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FORUM: Learning with digital technologies

Started by Tessa Gray 14 Aug 2017 9:38am () Replies (1)

There have been some recent NZ based research reports released on the way leaders, teachers and students are using digital technologies in the classroom and how this is benefiting student learning. Great timing! 

Digital Technologies in Schools 2016-17 report includes a focus on strategic planning, digital tools and the impact on learning, barriers, online safety and stages of adoption for teachers. There is also a section on the impact of digital te reo Māori resources and apps in teaching and learning which shows,

"...a lack of knowledge and/or lack of information about online Māori language
were identified by school principals as being the largest factors that limit schools from using such
resources to support Māori language learning."

A must read for leaders.

Some of the key findings in 2016 NZCER national survey in primary and intermediate schools also make for some more interesting reading and raise further questions which may be valuable points of discussion for school leaders, teachers, policy makers, boards of trustees, and parents/whānau in making ongoing decisions about the integration of digital technologies for learning in schools around New Zealand.

As leaders in schools, you might find this material useful when considering:

  • Whether digital technologies are beneficial to learning
  • How teachers use digital technologies to support teaching and learning
  • Procurement of resources
  • Connections with whānau

Parents and e-learning

The most telling information for me in the infographic was the way digital technologies are being used to inform parents and whānau about their child's achievement in learning. While 82% of parents thought digital technologies were of medium or high importance only 13% they can see or access their child’s assessment results. 

Sam McNeill summarises in his blog post, two key take-aways for him were:

  • Teachers WANT to use digital technologies in ways that are more diverse than research and powerpoint presentations but are not currently doing so
  • Activities like coding, game based learning and makerspace is still very fringe

More useful reflections are also summarised in Sam's post on, Digital Technologies For Learning – What The Research Says.

Coding statisticsThe NZCER infographic indicates 19% of teachers say that coding or programming happens often or sometimes, while 43% would like to see this happen more. In a MLE listserve conversation, Karen Spencer shared the National Survey of Secondary Schools in 2015 had similar findings where:

"Using the Internet for research and developing pieces of written work were the most frequent learning experiences, and probably two of the most well-established uses of digital technology. Least frequent practices were coding or programming and blogging" 

This report also highlighted teachers concerns about using digital technology for learning. 39% of their comments described issues with their school’s provision of digital technology for learning. 28%percent of teachers’ comments identified a need for PLD, and more time, to enable them to embed the use of digital technology in their teaching practice. 

These pieces of research, summary findings and infographics make for some invaluable discussion starters in your school or kura, while the concerns expressed by teachers may warrant some more unpacking - especially around effective pedagogies and shifts required in teacher beliefs and practice. 

Concerns expressed by teachers

How do these numbers stack up in your school, would the responses be similar, different?

What areas concern you most as a leader?

To what extent are digital technologies being accompanied by shifts in teacher practice, that are ultimately having a transformative effect on student learning in your school?

How do these developments align with the new Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko draft curriculum being introduced in schools in 2018?

You might also be interested in other research that has come across on my desk:

Join this group to contribute to discussions.

e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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