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TeKids Reflective Summary 2011

The following is a summary of our TeKids Programme for 2011 for the Mantar Cluster (Milestone 4)

Cluster: 

Year 2 of Cluster programme - Primary Cluster Years 0-8

Cluster Type: 

ICT PD

Context: 

TeKids - Tech Angel type programme designed to identify students with special abilities in ICT and demonstrating leadership skills and provide PD for these students that can then be shared amongst their individual schools to the benefit of all

Aims/Purpose: 

Create a core body of students with the ability and knowledge to teach their peers, teachers and wider community about ICTs that enhance student learning. These students will be part of a wider support network within schools to ensure all staff and students are receiving appropriate up skilling in the use of ICTs and Thinking Tools. This programmes outcomes were aligned to National Goal 1 and consequently to our Cluster goals concerning:

* the ability for these students to transfer their ICT capability to new situations

* students being able to make choices about the most appropriate e-learning tools to use

* KCs being developed through e-learning opportunities and reflected in learning outcomes

Interventions: 

TeKids attend workshops three times per term that are presented by one of the Lead Teachers or the students themselves. The focus has shifted, over the course of this year, from these sessions being lead by teachers, to being delivered by the students themselves. The focus is on a relevant ICT tool, most notably Web 2.0, that can be taught within one session and can be learnt to a level that allows the TeKids to easily introduce and teach this back in their own school. Each school has created their own internal TeKids programme that allows them to ensure the TeKids are given the opportunity to share their new learning and effectively implement ICT and Thinking skills PD in their own schools. Each session has a component of goal setting, instruction, practice, questioning, PMI session feedback and Key Competency reflections  Currently we have used and modified our own model, but will be looking at best practice from a range of other Tech Angel type programmes as the programme is planned and developed for 2012 - this will be part of the Lead Teacher discussions on the variation for this time. This programme has now been in operation for 18 months and a TeKids Celebration evening is planned for the 15 November from 5:30 - 6:30pm. All participating schools, their staff, BOT, TeKids, whanau and wider community have been invited to this event including our National Facilitator. The purpose of this evening is for the students to share their learning through a small presentation and then a rotation of workshops lead by the students. This evening has been planned entirely by the students and they will be the hosts, presenters and 'teachers' on the night. The LTs and Cluster Facilitator are taking a support role only in this evening. Our key aims are to share with their whanau and wider community their successes and learning but to also allow them a leadership opportunity.

Impact: 

The students have made considerable progress across all areas of their goals. Their ability to lead, teach and become more independent with their own learning has become apparent. In one school, the students have been encouraged to maintain their own wiki page which involves independent decision making around content, layout and time spent: Student 1, Student 2 . What has also been very enlightening is the results from our student survey which shows how our Year 3 and up students feel about e-learning and Thinking and how this effects both their learning and their attitude to school. This survey indicates that there is still work to be done in this area, but largely there has been a significantly positive response to the TeKids programme and our Cluster development overall.

Links to reflections: 

The Lead Teachers have made a commitment to reporting on the TeKids Programme via the VLN. Somerset Cres, St James, Kumeroa Hopelands and Terrace End have reflected on the overall success of the TeKids programme as it is implemented within their own schools and how they will make internal changes for 2012.  Reflections on the impact on students in terms of their leadership, learning development and sharing expertise was also explored. 

After each TeKids session, the Lead Teachers met briefly to feedback on the progress of the students and look for next steps. This became a vital part of developing the programme and ensuring it was engaging and relevant for the students. These reflections can be found here: June 13, June 27, August 22, September 5, September 12, September 26

Beyond the tools, KCs and reflections, learning for the TeKids has also included discussion around  Cyber Safety and an awareness for the students of their Digital Footprint:

Classroom Practice: 

Each school has had varying outcomes in terms of the TeKids Programme. This has been dependent on the abilities of the students, time contraints and other school based influences. However, all have reported that this has seen as an increasingly valuable asset to each schools' wider e-Learning strategy. Evidence of this programme and links to school wide practice can be seen on the TeKids wiki.  One of the most successful indicators of both the TeKids programme and the wider Cluster development was the success of many of our schools in the Manawatu Digi Awards. Our Cluster had a strong presence in these Awards, with three of the schools having one or more entries make it to the Finals and a couple of entries winning their categories. Examples of these entries can be seen here.

Conclusions/Next Steps: 

Upon reflection of what has been achieved against our Variation goals, it is apparent that this programme has catered well for two of the five areas we have identified for development Cluster wide as outlined above. By integrating the TeKids programme to effective support students, teachers and the community back in schools, these students are now confident in transferring their ICT skills in a range of settings, a prime model of this being during our TeKids Celebration whereby the students planned, created and conducted an evening celebration to showcase their learning and teach their whanau and community using a range of ICTs. Further, ensuring the students use a PMI reflective summary, as well as a Key Competency survey, at the end of every session, has ensured that we have developed skills that meet our fifth goal within National Goal 1.

However, we are also aware, that although we have begun to develop skills around Cyber Safety, next steps for the TeKids programme in 2012 will be developing an understanding and appreciation of their Digital Footprint and ensuring that becomes a component of ICT use that is developed and implemented in each Cluster school. 

Further, the Lead Teachers have acknowledged that more research is needed around other similar programmes so that pedagogy and practice around our current model can reflect what is working well in other schools/Clusters/educational settings. 

Students need further support in learning how to make appropriate choices aobut the most appropriate e-learning tools to use. Self reflection will also be a part of this process.

The students indicated they would like more connection with their communities such as the TeKids celebration this year. Wider community involvement for these students is a next step for this programme for 2012.