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Bridging the Gap ICTPD Cluster Reflection April 2011

Title: Bridging the Gap ICTPD Cluster Reflection April 2011

Year level: Two

Cluster type: Traditional

The Context: Lead Teacher Professional Learning to achieve outcomes for Cluster Goal 2

National Goal 2: Increase capability of teachers and principals to improve students' learning and achievement through e-learning;

Bridging the Gap Goal 2: Increase teacher knowledge and expertise in raising student achievement through effective e-learning.

Success Criteria: Evidence will show that:

- Teachers are using a wide variety of ICT products and processes aligned to specific learning outcomes (SOLO Taxonomy) in their learning, planning, teaching and or assessment.
- Teachers are displaying clear learning intentions and students able to articulate learning outcome goals and success criteria for their learning, (SOLO Taxonomy).
- Students are using a wide variety of ICT products and processes aligned to specific learning outcomes in their learning (SOLO Taxonomy).

Research model used:
Guskey's Professional Development Assessment Model was used to determine the effects and effectiveness of BTG Lead Teacher activities designed to enhance the professional knowledge and skills of lead teachers so that they might improve the learning of students. Reflective questions developed at five increasing levels of sophistication:

• Participants' reactions to professional development
• How much participants learn
• Evaluating organizational support and change
• How participants use their new knowledge and skills
• Improvement in student learning

Refer: Thomas R Guskey Evaluating Professional Development 2000 Corwin Press

The Focus:
What was important for us?
Learning how to live well and learn well with technology is a key focus for the BTG Cluster.
Our three key cluster questions are

• What is needed to learn how to "live well" and to learn how to "learn well"?

• What are the conditions of value in teaching and learning that will support these learning experiences?

• How might e-learning enhance or betray these conditions of value

We use SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs and Collis 1982) as our common model of learning outcomes

The Rationale:
Why was this important?

Effective pedagogies avoid charges of technological determinism.

Cluster Goal #2 focuses on learning how to learn well with technology through purposeful acts of teaching that use technology to target explicit learning outcomes.

Identifying ways in which e-learning both enhances and betrays SOLO Taxonomy Multistructural learning outcomes will help teachers be more effective in enhancing student learning outcomes.

What did we do?

Refer: BTG Lead Teacher day 5 Agenda and Reports on BTG Wikispace

and BTG Lead Teacher day 6 Agenda and Reports on BTG Wikispace

What happened as a result?
Impact on students/teachers/whanau


HOT Guskey PL BTG Lead Teachers Reflective Questionnaire

BTG Lead Teacher Days Survey Monkey Survey

BTG Cluster Evidence for VLN Reflection

What did we learn?

The BTG Lead Teachers reaction to professional learning was positive. They found the lead teacher days most enjoyable, considered their time well spent, believed the communication about the program was sufficient, and felt the learning would be useful.

The BTG Lead Teachers learnt much from the days. They found the other lead teachers to be knowledgeable and helpful and gained much new learning from the professional readings and resources provided. Waterlea teachers identified the following new learning from the lead teacher days on Jane Sharpe's VLN message board

- Given us direction so that the whole school is moving in a similar direction
- Given us the tools to be able to support our teams
- Reviewed our strategic plan
- Exposed us to websites and software that we may not have been aware of
- Time to talk and reflect on what we are doing and what our next steps are
- Interesting finding out what the other schools in our cluster are doing.

In evaluating organisational support and change lead teachers identified that the implementation of e-learning was advocated, facilitated and supported in cluster schools. For example Sheryl Wright reflects on the development of a strategic plan at from Royal Oak Intermediate.

Furthermore participants are using their new knowledge and skills in many ways.  Cluster schools have developed policy on enhancing student learning outcomes, e-learning, digital citizenship and/or e-competencies as a consequence of the Lead Teacher days.

Lead teachers overwhelmingly agree that they are using their new knowledge and skills effectively, and can detail many ways in which this is being put into practice. For example Al-Madinah, Waterlea and Jean Batten teachers reflect on how they are using new e-learning. New learning is being used and shared widely within and across schools. Lead teachers believe the workshops have altered the ways in which they approach e-learning.

It is harder to determine if these changes in learning and pedagogy have enhanced student learning outcomes but anecdotal evidence supports claims of greater ability of students to monitor and self regulate their learning. For example refer Milestone3 Evidence pages Al-Madinah, Waterlea School , Royal Oak Intermediate School and Jean Batten School

What are our next steps?
1.  PL Focus on e-learning to enhance SOLO relational outcomes: BTG Lead Teacher Meeting #6: Thursday 26 May 2011

2.  PL Focus on e-learning to enhance SOLO extended abstract outcomes:
BTG Lead Teacher Meeting #7 Thursday 25 August 2011

External links

• Links to your actual reflection -
BTG Lead Teacher Meeting #5 - Agenda and Reports on BTG Wikispace

BTG Cluster VLN Reflection Evidence

BTG Cluster VLN Reflection Survey

• Links to classroom practice

Al-Madinah School ms_3 Evidence

Waterlea School ms_3 Evidence

Royal Oak Intermediate School ms_3 Evidence

Jean Batten School ms_3 Evidence




  • Jo Wilson

    Pam - thanks for sharing this reflection as this provides a valuable insight into the ongoing professional development of teachers in the Bridging the Gap Cluster. I wonder if you could add an additional comment in regard to the section Impact on Students/Teachers & Whanau and What did we Learn as this will provide further explanation to those who may just choose to read the summary.

  • Pam Hook

    Fret not about missing anything Jo - The BTG Reflection on the VLN is a mock up - something I created to see what was possible within the site architecture and to show possibilities to principals and lead teachers at our lead teacher (26th May) and principals (19th May) meetings this term.

    Currently the page has no content apart from the framework I created - it is a Clayton's reflection.

    The cluster needs to discuss what we are happy to put online (on the VLN) before we launch anything - for all the reasons discussed at the previous principals meeting you attended last year - so I created this page for discussion around possible format and context. A copy is sitting on the BTG wiki for those who haven't been bold enough to explore the VLN.

    If the principals and lead teachers are happy with both format and context I can make it our official reflection -

    I have also created a HOT Guskey PL BTG Lead Teachers Reflective Questionnaire to go with it and I will get the lead teachers to respond to this - and then I can populate the VLN page with a summary of the responses - then I will add metadata, tagging etc to make it official and discoverable by others.

    If they do not approve we will have to start over and create something that better suits the content of what the cluster wants to share online on the VLN.


  • Jo Wilson


    Sounds like a plan - will look forward to seeing the completed product


  • Jo Wilson


    Thank you for sharing this reflection from the Bridging the Gap Cluster in regard to their professional learning and development programme implementation and progress. There is no disputing the evidence you have provided  - great to see this being captured from such a wide range of mediums. I am looking forward to my next visit as your cluster programme is having significant impact on teacher and student learning.

  • Pam Hook

    Thanks Jo,
    Rothenberg, suggests that we should try to make sense of data from many different sources in much the same way we appreciate a pointillist painting by George Seurat  - "looking at one dot is no fun; taking them all in can be rewarding".

    It was a personal challenge to provide many different ways of looking at what was going on - so I am dead chuffed you have noted this and enjoyed the various evidence provided. Guskey's framework certainly helps when looking at the types of outcomes to seek evidence for.

    Another useful resource for lead teachers is A Tertiary Practitioners Guide to Collecting Evidence of Learner Benefit Report prepared by Anne Alkema For Ako Aotearoa. Published by: Ako Aotearoa - The National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence www.akoaotearoa.ac.nz ISBN 978-0-473-18402-5 (print) ISBN 978-0-473-18403-2 (online) JANUARY 2011


  • Pam Hook

    RE: You have a new comment on your item "Bridging the Gap ICTPD Cluster Reflection April 2011" from Lyn Ross. It reads:
    "Why was this important? - Effective pedagogies avoid charges of
    technological determinism."
    I didn't understand this and really lost my way after that. Sorry.

    Hi Lyn - Your question seems to have disappeared - but it is a good one - and the answer sits at the core of what I believe about e-learning so I will do my best to answer it.

    Jens Pedersen has a clear explanation of technological deterministic thinking in the context of education. It is all about believing that e-learning/ICT/technology in classrooms is a causal agent - (a silver bullet if you like )that causes enhanced student achievement/learning outcomes.

    Refer Technological determinism and the school Jens Pedersen Journal of Educational Enquiry, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2001 http://www.ojs.unisa.edu.au/index.php/EDEQ/article/viewFile/565/435

    In this context it is important to read something like Juan Cristobal Cobo Romani's monograph on the e-competencies which has a detailed comparative summary of the research literature on elearning and achievement (Strategies to Promote the Development of E-competencies in the Next Generation of Professionals: European and International Trends No. 13 November 2009).

    Like many others who have looked for evidence of causality his research fails to find any reliable or valid evidence for a causal relationship between the two. This is in part responsible for him looking at a different way to use ICTs in education - aka e-competencies.

    If you want a new Zealand researchers take on the same thing try Noeline Wright's

    "There is an international doxa about e-Learning's inherent benefits to learners. It masks a relatively small amount of actual evidence about its relationship to improved educational and life chances for students."

    Refer e-Learning and implications for New Zealand schools: a literature review Noeline Wright July 2010 http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/ict/77614/1

    If a causal relationship cannot be determined then it behoves us as educators to avoid deterministic approaches to technology in the ICTPD cluster. In the BTG Cluster we first identify the desired learning outcome (using SOLO) and then see if we have the pedagogical content knowledge and strategies to help students achieve/learn. Technology or ICTs is/are seen as strategies to help students achieve a desired goal.

    We focus on the learning outcome - not the technology. Teachers talk about effective pedagogies - asking whether their students learning will be advantaged by using ICTs to bring in ideas (SOLO multistructural learning outcomes), link ideas (SOLO relational learning outcomes) and or to look at linked ideas in a new way (SOLO extended abstract learning outcomes). Sometimes the decision is made to use ICTs sometimes e-learning is seen to be unnecessarily complicate or slow down a learning task and it is not used. Thus a focus on effective pedagogies avoids charges of technological determinism

    I will paste some of the detail from Cobo Romani's findings below - it is well worth reading the whole article

    "1.4 Analysis of the results in the category: ‘Use and Learning Performance'

    Considering that the use of ICT in education has been a priority in most European countries for at least a decade, the impact has been irregular and inconsistent. If the relationship described in Table 5 between ‘use of ICT' and ‘learning performance' is not clear enough, it is necessary to identify the causes that affect the accomplishment of higher learning achievements. The lack of evident correlation does not prove that a relationship exists at all. It could not be confirmed that students' learning through technologies was nil or minimal. However the collected results do not seem to be clear enough to identify which aspects relating to the adoption and use of the technologies contributes to improvement in the learning process.

    The impact-evaluation studies find that the time spent using the computer at school is not associated with better performance of the learners. However, one of the successful practices mentioned in the research identifies that the impact of ICT use is highly dependent on the teaching approaches. A recommendation made in these studies is: better ICT training for teachers in order to improve their pedagogical strategies and methods to embed the technology. In addition, a successful incorporation of ICTs demands a sound transformation in the educational organisation; a change in the workplace, a new learning environment and the incorporation of informal learning settings are some of the things that need to be strengthened. Interestingly, the self- learning and informal peer- learning are described as one of the most significant approaches for obtaining ICT skills.

    Despite the increasing adoption and demand for ICTs in education, there are very few systematic studies and ‘hard data' about the impact of technologies on learning achievement. The reasons for this lack of information could be due to the methodological challenge that these sort of evaluations imply. Some of the causes that constitute this methodological challenge include: the significant length of the learning process, the diversity of the learning outcomes, the variety of locations where the learning process takes place and a proficient comprehension of the role of ICT in the classroom.

    Considering that the positive impact of ICT use in education has not been proven consistently, the question of future impact still remains open. More nationwide micro-studies are needed to explore the extent to which, for individual students, certain kinds of computer usage raise performance, and which kinds are most effective. What seems to be clear is the necessity of designing better strategies in terms of public policy and pedagogical approach, as well as a different understanding of the impact of ICTs and use of ICTs in order to train a more e-competent generation of students and teachers."