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Riverdale School's in-class support

Cluster Goal 2

Strong leadership of eLearning

Cluster Goal 3

Teachers and students use ICTs capably, creatively and considerately within authentic learning experiences resulting in higher levels of student

The context

To support and empower the staff teaching in the Junior school to trial new technologies in their classrooms.

The focus

The focus was on experienced teachers who were not digital natives.  To provide in class support that encouraged an openness to try new technologies with the Junior children.

The rationale

  • To empower this group of teachers
  • To meet the needs of our young learners
  • An analysis of our staff survey identified this particular group of adult learners
  • That a willingness to try new things was firmly established but there was a capability gap

What did we do?

As part of our action plan we specifically identified this target group and allocated time and money to the lead teacher to enable support.  The support model we used was one of familiarisation, followed by scaffolded structured trial, concluding with teacher demonstrating new learning with support and then practicing new learning independently with children.  Lyn Ross also provided additional 1 on 1 support which included a skills session and planning for practical application.  There was a follow up component where she visited these classes to offer additional suggestion or further support.

What happened?

  • There was a willingness to engage by staff
  • The model that we used illustrated a deliberate structured support system
  • New learning was being demonstrated
  • Teachers confidence was enhanced allowing them to work with children and enabling them to have some of the tools that they need to problem solve in real time learning

What did we learn?

For this group of learners we realized that incremental scaffolding and structured implementation is necessary to bring about change.  That our teachers as learners learn in a variety of ways, just as children in our class do.  We also learnt to appreciate and capitalize on the willingness in a positive manner rather than viewing lack of individual skills in a deficit model.