and a startegic plan so resourcing is is targeted and sustaibility for e-Learning happens. I will definately sharing with my school the clips that you have mentioned.

    Through my journey I am enjoying reading the knowledge of those who have been through this process and I am learning a lot. Many, many thanks!!!

  • Robyne Selbie (View all users posts) 13 Jun 2015 8:59pm ()

     I think you have highlighted issues in many schools Garth around the purchase and use of tools for e-learning but maybe not getting the vision for what they will provide and how they will change the learning environment. The conversations are about getting commitment from staff but more importantly I believe we need to be asking students what it is they need? Student voice is  critical in this process. Cheryl Doig discusses the need for getting these conversations underway in your school. 

    I went to an interesting presentation this week on the'Universal Design for learning' and I suggest you take a look at this model as you think about ways of engaging staff and students in conversations about a vision for e-learning. It is based on the premise of building ramps for student learning and planning not from the middle but from the 'edges' of your classroom so support and extension are built in to the planning. Technology helps you to do this.

  • ireeves (View all users posts) 13 May 2015 9:58pm ()

    This has been some eye-opening reading and I am still wading through all the extra material. My current school is supposedly a few years into e-learning, but it is only now starting to build a strategic vision for the school. Our school has been outfitted with full wireless capability and enabled students and staff to access the network over a variety of devices, but this was all done before we truly had a plan for what we wanted to do with it. It started as a small committee and really involved playing around with different tools and introducing different ideas without any real strategic planning behind it. This meant there was a scattershot approach to e-learning and no cohesion in the way it was approached. All the energy is being spent arguing around; what platform should we use (google or microsoft)?, what devices should we encourage? what web tools are available?.  There was very little discussion around the learning goals of developing e-learning, despite building our BYOD capacity being one of the school's strategic goals. 

    Building on the ideas presented here, it is important to start with the Ako (learner) and develop a plan that builds on the goals for the learners and how technology can be used to enhance and extend their learning. This should allow you to start planning what the vision is for e-learning and start the consultation process with staff, students and community. Building the vision together will allow your staff to approach e-learning in a more consistent and cohesive way, so that students are seeing the value within the learning. 

    I have also been reading more about the Digital Divide and what some of the risks or pitfall of moving into BYOD or digitally dependent. What are some of the ways that you can move forward and ensure that all of our learners have equal opportunity to be modern learners (21st Century Learners)? How do you ensure equity?

    This blog Decreasing the Divide provide some interesting ideas of how schools in NZ are addressing this issue and I would be interested in hearing others thought on this issue? 

  • Angela Scott (View all users posts) 14 May 2015 3:02pm ()

     

    • Why do New Zealand Schools need to resource “widely and wisely in growing e-learning capacities”?

    • How do principals lead “resourcing widely and wisely in growing e-learning capacities”?

    I really like the use of the term widely and wisely in growing e-learning capacities as I think it is important to have depth of thinking behind what we are doing and why. e-Learning is changing at such a rate that what children are doing today will be vastly different to what the can do in the future, if we lead the learning in a way that best supports this. At our school we are using GAFE from year 4-8 with our students having their own gmail accounts. They are able to collaborate in Google Docs and share their learning at home with their friends and families. We use Hapara Teacher Dashboard to monitor, comment on and feed forward to our students. We also share on blogs and weeblies as another option for parent feedback and interaction with the learning. 

    We have BYOD at Clearview for year 4-8 students and are just in the process of delving deeper to promote higher order use of these as a learning tool through using the SAMR model. Our BYOD / ICT strategic development team are off to a couple of PD opportunities to broaden our understanding of the options available to ensure that we make the best use of these tools to support and transform student learning. As a school it is our job to ensure that no student is disadvantaged, so BYOD is an invitation, not a requirement. We have encouraged families to choose the best tool to send along with their children, and still have a variety of devices available her at school so no child will be disadvantaged. We are in the process of setting up sessions for our parents to help their understanding of how we use BYOD, how to set up iPads (if that is their chosen device) and what they can do at home to monitor and share in their child's learning. We see this as an important part of growing e-learning capacities too. 

    We also have morning tech sessions every couple of weeks for teachers to opt into to meet their emerging needs. Designed to support teachers on a 'just in time' basis, these workshops are offered by staff members from the BYOD / ICT strategy team and teachers opt into those that suit their emerging needs. By offering these workshops we know that they are targeting teacher needs, and that they are getting the support needed to be able to dabble with these tools in their learning spaces. 

    As a principal, it is important to be up to date with what is happening. Reading resources such as Interface, Ed Gazette and Leadership & PD subscriptions gives us a snapshot of what others are using and trialing and an opportunity to delve deeper. Investing in ICT is important, but investing TIME for teachers to be able to play is more important! Having the opportunity to learn alongside the students is valuable, but can be scary for some, so providing some basic '101' skills to enable the tools to be used more frequently and with more confidence is vital. There is no point having the tools if they are sitting in a cupboard not being used.

    I also really liked the 'start with the end in mind'... knowing where you want to be heading and the steps to go to get there makes the pathway and purpose transparent to all. By collaborating in this vision and inviting people to trial new initiatives we get the buy in, then enthusiasm and the sustainability of what is a really exciting time in education. 

  • Ange Rathbone (View all users posts) 14 May 2015 10:17pm ()

    I have enjoyed reading the report to the ministry by Bolstad and Gilbert - Supporting future-orientated learning and teaching; a NZ perspective.

    The role of technologies are synonymous with future focused learning but they emphasis that the introduction of ICT doesn't necessarily mean meaningful and beneficial educational change.  For ICT to be meaningful and beneficial to teaching and learning we as educators need to constantly ask the questions:

    Does the use of ICT bring rich learning to our classroom environments?

     I am constantly questioning in my own practice when I am using ICT - is it simply replacing an old way or is it enhancing the engagement and learning for the student?  

    Late last year I was introduced to an ICT model called SAMR (here is a link - https://sites.google.com/a/msad60.org/technology-is-learning/samr-model.  I have challenged myself this year within my appraisal to incorporate SAMR into my lesson planning when using ICT.  Using SAMR as an ICT model helps me ensure that the ICT use is bringing rich learning opportunities to the classroom for the students and increases engagement.  

    "The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition Model offers a method of seeing how computer technology might impact teaching and learning.  It also shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and learning with technology.  
    While one might argue over whether an activity can be defined as one level or another, the important concept to grasp here is the level of student engagement."

    The Substitution level is easy and moving through the Augmentation and Modification stages of the model are also achievable with a bit of time, thought and planning BUT reaching the Redefinition stage is tough to get to and requires an inquiry and collaborative approach as a practitioner - it is really challenging but once reached you know that you are bringing to the classroom a rich learning opportunity that without ICT couldn't have existed as the world expands beyond the classroom   This I have found is extremely rewarding.

     

    Tessa's comment above:  There’s one key idea that pops out for me with all of this is - once the vision and infrastructure is in place, the importance of helping the teachers/leaders to ‘evolve’ and understand how to best utlise e-learning tools and pedagogies to better meet the needs of the learners

    This is also a concern that I have - teachers and leaders need to be given the time and professional development to develop their use of ICT to enhance learning for students.  That is how I found out about the SAMR model via our ICT professional development at school, I doubt I would have had the time to stumble over this myself.  But given the opportunity to learn a new ICT strategy, support  from colleagues and time I have been able to attempt to incorporate it into my practice.  Myself on a new learning journey.

  • Damien Hollands (View all users posts) 20 May 2015 9:34pm ()

     

    Thanks for throwing the SAMR model in front of me to discover. What I found the interesting was the way in which it questions Is using Technology actually the best way of doing this particular exercise or classroom activity. 

    As recently as yesterday I instructed my y13 class to not log in for their Design lesson (met with confusion as if have just taken a limb away from them) as they normally do and to get into groups to create some questions around some particular pieces of design and then try to answer those questions with either prior knowledge or to just have a go. It is amazing the intuition and amount of prior knowledge they could relate to the images infant of them, and whats more the sense of achievement seemed to be greater than if they had just Googled it. 

    Do not get me wrong here, I am a firm believer that technology benefits students learning in ways i would not have dreamt about when i was at school, and non more so in this very Design class. However it is also good to know that we have the most powerful computer between our ears and when I allow my students to explore it I am constantly amazed. 

     

     

     

     

  • Melanie Matthews (View all users posts) 15 May 2015 3:48pm ()

    Korero 6

     

    Thank you everyone for the great input in here. It is this type of connectedness we have in environments like the VLN that we need to develop within our own schools and amongst out wider community of schools. What a powerful situation that would be. Does anyone have good examples or have started a journey like this within their school? I find the VLN, Twitter, Facebook very inspiring and interesting and have some connectedness and would like to see this happening within our school and our community of schools. 

     

    Keeping up with the pace of technology is the biggest hurdle for most educators. When I first started my teaching journey in 2003 we had no devices and a paper roll. In 2004 I became part of an ICT cluster of schools and started integrating technology into the classroom with one computer in the corner of the room and programs like publisher, paint and Carmen Sandigo being something we were told to integrate. In 2005 a video camera became something I liked to use in class because the students became very engaged and professional when the camera was rolling. Kidpix was also a favourite publishing tool of the time. In 2007 I was fortunate enough to join another cluster of schools with a more dynamic lead teacher. I was soon integrating animation into my literacy program and started my first class blog. My students and I also presented at Learning @Schools in Rotorua and a cluster conference in Tauranga. We introduced iPods into the learning by 2009, netbooks and by 2012 we started using Teaching for Inquiry to investigate the use of the iPad mini to make a difference with learning.

     

    Our Inquiry with the iPad mini was a time of powerful conversations around the importance of collaborative learning and gathering student voice to empower our students and our inquiry with the eLearning.

     

    I have since stepped back in time in a new school and starting at ground level with the eLearning Planning Framework and the schools vision. Right now we have devices in all classrooms iPads and laptops which are being used as Substitutions to ‘the way we have always done it’. Our major focus as a team of educators is to form an understanding around new pedagogies that will help lead our students into a future focused educational institution. As we grow in our understanding we will be discussing this with our community. This is exciting for me because in the past the devices drove the change and focused the Professional Development. 

     

    Connectedness, Collaboration and Creativity seem to be some key elements to leading ourselves and our students into this Digital Revolution. Resourcing widely and wisely is essential to keep up with this fast paced changing world. Leading it requires an understanding of why there is a need to change, researching widely and becoming a connoisseur of dynamic change and losing ‘the way we have always done it’ is essential. 

     

  • Felicity Fahey (View all users posts) 18 May 2015 12:11pm ()

    Hi

    I have found it very interesting reading and watching how other schools have developed their e-learning vision/plan. At my school we are for the most part on the beginning of this journey, we have many staff who are eager to get on this journey.  Up until the end of last term we were slowed down by very slow broadband, but we are eager to get going now we are on N4L and have UFB!

    The following thoughts are things I will be making sure we discuss and think about are:

    • What skills do we want our children to gain from being engaged in e-learning - we want the learning to be transformative, not just the same on a digital platform. 
    • what will have the most impact on the students? which LMS's we will use.  WE have been using all facets of Ultranet, but we are in the process of deciding who this will look and will it do what we want.
    • Making sure teachers are embracing this type of learning all through the school, I like the idea of e-learning meetings and staff choose which level suits them, previously we have done as a whole staff and its had its challenges.  The adequate resourcing of staff is important, in terms of skill and knowledge. Having a few trial tools and then implement, sticking to one thing and giving staff time build their knowledge on that, that it stays a focus and not forgotten.
    • How to educate and inform our parents, as a parent of primary school children who go to a school who have rolled out BYOD with very little information, I know that this is important, as education is starting to look like nothing when our parents went to school and they are cautious about all the changes.

    I look forward to reading and watching a bit more on this, to learn from others as my school continues their journey on e-learning.

    thanks felicity

  • Aaron Kemp (View all users posts) 18 May 2015 12:34pm ()

    A interesting article published many years ago by Chris Dede, Rethinking how to invest in technology (Educational Leadership 1997) mentions many of the concerns listed about.  The article talks about links to effective pedagogy, innovations in curriculum and assessment, professional development and the use of partnerships.  Isn't it funny how in 2015 we are still identifying the same issues.  How long does it take for the penny to drop?  I am currently completing my Masters in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on the challenges and successes of implementing digital learning environments into schools.  Many of these issues are still evident today.  I am excited to see this initiative (VLN) to support leaders and teachers to overcome these challenges and offer support and ideas to move forward - exciting times indeed!

  • Stephen Grady (View all users posts) 18 May 2015 1:04pm ()

    An interesting article Aaron. Thanks for sharing! Some interesting points around first and second generation thinking...I'm not sure we are past those completely yet, I hope we are seeing less and less of these types of thinking. For the internet ready computers Dede talked about, I read as Ipads, tablets and chromebooks, as well as BYOD policies! You make a great point about similarities to today still!

    The VLN is a great learning tool. Great to be learning with NAPP 2015 participants and getting the expertise of experienced principals and leaders!

  • Clague (View all users posts) 18 May 2015 1:23pm ()

    Why do we need to grow our e-learning capacities?

    We need to prepare students for the 21st Century, a future we can’t imagine with jobs that haven’t even been invented.   With this in mind they will need to be adaptable, collaborative, creative and responsive kids.  Kids who can manage themselves and direct their own work.  But more immediately e-learning also provides us with the opportunity to:

    • engage differently with students
    • explore, connect, assess and learn things differently
    • enable learning anywhere anytime
    • personalise learning
    • get students collaborating

    I think that it is important to keep in mind that:

    • e-learning is not about the mode of delivery or technology  it is a conscience choice to choose the best and most appropriate tool to promote effective learning
    • the goal of elearning is “best practice e-learning enables accessible, relevant, and high-quality learning opportunities that improve student engagement and achievement”
    • e-learning has the ability to transform learning

    So how do the experts say we as teachers and leaders achieve this?  Again (as in many effective leadership readings) it comes back to a clear vision, a shared vision.  As a leader and team there will be some serious soul searching and big questions being asked of themselves and the school.

    Why are we educating these young people?  And what’s the nature of the world that they’re being educated for?  Why e-learning and what’s e-learning look like? If it’s e-learning, what is that? And how does that actually help us develop young people with the capabilities they need for the 21st century?  Not just a vehicle for learning but a vehicle for being a learner for the 21st Century. (Julia Atkin)

    The Enabling e-learning website is a great resource to assist with this reflection.  The e-learning framework is like a road map to assist leaders to reflect on and evaluate how they are using technology currently and their next steps.  The rubric is a tool across the 5 dimensions (Schools need to be working across all the dimensions to achieve e-maturity) and can be used by teachers to underpin an inquiry or for schools to establish an action plan. 

    From here though there are a number of challenges leaders and schools face:

    • Need to look at teachers capabilities and put small steps in places to achieve goals
    • Build sustainability by providing a safe environment for teachers to take risks in their e-learning practice
    • Give opportunities for teachers to see it in action to give them a vision of what it looks like in practice
    • Resourcing
    • Provide ongoing support

    This all sounds very good in theory but as I look around my context and at the varied levels of digital capabilities I wonder how is e-maturity possible?  I would be interested to hear from people who have achieved this and the strategies they used to achieve it?

     

     

  • Robyne Selbie (View all users posts) 13 Jun 2015 9:11pm ()

    A neat summary Janine and great questions. You are really exposing some of the issues we face as leaders and how we take the steps required to achieve e-maturity (do we ever get there? ).I would also add relationships to the challenges posted. Collaborative schools are those where conversations are rich and voices are heard but learning to get along together in this environment will need attention by leaders to get the best out of their people.

    I suggest another resource which will give you some ideas too-the Universal Design for Learning is a model used in the Inclusive Education website on TKI which focus is on technology as an enabler to inclusive practices for all students. It is also rich in resources for teachers at all levels of schooling in NZ. It uses 'ramps' for learning as a metaphor as opposed to steps which have to be negotiated.

  • Vanessa Harrold (View all users posts) 18 May 2015 2:06pm ()

    I must admit I hate the phrase "we need to prepare our students for the 21st century and 21st century learning" any child under the age of 16 is ALREADY a 21st century learner... they were born in this century, only know this century, they know no other - we are preparing them for the future not for the 21st century! For these digital natives an iPad, DVD recorder and cellphone are something they need like an arm or a leg, and not something on a wish list. For these kids it is second nature for them to be fluent in the language, capability and range of skills any technological equipment offer them. It is us, the teachers, that are the learners in this field and it is often us, the teachers, that put barriers up for our students in ICT. 

    I believe that knocking out walls and changing physical aspects of classrooms without shifting pedagogy of teachers is wasted money. It is the same with the implementation of ICT and BYOD, without shifting pedagogy all you are doing is providing an expensive array of toys for teachers and students to play with.

    The teacher is still the most important part of ICT and MLE's - its not about having all the flash gear, its about being able to use what you have in the most effective ways to provide better outcomes for your students. ICT is a tool, like a pencil, not as a subject to be learnt, or as the assessment to the learning. ICT and MLE's supports different ways of our learning, thinking, and engages the student in many different ways. But it is the pedagogy of the teacher that makes all the difference.

     

     

     

  • Katie Fisher (View all users posts) 23 May 2015 4:09pm ()

    Vanessa – you have summed up many of my thoughts on the use of digital technologies in schools. One of my own shifts in thinking came when I set a task a few years ago and a student said ‘Can I use my iPod to record that?’ He did – the whole class ended up using their own devices actually. It was a bit messy as I worked through what support I needed to give but it proved a very engaging exercise for the class.

    We teachers must be incredibly flexible and ready to learn in the area of digital technology. However we already have skills and dispositions in our teaching and leading ketes that can apply to ICT. We still listen, observe, and assess, but now we have more immediate ways of accessing information (for the students and for us) and a greater range of creative means for students to demonstrate their learning. We need to be savvy, constantly making connections back to what we want our students to learn (content or process) and helping them move the next stage of their learning.

    While an essential part of modern learning, ICT use is not the be–all and end-all of getting a well-rounded education.

    So back to the Korero questions:

    Of course we need to resource widely and wisely in growing e-learning capacities – these are the tools of now and the future. As for leading this growth, the ‘e-Learning Planning Framework’ is a great place to start, but as part of a wider picture for the development of our children and young people.

  • Megan Bowden (View all users posts) 30 May 2015 5:33pm ()

    So true, Vanessa.  It shows that we must always keep terminology relevant and up with the times.  I wonder what term might become the norm for current learners as we prepare them for the immediate future and also their mid-life.  What might their preferred future and probable future be like?

  • Aaron Kemp (View all users posts) 18 May 2015 4:15pm ()

    Hi Vanessa, I agree that most students are aware of how to use the tools, but does this mean that they know how to use them to be better learners?  Are they aware of the need to be digital citizens?  Some are and some are not so you are 100% right when you state that teacher pedagogy plays a vital part in this development.  Effective teachers are vital to all learning be it 'traditional' or digital - Do I have an AMEN to that?

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