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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.”

image

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

  • Lara Nemet (View all users posts) 08 Oct 2015 11:00pm ()

    The readings and posts have been very informative and there are lots of different ideas in how e-learning looks in schools. As stated ‘Best practice e-learning enables accessible, relevant, and high-quality learning opportunities that improve student engagement and achievement.’

    We are currently working on a strategic plan. We have a teacher in charge of Technology (Expert) who has a day release to work with teachers, teacher aides and students as well as technical requirements around the school.  In 2014 we undertook the MOE initiative so have wireless UFB. This year we purchased ipads for use in classes throughout the school and chrome books to replace our netbooks. This is only the start of resourcing e-learning in our school. We use google docs and the Hapara Dashboard with our students. Students in Years 3 to 6 have gmail accounts.

    I came across this example of an e-learning model in a VLN post ‘The Golden Circle’ (Ormiston Senior College). I think this model encompasses how all learning can take place in schools and can be applied when leading anything. It is important that your vision is explored extensively. It is central to what you believe, is an aspiration and is a challenge.  The model looks at what you do, why you do it and how do you do it. At our school we are this stage of making sure our vision is central to everything we do.

  • Geoff Childs (View all users posts) 12 Oct 2015 4:35pm ()

    Hi Lara

    Your school is obviously approaching this in a planned and strategic manner. How has the introduction of i Pads and chromebooks gone? Is there anything you would recommend schools thinking of doing the same  take into account as a result if your school's experience?

  • Tracey Arthurs (View all users posts) 15 Oct 2015 9:16pm ()

    Like many other contributors, we too started reviewing our practices using the eLP Framework; developing an actual understanding of what our strengths and needs are (rather than based on what we think is good for us). Initial outcomes have been :

    1. Inviting teachers from each team to join the e-learning co-ordinator; so they are no longer one-person doing-it-all. This co-ordinated effort has allowed the EL-coordinator more time to explore and play on our behalf, with a shared load, the ownership of direction for e-learning has also been spread across the school, rather than isolated pockets, or a top-down model. This has created a bigger buzz and more of us are sharing successes and problem solving together.

    2. Moving to using google-docs has really changed the way we collaborate; and communicate and share school information with each other. We started with shared gmail accounts for classes and are preparing to move to individual student accounts next.

    Next year e-learning will be the major professional learning focus (rather than the supporting act) with a focus through good practice; on the pedagogy, not the technology. 

     

     

     

  • Denise Johnson (View all users posts) 19 Oct 2015 4:34pm ()

    Google docs certainly opens up whole new ways of communicating I agree Tracy. 

    If you haven’t already done so  - this link is well worth reading - Poor technology leadership is usually just poor leadership  If you are part of the leadership journey of developing a vision for your school regarding e-Learning then Scott McLeod’s statements provide a good benchmark to measure yourself against.  Quite a challenging article to read and reflect on.

     

    As we build our school vision and discuss what is happening with BYOD for us, one point that we are debating in the staffroom is what guidance do we give parents as to what devices we would like the children to have. For all those who have just been to the uLearn conference, you will probably be like our colleague who is really excited about the potential that the ipads have, and as a result this really generated the discussion as some parents want the heads up as to what to purchase for their child. However as a Year 7 & 8 teacher I am also aware of some our feeder schools (beginning next year) with it being compulsory for Yr 9s to have a certain type of BYOD. So I’d be keen to have some feedback as to how primary schools have managed this debate and what feedback those of you from secondary schools can give.

     
  • Katie Macfarlane (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2015 11:09am ()

    Hi Tracey - I like that your school has put a team of teachers around the e-learning coordinator. Having had some regular discussion with our e-Learning lead teacher it seems important that these people's skills are harnessed for what they can do to support pedagogy and classroom practice around e-Learning. There is a danger of e-Learning roles to end up being more 'tech-support' than curriculum/teaching and learning.

  • Tony Sears (View all users posts) 31 Oct 2015 2:46pm ()

    We are in the process of initiating a couple of BYOD classes for 2016, one at year 7 and one at year 9. It has been a challenging but exciting journey to get to the point where we are nearly ready to do this. 

    One key aspect is making sure that the infrastructure is robust. By this I mean that there is a good wireless network. This year our school has had lots of connectivity issues. We were N4L'ed and SNUP'ed this year and we also moved to having an outside provider maintaining our network and computers. This has not all been plain sailing and at times I know many of our teachers have been frustrated by connectivity problems. As schools become increasingly reliant on computers, networks, wireless, access from home etc. when things go wrong it can really ruin your lesson or programme. There is a temptation to revert to previous ways because there is less that can go wrong.

    It is essential that staff have networks that are reliable and easily restored when outages occur. There is nothing more frustrating than encouraging staff to leap the digital divide only to have them lose confidence in the infrastructure they need to use the resources effectively.

    Schools are often at the mercy of a couple of IT people who manage these networks. It seems to me that there needs to be good systems set up to future-proof this knowledge. It can be disconcerting when someone who understands the network leaves and someone else takes over. Often techies are loath to share their knowledge, probably believing a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I guess it is essential that processes etc are documented carefully to ensure smooth transitions if someone critical is leaving.

      

  • Penny Kinsella (View all users posts) 31 Oct 2015 5:07pm ()

    What Tony wrote really resonates. This year has had a huge focus on making sure we are ready with the infrastructure that will make teacher and student use of IT in teaching and learning as seamless as possible. SNUP played games with our wireless that has led our IT team on a merry dance. For them, it was a real plus that I was trialling aspects of the Office 365 suite in my own teaching. I was able to identify (and communicate) any network issues as well as issues using computer labs and students using laptops from our bookable COWS.

     

    Seeing how OneNote ClassNotebook worked  was a real highlight as I got to collaborate with other teachers in my Learning Area - That's not always easy for a senior manager! I could work with student frustrations like login problems, slow synching, access from home, creating and saving work, and collaborating effectively. As well I could support the other teachers in my collaborative group with any of their problems.

     

    I have been able to use my learning to develop tools for other teachers to see and use - for example I created a Class Notebook for appraisal.  Before you say anything, I know there is a Staff Notebook but I haven't learned to do that yet! Being in a senior management position puts me a great place to share with other teachers as a fellow practitioner!

  • Alistair Luke (View all users posts) 09 Nov 2015 8:03pm ()

    I agree with the comment about the importance of reliable infrastructure. Teachers who already feel vulnerable about exploring a new approach to teaching and learning can easily become disheartened and revert to type. I'm also interested in schools that are implementing BYOD classes. Do students opt into these? How do we ensure equitable opportunity to access this style of learning?

  • SarahGibbs (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2015 9:05pm ()

    As someone who has been an instigator in digital development in the schools i have taught in and a driver for BYOD in my current school one of the big things i have learnt is that parents need just as much support if not more than the students.

    With our first generations of BYOD students it has become clear through community survey that the parents of these students need support in working out what is 'acceptable' and what is not. As teachers it is our responsibility to ensure the technology being used is indeed the best tool at the time and to ensure we are monitoring screen time etc however for parents this is new and somewhat scary to them. Children pick up the skills quickly and are much more flexible with transferring skills connected to technology use but parents are not so much.

    We introduced BYOD this year in a steady manner. It took half the year to really have it running but there were no secrets from the parents of the Year 5 classes involved and we all agreed that it was a learning curve for us all. The very limited negative feedback (3 parents out of 42 survey replies) were from parents who did not attend any of the parent sessions we had run since last year. (they were in breach of the parent responsibility agreement they had signed which was actually created collectively with parents and students in term one as part of a homework exercise). The general concern from parents overall was the likelihood of BYOD continuing into the Year 6 classes which of course it will be.

    Some staff are really ready for it and are looking forward to the challenges and learning that will go with it all however professional learning and support are going to be required for others.

    In a digital age I am still worried by teachers who think they don't need to understand or use technology. If our job is to prepare students for the future then surely we need to prepare ourselves to be skilled in doing so. This can be daunting for some staff but with support and opportunity it is not impossible however where there is no willingness or a tendency to put their head in the sand and ignore it all, this creates a whole raft of problems. Being anxious, nervous and worried is normal and can be worked through but refusing to acknowledge or be open to the idea cripples student learning and preparation.

    I am looking forward to seeing the growth and development our students and staff will have with BYOD next year and also in developing systems, support and programmes to help our parents and community understand how it all fits into education as well as what they can do at home - how to parent with devices. 

    This really is an area where parents and school need to work together closely and openly and a great opportunity to develop strong relationships and community in a school - something i embrace fully!

  • SarahGibbs (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2015 9:29pm ()
  • SarahGibbs (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2015 9:33pm ()

    And this little gem to support teachers with using devices in the classroom - very short with some good ideas to capture real learning and real learning processes.

    https://www.teachersolutions.com.au/resources/teaching-strategies/keeping-them-busy-or-keeping-them-challenged

  • Sharelle Donaldson (View all users posts) 17 Nov 2015 9:11pm ()

    Thanks Sara for your great little clip on Keeping them busy or keeping them intellectually challenged.  I will be sharing this at a meeting.  Asking who is working the hardest, is a question I had asked to myself  We want our children to think deeply and not surface level.  We want to make sure the working is purposeful and not for children to be kept busy.

  • David Stephenson (View all users posts) 20 Nov 2015 5:16pm ()

    Hi everyone

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Unfortunately I am coming to this conversation long after everyone else has left it. It has been great reading through everyone's posts and comments and following the links.

    In particular I have just viewed the "Going Digital" stories of Orewa College, Hornby High School and Tamaki College, which have given me lots of food for thought.

    I teach at Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School, which has children from age 4-18 years. We do not have any ICTs in our kindergarten and primary school as we believe that the natural development that children go through during these years is strengthened by experiences which focus on physical activity and creative hand's-on tasks which call on the full range of a child's senses and involve their head, heart and hands - and that ICT tends to narrow down and reduce the possibilities for full and rich development. Some primary school students with special learning needs are able to use a computer where this is considered to be an effective support for their learning.

    Below is a link to an article from the New York Times in 2011, entitled "A Silicon Valley School That Doesn't Compute", which looks at why many parents involved in the high tech industries of Silicon Valley choose to send their children to a Steiner school which does not use these technologies in their primary school classrooms.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?_r=0

    Another article from the Washington Post in 2012, entitled "High tech vs no tech", gives some of the rationale for why Steiner Schools do not use information and communication technologies with children below the age of 13 years.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/high-tech-vs-no-tech-dc-area-schools-take-opposite-approaches-to-education/2012/05/12/gIQAv6YFLU_story.html

    Information and communication technologies are used in Steiner secondary schools, because the emergence of  the capacity for independent thinking and judgement in young people after puberty means they can begin to use these technologies in an appropriate way to support their learning. 

    I am in full agreement with the model which says that the first and most important step in employing ICT in the educational process is to ask the question, "how will this technology enhance the learning of the students?" This is a very big question in a Steiner school where the overriding pedagogical aim is to provide a well rounded education where the capacities relating to head, heart and hand are equally well nurtured by a balanced curriculum that is rich in a wide range of subjects and activities.

    So "why do I think NZ schools need to resource widely and wisely in growing e-learning capacities"  - well I would put the emphasis on the wisely as I believe that as we move into an increasingly technological future  it is vitally important that we keep asking the question - is our pedagogy supporting all aspects of the developing child in a balanced way?  - or in other words, watch out for how much time our students are sitting in front of screens manipulating information compared to singing, acting, dancing, performing, playing games and sports, drawing or painting, crafting beautiful objects with their hands, hands-on experimenting in the lab, presenting learning to classmates and parents, engaging in whole class discussions, planning cultural events, tramping through the bush, climbing mountains or canoeing down rivers ....

    Kia ora

    David

  • Steve Conroy (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2015 11:18pm ()

     

    It has been a privilege to be able to read the thoughts of others and reflect on these ideas.

    Having the confidence to place ourselves in the positon of a learner (in ICT) is a powerful role-modelling tool and can also add to the expertise in the school – well done Penny. However, I agree with Tony, that it is super important that the infrastructure supports the process. Like our students, staff can become de-motivated to persevere if they are losing valuable teaching time with substandard hardware.

    I really like Sarah’s link to the article on “keeping them challenged and the “stretchers”. It reminds me of one of the modern philosophies of sports coaching – players should be training at 105% - a little new learning, or more than the previous session.

    And I would like to add my thoughts to David’s passage. We need to be preparing the students for life that will be unpredictable and challenging (as well as rewarding, exhilarating, satisfying). What are the abilities that will guide them through each step of their lives? Where are these learned? How can these be compromised?

    I have been working with a group through the NAPP process. In the previous meeting I mentioned that I did not meet them as frequently in term 3 as I had felt guilty, in a busy term, taking their time off them by face to face meetings; and wondered if online communication would be better. They responded that online communication lacked the deep learning and understanding that face-to-face meetings embodied; and well as the opportunity to have some “adult-time” (away from students!), and people laughing and speaking from the heart.

    I hope these social learning opportunities; human connection opportunities; opinion sculpting opportunities are not lost in the rush to join the BYOD wave.

     

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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