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Minutes of Regional Clusters' meeting - 17 October

Regional Cluster Network meeting

ULearn 17 October 2011

Attendees : Dorothy Burt, Russell Burt, Royce Helm, Keryn Bindon, Charles Newton, Ken Pullar, Chris Jager, Alan Curtis, Darren, Trevor, Warren Hall, Jo Wilson

What’s on Top - Update round up

SCD   (Trevor & Darren)

  • Fairly quiet year, interesting events – earthquakes and change of calendar
  • 3 groups – Project teachers, Project Leaders, Communities of practice
  • Core group of teachers who are self sustaining – making progress with Principals is more difficult – some very switched on but others are more reluctant
  • project teacher group has gone very well, face to face days and online
  • leadership strand is real focus and has been an emphasis this year.
  • Looking at sustainability for 2012, consolidating

 

OtagoNet & DunedinNet

Ken Pullar

  • Focus on building Communities of Practice across the region, mixed success, success has been fairly heavily sponsored by the project,
  • Having success – but this has been heavily supported by cluster
  • Looking to develop further online communities of practice - need to move them to setting their own agenda and being more self directed and taking real ownership
  • Developing / growing communities of online teachers – synergies where we can do as much as we can together, looking to build a single community of e-teachers, re-aligning NCEA has been a big driver for getting people in
  • Looking at the next phase of UFB  - proactively putting this together, developing Education Hub, PLD
  • OtagoNet seems stronger, has been running longer, rural schools, not competing for students
  • Centrally funded PLD is drying up, great desire to move firmly into this space

 

AIMHI  (Chris Jager)

  • 8 secondary schools of an existing cluster – advantage and disadvantage of this - mainly an advantage, but they have traditional ways of interacting that they are finding hard to break at times, difficulty in getting them to work in a blended way as they meet together face to face regularly. This will be a focus for 2012
  • key focus is eAsttLe
  • each school has added its own flavour to the goals
  • Changes occurring in schools – eg. one school has turned tutor time into a targetted writing time based on easTTle data
  • 5 of the schools will be on UFB by July 2012 –great to think that is occurring more quickly than anticipated, we will be able to harness this capability. (Russell Burt & co had been part of a discussion around this it turns out)
  • 5/8 to be on ultrafast broadband by July

Connected (Keryn & Royce)

  • Pre-existing relationships are both a strength and weakness
  • Consolidating as this is our second year
  • Associate schools are now onboard – 25 schools in total (350 teachers if they all came at once), so the cluster structure has changed – secondary, primary, rural, urban
  • Development of ‘ lonely people groups.’ These have developed from cluster open meetings
  • open meetings have been a real strength 
  • ability to share experiences and people are beginning to do it for themselves. Still some people that want lots of hand holding
  •  
  • Challenge – how much work do we do for these groups?
  • Sustainability for 2012
  • Impact of UFB – we are finding a difference in the action research projects / capability between the schools that have fibre and those who do not.
  • Frustrated by the lack of information in regard to the roll out of fibre in Hamilton
  • WEL Energy is now the Hamilton provider
  • What is the tipping point – 350 teachers, 25 schools?
    • how do we ensure communication?
    • How do we sustain this without additional findings

 

NEAL Cluster (Alan)

  • NEAL education trust largely run by principals, has a slot at every north shore principals meeting
  • 3 key things
    • Andrew Cowie – he has driven so much in terms of PLD. Brought schools together to do so much more
    • Launch of our Neale cluster website, copied GCSN website.
    • Recent development of HarbourNet – video conferencing capacity, My Portfolio
    • NEXPO – invited schools to bring students to show what the benefits of using ICTs has been
    • Sustainability – retaining Andrew through  cluster school contribtion
    • UFB – 60 schools on fibre (Edunet - Vector & GTX)
    • ISP connects you to the internet, RSP includes ISP and adds in retails products and services. Fibre that is being laid is open fibre so that schools can now go shopping for a provider.

 

 

Nelson Loop (Charles)

  • The schools who currently have fibre have not been considered in the roll out
  • Biggest issue – MED and MoE are not working together.
  • Local fibre companies are on a different agenda to local schools – where are the guidelines for schools?
  • Super Loop meeting on 29 November. Key item – What is the minimum requirement that schools should be expecting as part of the RSP package?
  • Concern – schools approaching RSP until they know what they want / need. Schools may well sign up for stuff that is not going to meet their needs
  • Existing loops may not connect to the schools coming on to the new fibre – need a tame RSP that will transport the school to a drop off point
  • Impression that it was equal costs between urban and rural – but while they start out the same the costs rapidly escalate for rural schools.
  • Key cluster focus –
    • Leadership. Nelson Marlborough Principals trip to Wellington – to visit best practice schools. This was very successful and has generated a huge shift in thinking and practice. Key messages –don’t have to be a techie but understand the big picture, think strategically and take ownership of process.
    • Sustainability
      • Development of online resources
      • Survey for schools to identify capability and areas of need for 2012
  • Dave & Carla, Alannah are great team – willing to share resources

Manakalani (Dorothy & Russell)

  • A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes with Crowne Fibre Holdings
    • Identified schools where fibre was really close
    • Identified issue of equity
    • Worth schools going to Crowne Fibre Holdings directly if they are close to where the fibre is
    • 25% of community now covered with wireless
    • transport Auckland owned by power pole and have permission now to run wireless on them too
    • need money for next 75% of build
    • always on connection for schools

 

  • 650 netbooks across 23 classes on a 1-1 basis. 
    • 350 at Point England
    • operating environment for netbooks and wireless has been done free of charge by community group
    • about a 10% fail rate on payments, mostly not repetitive
    • kids did original imaging
    • had to form a trust to meet MoE legal requirements (schools cannot charge for access to curriculum)
    • google teacher dashboard is working well, parent portal and teacher planning under development
    • stationary went down to 5 or ten dollars per year
    • convinced that every device should be the same
    • Issue with PLD allocation for future – how does this support sustainability
      • Minister provided a facilitator and researcher about October 2010
      • no strategy for the actual cost and method of delivery of education, all of us doing things state doesn't resource and in some cases doesn't allow
      • changed pedagogy with teachers (learn, create, share) 3-4 years ago. they are now use to working in public space, can lock some things down in google sites if needed though.
        • classes run off of google sites, finding having all subject levels in one site is good as it allows exploration. now seeing what other teachers are doing, allows for inter-discimplanry work
        • has taken the confrontation out of the teaching
        • math is a concern, teaching in same way on one to one device, need to get resource banks
        • kids do not need to wait now, hours of schooling have been extended
        • talked to Auckland uni services, stuart norton is supervising, coleen gleeson is doing it on her own this year, mai lai wants to see it from a technologist aspect and hope to be able to pick that up next year. schooling improvement goals this year. written up in summer holidays  student engagement, testing academic outcomes in english. video observations and data collected from easttle. 
        • College have two lots of technical staff, school and manaiakalani

 

Sustainability

8 key factors of sustainability  (Fullan, 2005)

•Moral purpose
•Commitment
•Capacity building
•Accountability
•Deep Learning
•Commitment
•Energy
Long lever of leadership

Discussion themes

Can eLearning team / Te Toi Tupu work across boundaries?

  • Relationship with the Regional MoE – conversations to assist with Manakalani, Tamaki Education Plan

Government foci – raising student achievement for students who are not achieving / meeting standards, particularly targeted at Maori and Pasifika 

  • Maori students
    • maori for maori medium (10%)
    • maori in english medium (90%)  
    • Pasifika
    •  Special education needs
    • leadership/assessment/literacy /numeracy /e-learning /languages (Maori in Eng medium /junior science /NZC/TmoA (co document to NZC if you want to be considered to be dealing with Maori properly, local involvement and graduate profile
    • outcomes based
    • improved outcomes via new tech and new pedagogies

Teacher release days will be a thing of the past

  • look to develop networks while you have the funding to develop these
  • embedded PLD for and with the network for schools

Examples of best practice – models

      Keeping in touch – VLN, VC meetings?

      Leadership driving awareness of changing opportunities and pedagogies

Ultrafast Broadband

  • Super Loop meeting on 29 November. Key item – What is the minimum requirement that schools should be expecting as part of the RSP package?
  • The schools who currently have fibre have not been considered in the roll out
  • Biggest issue – MED and MoE are not working together.
  • Local fibre companies are on a different agenda to local schools – where are the guidelines for schools?
  • Concern – schools approaching RSP until they know what they want / need. Schools may well sign up for stuff that is not going to meet their needs
  • Existing loops may not connect to the schools coming on to the new fibre – need a tame RSP that will transport the school to a drop off point
  • Impression that it was equal costs between urban and rural – but while they start out the same the costs rapidly escalate for rural schools.
  • SuperLoop Meeting 29 November
  • what is the min requirement that a school should expect from an RSP?
  • Russell  - UFB connect to what? interconnect to? KAREN?
  • broadband by request, equity issue, is fibre close?