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Phil Buchanan - Deputy Principal of Rangitahi College: Some observations:

Some observations:

  • Financial investment is critical to staff development as learning without tools is a waste of time and energy.  Careful selection of ICT tools and appropriate PD has resulted in widespread  use of new tools and growth in staff capability.
  • Staff benefit most from regular scheduled PD, with a mix of (costly) facilitator and locally sourced expertise being important.  Cluster support for the specialist facilitators is VERY helpful for a small schools/small budgets.  Isolated rural schools benefit greatly from extra funding as their isolation is often a barrier to professional collaboration.
  • City schools need to get VC gear because while rural schools lead the way in this area they usually cannot use VC to connect to city schools/clusters and thereby save time and funds.
  • Staff appreciate a range of facilitators and opportunities and given the time do respond to the challenge to ‘grow their game’.  They like to learn new ways of engaging students in learning - it gives them a buzz.
  • It helps to have a Lead teacher enthusiast who can and does make themselves available anytime/anywhere to support staff PD/learning - including on a ‘just-in-time’ basis.  the Lead teacher also needs to be a learner.....
  • ICTs can significantly assist teachers to meet management and student learning goals, where the challenge is met by appropriate support and time.
  • ICTs have enabled staff to communicate more regularly and effectively with whanau regarding their child’s learning/learning needs.  
  • The VLN has opened doors for some staff - and is certainly a source of expertise on a national scale for those who make the time to explore/join Groups
  • I helps to have a Lead teacher (or other person on-site) who has network management capability and a ‘can-do’ attitude - to enable staff to receive on the spot infrastructure issue resolution.  Staff who experience infrastructure problems or software glitches, (or other resourcing hindrances), quickly lose motivation to innovate/use technology.
  • If BOTs see the results of staff learning and PD for themselves, they are more inclined to support investment and PD.
  • Students enjoy teaching teachers ‘how to do it’!  They feel better about themselves and more positive about their own capabilities and future.
  • We all look forward to the UFB roll-out to further reduce the frustrations of lag time, login issues, and the ineffectiveness of some resources (eg e-asTTle).

Rangitahi College staff have been very appreciative of the leadership of the cluster, its principals and co-ordinators.  We believe that the ICT PD programme was a very wise  investment and effective strategy which did achieve the learning and change it aspired to.