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PLG (Professional Learning Groups) and the challenges of engaging teachers

What was important for us?

To create a platform that allowed teachers to share subject specific technology tools, across the three schools in our cluster: Mountainview High School, Roncalli College and Mt Hutt College. Our 2010 cluster is based in South Canterbury.


Why was this important?

To get real change in the learning process, aided by ICT, it was obvious to us that change needed to occur at the ‘classroom’/teacher and student level. By providing release time across the cluster our subject specific professional learning groups were able to meet, share resources and trial ICT tools, we felt this helped to promote ICT rich, pedagogical opportunities for students.


What did we do?

We scheduled a series of Professional development opportunities for faculty areas. Each of these days was designed collaboratively to meet the needs of the specific group of teachers who were meeting. (We used our wiki to collect ideas and plan each day in a collaborative way - https://mrmict.wikispaces.com/)

What happened, as a result?

We held one day for each faculty area – Maths, Science, English, Social Sciences, The Arts, Technology, Languages and Learning Support
- the following is a list of positives and things that made it difficult, these came from the evaluation collection we did at the end of each day.  The questions we asked as part of our evaluation were…

1. What is one thing that you learned or learned about today?

2. What is one thing covered today that you will take back and utilise in your teaching?

3. Please indicate one area of technology that you would like to receive further training/opportunity in.

4. Please rate how well you think this day was organised
(Please circle one)

Poorly Organised        1          2          3          4          5          Well Organised

5. Overall, how satisfied were you with the quality of this course? (Please circle one)

Not Satisfied   1          2          3          4          5          Highly Satisfied

6. Other Comments…..

(Note: See http://mrmict.wikispaces.com/file/view/PLC+DAYFEEDBACK+SUMMARY+2011.pdf for a summary of evaluation data and comments)

BENEFITS SUMMARY: great conversations, excellent ideas for integrating into lessons, great opportunity to see the different systems different schools

CHALLENGES SUMMARY: travel from our cluster schools made logistics difficult, some schools block certain content, teachers tend to be at very different stages in terms of ICT which meant a one size fits all day frustrated some, school infrastructures (lack of wireless access) made things difficult for hands on learning.

Each of these days has documented the ideas/tools that teachers can return to when they need to – we felt this was important so that teachers have somewhere to refer to when they have time.

(https://mrmict.wikispaces.com/Arts+ICT+PD+Day+2011, https://mrmict.wikispaces.com/Technology+ICT+PD+Day, https://mrmict.wikispaces.com/Pathways+%26+LSC+Day+2011, https://mrmict.wikispaces.com/PE-Health+Tech+Day+2011, https://mrmict.wikispaces.com/ESOL-Languages+PLC+Tech+Day+2011, https://mrmict.wikispaces.com/English+ICT+PD+day+20th+September+2011, https://mrmict.wikispaces.com/Social+Science+ICT+PD+Day+2011)


What are our next steps?

Review the efficacy of PLG Days – we will do this with the lead teachers from each school, as part of our end of year review – taking the evaluation data to inform our plan going forward.  The current thinking is that we need to build into our PLG mechanism the ability to respond to individual teacher needs.

Ensure the sustainability and embedding of ideas/tools into teacher’s pedagogical approach, by having good support systems within each of our cluster schools, by growing the 1:1 culture of teacher helping teacher within our schools through regular release time for every individual teacher.

Who are we? The MRM ICT PD Cluster comprises Mountainview High School, Roncalli College and Mt Hutt College.
Where: South Canterbury ICT-PD Cohort: 2010

MRM Cluster

MRM Cluster

ICT PD Cluster of Mt Hutt College, Mountainview High School and Roncalli College