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May/Nov 2011, May 2012: Cluster Programme Goal B

Outcome B:

Teachers who have developed evaluative capacity, professional knowledge and pedagogical understandings to create a digital age learning environment

To teach in this way they will have:

  1. a pedagogical eLearning framework 
  2. personal capacity to use the digital tools required for TMP
  3. participated in a professional learning community 
  4. collaborated with others in the cluster and wider teaching community 
  5. participated in training the parent community 
  6. prepared for and managing the class Netbook roll out 
NB: Context for this resource is provided in this 2011 reflective summary here...

To meet the goals above the teachers have/are

  1. Simplified our elearning framework developed for Literacy to "Learn. Create. Share." This emcompasses more subject areas and more year levels
  2. Most of them spent much of the Christmas holidays preparing for their 1:1 classes, particularly upskilling themselves in the use of a netbook, managing and accessing the Cloud environment, and exploring Web 2 tools and content websites they could anticipate using this year.
  3. All have been willing particpants in the professional learning community we have created around the netbook teachers and contribute and collaborate much more than they did in the analogue teaching environment of the past.
  4. Collaborating with others has become a way of life - and a survival technique.  Whether it is with a buddy class in the same school, teachers across the cluster or tapping into the experience of the global 1:1 network, we are seeing daily evidence of this occuring.
  5. All our teachers have been involved with the parent community through the netbook roll out process.  Supporting our parents as they paid deposits, signed direct debit forms and asked a myriad of questions has required the full participation of all teachers.  the second half of this year will see the parent training groups begin.
  6. Preparing for and managing the class Netbook roll out has required a lot of flexibility, and in some cases patience, as every technical challenge possible was encountered in the early weeks, and sometimes in the same class! Teachers did their best to prepare, but most said that it wasn't until the netbooks were actually in place in their classrooms that it came together for them. All the teachers put in huge hours in the early weeks in particular to ensure the students experienced a successful learning environment.

*Update: November 2011*

Teachers are now preparing for 2012 and basing their decisions and planning on their learnings from this pilot year.

Learn, Create, Share has been a powerful way of learning for many students - ensuring the focus stays on the learning and not the tools.

Most teachers have recognised that having a Google Site, combined with the Teacher Dashboard, has created a very efficient and effective managed learning environment.

Teachers are collaborating in designing their Google Sites for 2012, learning from the work of their colleagues and helping those who have struggled either technically or conceptionally.

Teachers are working with Hapara to develop Google Site templates for teacher planning and for assessment to trial in 2012.

Teachers have presented at a number of conferences in New Zealand this year including; Learning at School, Learning Network NZ, ULearn, Cognition Symposium, Magpie Cluster and eDuCamps.  They have also presented overseas including; Sydney, Columbia - Ohio, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, CapeTown.

As well as developing personal skills required to support students using netbooks, many teachers have taken the time to learn repair skills to solve minor issues on the fly.

Our annual cluster Film Festival, held at the Extreme screen, continues to challenge our teachers to upskill in order to support their students making movies that will screen in the most unforgiving environment - the largest screen in the southern hemisphere with "10,000 watts driving a state of the art Dolby 8 Channel surround EX sound system".  And with a small amount of pd, colleagial support and good will they rise to the challenge!  See here for more about that...

*Update: May 2012*

2012 has begun with a very interesting divide growing between those who are in their first year of teaching a 1:1 class and those who are in their second year.  This is further complicated by the students falling into those two groups also.  We have greated this info graphic to display the spread of our current teachers and students. Each X represents a teacher in our cluster:

image

Supporting evidence for this

Is available through the lengthy feedback documented online.  This information has been contributed by the netbook teachers, and to really get a feel for the process they should be read in chronological order.

*Update: November 2011*

More Ladders, Fewer Snakes- Research published by NZ Institute
Ed Gazette- Article about one teacher's experience
 

*Update: May 2012*

Key lessons for the cluster

These have been well spelled out by the teachers in the links above:
  • Be extremely well planned
  • At the beginning be prepared with a Plan B, Plan C and Plan D
  • Know who and where your support people are
  • Be prepared to sacrifice a week or two of teaching and learning best practices (eg micro teaching) at the beginning to embed very strong routines.  The rewards will come when you return to your teaching and learning practices because the studemts will be confident and independant.
  • Personal and powerful involvement by the principal in the first day of a netbook class makes a huge positive difference

*Update: November 2011*

An old wives tale "it doesn't matter what the teacher knows (about IT), the kids can do it" is very disempowering if the 1:1 teacher embraces it.  The faster the teacher learns alongside the kids - as a life long learner -the more confident and assured teaching in this environment becomes

Good teachers in the analogue world quickly become good teachers in the digital.  Teachers who were struggling in the analogue world bring their issues with them to the new environment.

Teachers can and do change very quickly as they connect with the pedagogy of the Manaiakalani Project

These comments from the evaluation report of classroom observations in term 3:

  • Depending on the lesson, a blend of micro teaching and whole class teaching can to be implemented, along with teacher movement around the room to ensure on task behavior.
  • The Google Sites have become the teachers’ daily/weekly plans, they are shared with students who can become co-constructors of the planning. This significant change in pedagogy has led to more learning talk from the teacher, rather than instructional talk, and more self motivation and responsibility shown by students.
  • More development of these Sites would be beneficial and a review of teacher planning is necessary to ensure that teachers are not duplicating planning to fulfill school requirements.
  • Some teachers are becoming more creative in the tasks they are setting. Many ideas and links are being provided through the professional development programme and these ideas could be more widely implemented to enhance lessons.
  • As the novelty of having netbooks passes, most teachers tend to think  more about the relevant teaching and learning rather than the need to teach the technology and use of netbooks.
  • It is necessary for teachers to be part of any instruction given to students, they need to know as much if not more than students and make use of all professional development provided.

*Update: May 2012*

Next steps towards achieving the cluster goal/s

Recording the processes we have been through in this pilot phase are very important as we are already looking to 2012 when all the Year 5-13 classes in our cluster will be 1:1 classes. Some experiences we do not need to repeat if we document carefully and plan to improve. 
Many of the teachers have been exploring different approaches to learning and teaching and our next step is to begin aligning these and identifying best practice approaches and documenting them. Some of this will be further informed by student outcomes, feedback and test results.
Emerging issues
In the latest feedback session the teachers identified that because the students are achieving more (in terms of quantity and quality) using a netbook, there is increasing demands on them for planning and for interacting with the students over their work.  While teachers and students appreciate the opportunities afforded by the ability to have threaded conversations on a document at any time of day or night, they still want the opportunity to have regular face to face connection with each student as they conference their work.
From there we were reminded that good teachers always faced this dilemna (ie never having enough time to extensively conference with students) when they were working with pencil and paper.

*Update: November 2011*

We have trialled employing tertaiary students to work as Manaiakalani teacher aides this half year to assist teachers meeting the challenge described above.  We have specifically targetted tertiary students for a number of reasons:

  1. They have the academic ability to be able to conference with older students who are waiting for F2F help with a piece of writing and give them next steps and feedback.
  2. By employing local students we are providing role models to our children of people who go on to tertiary education
  3. We are providing part time work for our own ex-pupils who are at tertiary training.
This has proved very successful and we have secured funding to extend the trial into the first semester next year across all our schools.
 
Evaluator's comment from classroom observation in term 3:
  • Information literacy skills and the key competencies are very relevant to the pedagogy being used in this project. Explicit teaching of these skills is necessary for students to achieve successfully.
  • Policies and procedures for safety and digital usage issues need to be developed across the cluster.
  • A programme for teaching digital citizenship needs to be developed. The facilitators are working on the initial stages of this development.

*Update: May 2012*

Anecdotal evidence

"Teachers who have developed evaluative capacity, professional knowledge and pedagogical understandings to create a digital age learning environment"
One of the teachers in our cluster, Helen King, was awarded the GCT - Google Certified Teacher at a Google Teacher Academy held in Sydney in the April holidays.
She has already brought a lot of knowledge and understandings to our cluster as a result of this.
 
Embedded below is her winning application to Google:
 

 

*Update: November 2011*

Across the cluster the teachers have been using Google Sites to create a digital age learning environment.  Some examples can be seen here:

Year 5 Pt England School

Year 5 Panmure Bridge

Year 5 Beginning teacher

Year 6 Pt England School

Year 10 Science

Year 10 English

Year 10 Graphics

  ULearn 11

A number of our cluster members presented at ULearn this Year 2011:

  1. Spotlight presentation: The Manaiakalani Project.  How can we make 1:1 learning, connectivity and digital citizenship available for all New Zealanders? At a time when the NZ Government is rolling out ultra-fast broadband across the country, we need those with vision and insight, who are firmly grounded in the primary goals of education, to lead us in understanding how this might all impact on the lives of those in our schools – on the outcomes for our learners. 
  2. Andrea Tele'a and Janine Tito- PENN and television in school
  3. Sarah Gleeson - St Pius X
  4. Colleen Gleeson - Research
  5. Helen King and Helen Squires - Implementing 1:1 project in Year 5 classes
  6. Jenny She -Web 2 tools with Year 2
  7. Dorothy Burt -Blogging: a possibility for everyone (Lessons from the classroom)
  8. Dorothy Burt and Kent Somerville -Apple sMACdown

*Update: May 2012*

Manaiakalani

Manaiakalani

Growing the mindware as we transform Tamaki: living local, learning global.