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Goal 5: Sharing online professional reflections - Guidelines for Clusters

The ‘online professional reflection’ is a summary of an aspect(s) of your work that you would like to share with your peers and wider educational community.

These summaries are designed to be part of your ongoing reflective practice. As you reflect on progress throughout the year towards your goal(s), you will collate and capture the evidence of your progress, as you would normally do.

Most schools and clusters have their own systems in place for regular self-review, inquiry into practice and knowledge building. We want you to use that inquiry framework in your summaries to show how you are working towards your programme goals. These will be succinct, suitable for the web and your peers, housed in the Virtual Learning Network and also accessible and searchable through other MoE online spaces.

  1. What should the summary/ies be about?
  2. What should the summary/ies look like?
  3. I still can’t imagine it....Got any examples?
  4. Why are we doing this?
  5. What might we include?
  6. What tools should we use - and how will they be shared?
  7. OK, we’re ready to get going. How might we develop these?
  8. How will we know if we have achieved this goal?
  9. How often do we have to contribute a summary?
  10. How does this link up with our existing practice?

1. What should these summaries be about?

  • Profile ONE aspect of your work per summary that is central to your e-learning journey - a success story, progress towards a national goal, something you are developing...
  • Choose an aspect of interest and value to other schools/clusters, the audience is not you - would you want to read or watch it?

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2. What should it look like?

  • Your audience is your peers in other schools.
  • Brief, concise and web-friendly - a succinct summary. Avoid too much scrolling, jargon, dense explanation. Keep videos down to 2-3 minutes.
  • The summary will provide others with a snapshot of the context of your work with the intended aims, outcomes and next steps. You might wish to provide links to other sites or embed items in your summary.
  • Choose a format that will engage other people and help them understand your story e.g. video presentation, written summary with images, multi-media, podcast...The summary can be developed in any tool/site but it should be uploaded/embedded in the VLN.
  • Make sure images/video/audio are of good quality and that you own the copyright to all material you use (check Terms and Conditions on the VLN).

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3. I still can’t imagine it....Got any examples?

Here is a selection as a starting point:

Manaiakalani Cluster:

  • /pg/resources/dorothyjburt/read/55632/may-2011-cluster-programme-goal-b
  • This summary is well structured and written for web with good use of headings, paragraphs and bullets. It provides a thorough overview of progress towards the cluster outcome. Direct links are made out to ongoing reflections that are an embedded part of the cluster’s evidence based and reflective practice.

Pukekohe Cluster:

GCSN Cluster:

Dunedin City Rise:

Get creative!...

  • iTeam Tauranga captured and shared their professional reflections through a media rich online space in a MyPortfolio collection.
  • Digital Daze 2.0 asked all principals the same questions to unpack progress towards a cluster goal and shared these insights through their reflective summary.
  • Eastern Block eLearning provided a clear overview of their cluster’s actions towards sharing professional reflections using an online presentation tool
  • The Port Hills Cluster captured authentic teacher voice reflections in their reflective summary using Voicethread.
  • Use video, such as in this resource from the iConnect cluster, to capture teacher/principal/student/whanau voice.

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4. Why are we doing this?

ICT PD is now part of a national e-learning ’e-cosystem’ called Enabling e-Learning, aimed at supporting all schools to develop the way they use ICTs to enhance learning. Here’s how the reflective summaries work as part of that system.

  • To reflect on, capture and share the important aspects of our work within the ICT-PD programme and beyond, informing educators and policy makers of best practice and the opportunities and challenges involved in e-learning.
  • To work together nationally to build a searchable bank of e-learning resources for us all to share and learn from.
  • To celebrate and showcase what we are doing for ourselves, our communities and our peers across the country.
  • To model ways in which technology can enhance and extend our professional development.

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5. What might we include?

You could include...

  • The context: year level? cluster type? context/situation?
  • The focus: the programme goal? What is your summary about?
  • The rationale: your intentions? why did you choose this? What evidence informed your decision-making? How did you hope to improve student learning?
  • What did you do? - research model used? interventions? summary of the actions that made a difference? classroom practice and inquiry process?
  • What happened? - what results did you get? What was the impact on your students/teachers/whānau? How successful do you think you were (use the self-review framework here)? What worked well?
  • What did you learn?
  • Next steps? What will you work on next? What would you change?
  • Refer to the VLN Reflective Summary Checklist for more details.

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6. What tools should we use - and how will they be shared?

  • Your cluster leader needs to make sure your cluster has a dedicated group on the Virtual Learning Network (VLN): / . For support doing this, go to /pg/groups/25604/getting-started-on-the-vln/
  • Your summary will be uploaded to your cluster’s Group resources in the VLN using the Upload a Resource tool, so you can tag it. You may include links to other sites/resources elsewhere online that you have used as part of your programme.
  • Refer to the screen capture below and the video, How to upload an ICTPD online reflective summary.

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7. OK, we’re ready to get going. How might we develop these?

  • Work with your national facilitator to select the focus and to quality assure the summary during its development and at the end.
  • Develop a plan of what you might want to show in your summary/ies, and how/when you will produce it.
  • Peer review in your cluster group.

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8. How will we know if we have achieved this goal?

Your summary will be complete when it has been:

  • Through a peer review process (to assure the quality of content and presentation)
  • Reviewed against the VLN Reflective Summary Checklist provided to support quality assurance
  • Approved by your cluster team and the facilitator.
  • Uploaded to the VLN (using the Resource tool in your cluster’s group), tagged, and permissions set to ‘public’.

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9. How often do we need to contribute?

  • As part of each milestone report, clusters are required to upload at least one summary. The number and frequency of summaries will be negotiated with the national facilitator (e.g. Cluster A might upload one summary with each milestone; Cluster B might upload a mid-year summary on progress, and a full one at the end of the year)
  • If you have provided a summary for the VLN on one of the National Goals, you will not be expected to comment elsewhere on this in the milestone reporting process.

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10. How does this link up with our existing practice?

Your reflective summaries have relevance beyond the milestone reporting process, aligning themselves to what we know best about teacher professional learning and development. They:

  • focus on making links between professional learning activities, teaching activities and valued student outcomes
  • align the knowledge and skills developed to effective pedagogy and practice
  • describe how teachers are integrating theory into practice
  • recognise areas of need in relation to current knowledge
  • support what teachers need to know in order to promote student learning
  • encourage teachers, schools and clusters to develop self-regulatory skills
  • describe multiple approaches and opportunities for teachers to develop and integrate new learning into practice
  • outline how school leadership are organising, participating in and leading learning.

Reflective summaries can be used to inform the strategic and professional learning direction of your school through:

  • identifying successful professional learning practice
  • clarifying next steps in elearning development and infrastructure
  • reviewing annual and strategic goals and indicators
  • informed reporting to Boards of Trustees
  • complimenting existing self-review and monitoring procedures

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