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Ashhurst School's Techie Breckies

Cluster Goal 3

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

The context

  • Starting in Term One of 2011, Ashhurst School introduced ‘Techie Breckies'.
  • These are small weekly sessions that focus on the technical side of ICT (how to use programs, software,
  • video cameras etc).
  • The weekly sessions run on a Thursday morning from 7:45 - 8:15.

The focus

  • To share knowledge of ICT and to help guide and assist the different knowledge levels and abilities of staff.
  • To cater for individual needs and abilities.

The rationale

  • To give guidance and more confidence to teachers who need assistance within particular areas of ICT.
  • To further extend the abilities of teachers who have competent skills and knowledge in ICT.

What did we do?

  • At the beginning of the year, all of the staff completed a survey on what they felt were their biggest needs around the use of ICT within their classroom. We found that there was a range of different needs, and there was a reasonable gap between teachers who were very advanced in ICT, and teachers who needed a lot of assistance. Therefore doing P.D. sessions with all the staff around one ICT area was not going to be the most effective.
  • Running small sessions that were focused according to teachers particular needs would be more beneficial.
  • Every week, during our staff meeting (on Tuesday morning), the focus of the Techie Breckie is shared with the staff (for example, the session could be "adding more widgets to your blog").
  • Teachers decide whether they need help and assistance with this focus, and they write their names down on a laminated card if they want to attend the Thursday morning session.
  • During the Thursday morning Techie Breckie session, teachers come along with laptops - ideas are given via the projector about the particular focus, then it is a practical time for the teachers to try out the ideas.
  • Often a couple of the more competent teachers join the meeting to give 1-1 assistance if needed.
  • At the end of the meeting, there is a chance for the teachers to give ideas on what else they need help with - which will often be the focus for the following week.
  • We thought it was important to further the skills of the more competent ICT teachers also. Because of this, there are also Techie Breckie sessions that more experienced and confident teachers in ICT can attend.
  • During these sessions, teachers learn new ideas for practical use in their classrooms. It is more of a ‘sharing' session than a ‘teaching' session.

What happened?

  • The Techie Breckie sessions are on going. However so far, the teachers who have attended the sessions have felt more confident and comfortable enough to give things a go.
  •  The teachers who need assistance say that half their problem is making the time to practice ICT skills, and the Techie Breckie sessions are a good time to do this.
  • In the future, we would like students to come along to some of these meetings and be assistants/share their knowledge.

What did we learn?

  • Again, these sessions will be continued throughout the year, and teachers will learn different things according to their needs.
  • We learnt that to be able to confidently use an aspect of ICT (such as blog widgets, using imovie etc), you need to practice it on your own.
  • Having regular time set aside to do this definitely helps.