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Reflection on TeKids Programme

Year level: Primary

Cluster type: Traditional ICT PD Cluster

National Goal: Students to become successful digital citizens

Cluster Goal: Students empowered with the skills to learn in a way that enables them to become life-long, 21st Century learners.

Intentions

The intent of the TeKids programme is to:

  • raise student achievement across the curriculum emphasising the key competencies
  • actively provide opportunities for students to teach others and build their leadership capacity
  • up-skill students directly in ICTs
  • embed new learning within an inquiry framework
  • enhance the student’s ability to critically reflect on their competency and practice

Interventions

The students created their own job description to assist in developing a deeper understanding of their roles and the expected outcomes for this initiative. http://mantartekids.wikispaces.com/Action+Plan They also developed a wikispace that was linked to the Mantar Cluster main site: http://mantartekids.wikispaces.com/home  The purpose for this was to show case events within individual schools and provide a forum that can ultimately be used for communication and support between TeKids and a wider audience.  Each school’s TeKids are responsible for maintaining and updating the site. 

Reflection from the TeKids Programme in 2010 lead the Lead Teachers to develop a more robust programme that maintained consistency from one session to the next. TeKids meet three times a term so it was felt that the ongoing development for the students would be more sound if a template for each session was developed and followed regardless of who was leading each session. This included an Action Plan and a session layout: https://mantar.wikispaces.com/TeKids+Week+3
This has ensured that all Lead Teachers are aware of the upcoming programme (all lesson plans are to be posted to the Mantar wiki the week before the session) and consistency of standard of sessions is maintained.  

Despite using a ‘PMI’ for the TeKids to evaluate each session, we became frustrated with the lack of depth in the responses we were receiving from the students. Often their focus was on the equipment and any technical difficulties they may have encountered during the session. We felt that the sessions need to ensure a deeper level of thinking and reflection by the students to ensure they had a sound pedagogical understanding of the task and that the sessions were not just ‘play time’ with little long term benefit for the Cluster as a whole. From this we developed a two fold approach to critical reflection on the sessions. Firstly students are required to complete an online ‘Group Reflection’ survey based around the Key Competencies. Students are given time at the end of each session to reflect on what their group did well as well as future focuses: http://mantartekids.wikispaces.com/Session+Group+Reflections   
The responses to this survey is automatically fed back onto the wiki page underneath the survey.

Secondly, as a whole group, the students are asked to complete a PMI on how the session went for them. This has now had a stronger base with time spent teaching the students how to make reflective comments. This has seen a definite shift in the language used and depth of responses gained from the students.  Lead Teachers meet after every TeKids session to discuss the students responses to both of these reflective practices which helps inform decisions about the next session.

Each school has chosen a different direction for their TeKids once they return to school. This choice is based around the abilities of the individual students, school wide needs and other events occurring within that school or community. Many schools have chosen to run regular workshops and this appears to be one of the most effective ways of students sharing their new knowledge. Two of our schools have also run the ‘Computers In Homes’ Programme and one of these schools go their TeKids to run a session for this Programme. Schools are now integrating ICTs into assemblies and using TeKids as trouble shooters and support personnel across a range of these and other initiatives.

Impact on students/teachers/whanau

We are still very much in the infancy of this programme however there has been noticeable impact throughout the cluster.

  • Already we can see an increase in our TeKids’ ability to provide reflective feedback, lead and teach others, and work co-operatively in group situations.
  • To date we have been pleased with the development of the programme and the immediate impact it is having within our schools.
  • TeKids are taking an active role in up-skilling other (students, teachers and the wider community) which means an additional support structure for Lead Teachers who are also facing large workloads in classrooms.
  • The students have been developing new skills and expertise in using ICTs within an Inquiry framework, but are now sharing this knowledge readily amongst their own communities.
  • Teachers and students have more opportunity to participate in workshops or have additional support than they would receive by just a Lead Teacher alone.
  • We have had some change in children attending this session from one school as some students found the level of commitment difficult to maintain given other commitments they already had within their own school.

Next Steps


Students are still developing skills in leadership and ICTs and there is much still to learn and change.

  • We have committed to sending our TeKids to the Lytton Street School Student Led Conference in July to develop further skills in leadership and ICTs.
  • Two of our schools (Kumeroa-Hopelands and Terrace End) have students presenting at this conference, a vital link in their development
  • Gather more student voice prompting students with some black and yellow hat thinking and questions. What does TeKids mean to you? How are you finding it so far? How do you feel about the programme? What would you like to see happening?
  • Time scheduled for lead teachers to share, unpack and see and how the TeKids programme is being implemented within the cluster schools.
  • Follow-up on the outcomes of the student voice data, summarise, discuss and forward any recommendation to the cluster management.
  • Formalise our professional reflections and consistently record in a shared online space.
  • Look at recognised students as teachers programmes including the Wellington Girls College Tech Angels programme, and GENYes.