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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

  • Robin Fabish (View all users posts) 19 May 2015 6:07am ()

    Thanks for sharing everyone. I guess the idea that is really sticking out for me is that it's not enough to get a whole lot of devices, hook up to the ultra fast broadband network and tell the school community to go for it! All that will do is create greater access to facebook! I remember being in a school where every classroom had a data projector installed - some teachers fully integrated them as learning tools (although I suspect sometimes it was death by powerpoint for the students!) and others only used them to show movies from time to time. Without support and inquiry into how to use this tool, some teachers will not consider the pedagogical implications of new technology. Same is true for e-learning. My reflection from others postings is that everybody needs to contribute and agree to the goal and then explore how these tools can enhance teaching and learning. Otherwise it's like buying thousands of dollars worth of uniform, training gear, balls etc. for a sports team but not investing in a coach who knows how to train teams using the gear. You end of with good looking non-performers who get frustrated and eventually stop turning up to get another thrashing!

  • Margaret Walker (View all users posts) 19 May 2015 9:19am ()

    The e-learning journey is an interesting topic in schools today.  Our school has been on this journey for several years now, however we couldn't really get started properly until the SNUP upgrade in our area.  Prior to that the connections etc just didn't work and ICT was difficult in many areas of the school.  When the SNUP upgrade was completed our DP really started to push elearning.  We got 10 chromebooks in each senior and middle classroom (primary), we started to have regular PD and follow-up PD so we could showcase what was working and what wasn't, we received a lot of support from the DP with our daily annoying issues.  

    The chromebooks really pushed us to have a look at what was available for the students as we didn't want them spending valuable learning time on devices and there being no useful learning.  We very soon found some sites that enabled us to monitor their activity and then we started setting up learning challenges for them.  This was all done collaboratively with much professional discussion about what we wanted the learning to look like.  Before long the students started showing us their favourite sites and we included them.

    The collaborative part of the journey continued when we joined GAFE and gained huge PD by attending the summits (whole staff) and we are a google docs school with all our planning etc on docs shared with the whole staff. Every class has its own blog to share learning and classroom activities and in the senior school each child has their own blog. Our DP who has been driving the elearning journey has become a Google certified teacher. We also have a teacher in charge of IT who is available weekly to help with problems or give suggestions.  

    We still have regular PD and now it is curriculum based so we have LWDT in maths and Literacy PD sessions.  The school has also purchased ipads for use in junior classes and for special needs students.

    Our school has also set up a facebook page for NZ teachers to communicate teaching ideas and find ideas for a variety of classroom activities.

    All of this is huge and exciting but there is  still the question  "What are you doing that is new?" We are challenged to use elearning in different ways not just as word processing or creating slide shows while still trying to 'prepare students for standardised testing' as mentioned above.  At times we try some collaborative learning for the students and it works well but at other times it doesn't and then we are left wondering if we have used classroom time wisely because the testing time is coming up and the students may not be prepared for it.  

    Does assessment need to change or be more aligned with current trends in elearning to support teachers and students in this journey?

  • Wrong Account (View all users posts) 20 May 2015 4:57pm ()

    Kia ora All,

    I find the korero around eLearning quite fascinating as it is so multi-facted. I just thought I'd share some of my own whakaaro.

    Cheryl Doig spoke, (not in these words), in a video post I watched  defining eLearning being about using ICT as a TOOL to enhance teaching and learning programmes and subsequently student outcomes. The word TOOL is the key component for me. Too often do I see teachers using ICT's as a babysitting service to allow the them to focus on other aspects of what is a very busy and challenging profession. While we are living in the digital era and our students are digital natives, I believe that it is essential to acknowledge that there is most definitely a place for high quality teaching to occur on a regular and continued basis. This does not mean that the teacher is the bearer of all knowledge and needs to stand an impart content, but high quality instructional Literacy and Numeracy programmes will ALWAYS have a place in modern classrooms. Does this mean that the teacher becomes more of a facilitator of learning (maybe) but never underestimate the power of a good narrative and the strong impact of a good story. We need to ask ourselves, what is the purpose/vision for introducing eLearning into our organisation? Where is the evidence that eLearning is the best approach for our context? How do we know that this approach will raise achievement for our students (in our context?) What actions will be put in place as we infuse eLearning? How are the students and parents involved in the process? What are the strategic intentions? Where do we start? How do we measure success? etc etc - I suppose what I am inferring, is that it is easy as a school (particularly if finances are available) to try and keep up with the 'jones', but if eLearning is not approached in a pragmatic and measured way, then are we just setting ourselves and and students up to fail? There isn't really any debate that school's need to move with the times and more accurately catch-up and get ahead, but it does takes a village to raise a child, so ensuring that this is approached as a team and is not reliant on the skills or expertise of a couple of key staff is an important aspect of setting up sustainable success. So how do we resource eLaerning most effectively? Start small, do it well and build on that - "Hurry up and slow down" sort of sums it up!

  • Shane Burgess (View all users posts) 20 May 2015 5:48pm ()
    Kia ora All,

    I find the korero around eLearning quite fascinating as it is so multi-facted. I just thought I'd share some of my own whakaaro.

    Cheryl Doig spoke, (not in these words), in a video post I watched  defining eLearning being about using ICT as a TOOL to enhance teaching and learning programmes and subsequently student outcomes. The word TOOL is the key component for me. Too often do I see teachers using ICT's as a babysitting service to allow the them to focus on other aspects of what is a very busy and challenging profession. While we are living in the digital era and our students are digital natives, I believe that it is essential to acknowledge that there is most definitely a place for high quality teaching to occur on a regular and continued basis. This does not mean that the teacher is the bearer of all knowledge and needs to stand an impart content, but high quality instructional Literacy and Numeracy programmes will ALWAYS have a place in modern classrooms. Does this mean that the teacher becomes more of a facilitator of learning (maybe) but never underestimate the power of a good narrative and the strong impact of a good story. We need to ask ourselves, what is the purpose/vision for introducing eLearning into our organisation? Where is the evidence that eLearning is the best approach for our context? How do we know that this approach will raise achievement for our students (in our context?) What actions will be put in place as we infuse eLearning? How are the students and parents involved in the process? What are the strategic intentions? Where do we start? How do we measure success? etc etc - I suppose what I am inferring, is that it is easy as a school (particularly if finances are available) to try and keep up with the 'jones', but if eLearning is not approached in a pragmatic and measured way, then are we just setting ourselves and and students up to fail? There isn't really any debate that school's need to move with the times and more accurately catch-up and get ahead, but it does takes a village to raise a child, so ensuring that this is approached as a team and is not reliant on the skills or expertise of a couple of key staff is an important aspect of setting up sustainable success. So how do we resource eLaerning most effectively? Start small, do it well and build on that - "Hurry up and slow down" sort of sums it up!

  • Tamara (View all users posts) 21 May 2015 5:48am ()

    A question that comes to mind while reading all these rich posts and thinking about my setting;  Do we understand the difference between co-operation and collaboration?  I think of our own setting where devices have been introduced to Y5-Y8 and those classes are device rich with almost a 1-1 ratio.  However I don’t believe enough has been done about the why we have devices in our classes (in our setting anyway).  An example: In a class, all the children were busy researching a topic quietly and then they had to create a slideshow about their findings.   If I consider the following definitions;

    When collaborating, people work together on a shared goal.

    When cooperating, people perform together while working on selfish yet common goals.

    What those students were doing was cooperating and their means of research was internet based.  Students could have been using an article or a book instead of the devices.  Which tells me that as a leadership team there has been not nearly enough on the why and changing pedagogy and mental models around how children should be learning.  Even with all the financial constraints, I think providing the tools is the easy part, it is the purpose that has to be really looked at and revisited and shared understandings developed and deepened within our schools.  

  • Mia (View all users posts) 23 May 2015 9:23am ()

    This has been really interesting reading. The e-Learning aspect of resourcing can be really quite overwhelming. I've been involved in this for the last few years in my school. We've certainly learnt a heap. We started with our e-learning strategic plan, but that was so hard as things kept changing along the way as we were trying to write it! For us, getting the infrastructure in place was essential (an older school with beautiful old buildings brought with it many challenges here)- how much things has changed in 5 years!

    Alongside that, and probably our biggest challenge, has been upskilling and motivating our staff to embrace e-Learning within the classroom. Many have jumped in with excitement and relish, but a number, particulalry those who have the 'technology hates me' or 'I'm hopelss with computers' mindsets have been tricky. We began by asking them what they needed to be able to integrate ICT effectively within their daily programme across the curriculum and then tried to tailor our PD around that. We have had workshops they can opt into, PD opportunities that have suited individuals when they have come up in our region. We have also had little groups 'buddy up' to learn together. It's an ongoing challenge, but we're getting there. We've also worked hard to spread the experts out among the teams in our school.

    Because we are a large school, decisions about devices have been a biggie. We're now trialling BYOD in some classes, with the intention of rolling it out across the school. We've had an outstanding uptake in those classes (about half bringing devices). My biggest advice there is liaise with the community first- do they want this? And have a clear vision in place before jumping in- why are we doing this and why is this good for our learners? Also the decision needs to be made whether it matters what type of device kids bring. We decided it doesn't as long as they meet certain specs and i think that was the best decision we could make.

    Again, I'm totally loving reading about everyone's experiences with e-Learning. Thanks for all your contribituions, food for thought and great ideas!

  • Tracey Hopkins (View all users posts) 23 May 2015 1:21pm ()

    This has been an interesting thread of discussion to follow. In our school we are the second year into 1:1 iPad devices from Years 4 -6 and 1: 5 for the Years 1: 3. The focus on equity drove our programme and was backed up by BOT support, so that the school was able to provide these devices and we knew that all our learners had the same access to the same learning platforms.

    Thank you to Claire for providing the model for strategic planning. The thing that really resonates with me is that ‘the needs of the learner’ are at the centre.  This is the question that teachers and management should always be asking themselves in terms of e-learning or for that matter any learning. How are the needs of the learner going to be  met with the technology offered? Is purchasing a specific app going to improve learning outcomes for the students?  How? Every decision that teachers make when planning curriculum delivery should have this question at the forefront.

    I worry sometimes about the term ‘engagement’ particularly with reference to digital devices. It is exciting to see students engaged and wanting to use the technology – but does engagement necessarily mean learning is happening?  Are we at risk of losing some of the great discussion and interaction times where children had to work together and collaborate, because they have a device in front of them?  I guess the answer to those questions is that this is our job as educators to be able to keep the needs of the learner paramount in all decision making, provide authentic contexts for learning that will engage the students and use the devices in such a way that they offer more not less collaboration.

  • Helen Kennedy (View all users posts) 24 May 2015 7:56am ()

    "I worry sometimes about the term ‘engagement’ particularly with reference to digital devices. It is exciting to see students engaged and wanting to use the technology – but does engagement necessarily mean learning is happening?"  Tracey

    This is the part of your post Tracey that caught my eye.  It is a question that we as practitioners need to keep in the forefront of our minds.  Each week we set learning contracts for the students in literacy and maths.  We make sure that there the learning activities are connected across the curriculum to  inquiry,  various texts, achievement levels, interests of the kids. workshops etc. The apps that are used, and links made to websites are carefully selected so that the kids learning is the main focus. 
     
    We have spent time establishing an environment based on netsafety, becoming savvy with devices and even more so  being responsible learners. However despite all of this there are those students that find it difficult to show or produce evidence of their learning. I am not just talking about focus students either. We have given them the option of using both google drive and learning journals (books).  Each week contracts are upload through 'Hapara' to their  google drive folders. This is done on a Sunday, so the students have time to look ahead if they wish.
     
    Because we are operating a blended environment it is really time consuming when checking the students work.  I delve in an out of google folders and cross check learning journals.  Despite all of this there are still students that look busy but are not completing work.  So Tracey, I love what you said about the term 'engagement' particularly in reference to digital devices.  And yes the kids are excited about using devices, but it concerns me that there are still those that show no student agency.
     
    So I guess I will finish by saying that an avoider is an avoider digital or not!
  • Nicki Harding (View all users posts) 24 May 2015 11:45am ()

    I'd like to say thank you for the information people have posted here. I have found it so helpful. I am currently evaluating our e-learning systems and needs and was struggling a bit to find a place to start. The e-learning framework had been very useful including the surveys.

    The use of technology as a tool for learning has changed dramatically in our school over the last 3 - 4 years. It started with allowing cell phones and changed even more with BYOD. It is not just the students usage that has changed but also the teachers. I have really noticed these changes in the surveys I have been conducting. These changes are crucial to the direction we take and were we put money and resources. The initial stages of the review are really about collecting views from the difference school community groups but from here I also need to keep the schools strategic goals and vision in mind as any decisions about e-learning need to support the direction the school is moving in. In reverse it could also help to develop the strategic goals. 

     

  • Ariana Silao (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2015 8:36pm ()

    I think the e-learning framework is excellent and it was really interesting to look at our results each time, and set goals based on these. We were part of blended e-learning PLD in 2012 and 2013 and the development of an e-learning strategic plan in 2013 was very useful to ensure we knew the direction we were heading in. It was also a useful document for staff to understand that changes in practice will not happen overnight, but that we needed to continue to look for ways to integrate technology into our classroom programmes. I am pleased that we have taken a slower approach in terms of purchasing devices, we needed to ensure our infrastrucutre was secure first and part of this process included being 'snupped', upgrading our wireless capabilities and moving to N4L. We have also spent two years trialling a couple of devices with target students/target groups of learners, and could share issues as a staff and work through them. It is also important for us to consider what our contributing schools use (as we are an intermediate) and also what the local college will use. It can be difficult when we have 4 different primary schools that use different devices and in different ways, but it is exciting because we have students that come to us already with different strengths to share. In terms of resourcing 'widely and wisely' we also have to consider our community and as a decile 2 school, we are aware that as much as many of our families would love to provide their child with a device to bring to school and use at home, however this may not always be possible. In our strategic planning we are mindful of this, and are working with our community and council on ways to address this. For me as a leader, I find this even more of a reason why our students at our school need to be confident digital learners, so they can actively participate in society and so they are given the same opportunities as children from all types of backgrounds. 

  • Helen Newcombe (View all users posts) 24 May 2015 4:15pm ()

    For me to consider the how and why of elearning, I first need to clarify for myself the WHAT. It is learning that is supported through the use of ICTs. Not only using ICT to present information, but to allow students to engage with their learning. Providing opportunities for collaboration and transforming the learning environment. Shifting the emphasis from teaching to learning can create a more interactive and engaging learning environment for teachers and learners. (Shyamal Majumdar - Emerging Trends in ICT for Education & Training) This results in changing the roles of the teacher from a transmitter of knowledge to a facilitator of learning, and changing the roles of the students from a reproducer of knowledge to a producer of knowledge.

    Elearning is important because it helps to create a learner centered environment. Schools need to ensure all students’ needs are being met and ICT can be used to differentiate learning. It can change the way students and teachers interact and encourage collaboration amongst students. Elearning allows teachers to respond flexibly to the needs of students. “Access, extend, transform and share represent key processes by which students learn and become independent learners and self-starters.” (Majumdar)

    The vision for my school is that it will be an inspiring, innovative learning environment. It will provide wide-ranging learning experiences. Elearning is not specifically mentioned as an aspect of this but it fits within the development of the school to meet this vision. Elearning provides the perfect platform for innovative learning environments and a range of learning experiences.

    As a school we are setting up the network capabilities to maximise eLearning. BYOD is being trialled and practises are being well utilized in some departments. The school has made a commitment to financially provide modern ICT provisions. At the moment departments are developing their own practises within the classroom, looking at how ICT can be used to encourage greater collaboration and engagement with the content. It is essential to ensure teachers have the opportunities to improve their skills and develop their pedagogy, so professional development is critical. While reflecting on this korero I looked closely at the Elearning Planning Framework. I think it would be particularly useful to go through the phases as a school and identify the next steps for us. Elearning is not directly linked to the current school goals, although it forms aspects of the action plans. At the moment the school has other priorities and targets. I would like to see more emphasis placed on an elearning goal in 2016 as there is a large financial commitment made to building our physical capabilities. There needs to be a shift in teaching practises and pedagogies to make the most of this financial commitment. I would like to see my school in the Emerging and Extending phases by the end of 2016. We have a strong, technically capable teaching staff, good physical resources, and by the end of 2015, a school network capable fully embracing elearning.

     

     

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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