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Reflective Summary Milestone 3

Reflections

What was important for us?

It is important for us to look at ways in which Casebrook and Papanui can work together to ensure that students coming from Casebrook to Papanui have a smooth transition with regard to ICT.
We want to develop links with parents to ensure that they are part of the learning process.
We want to develop effective use of ICT to aid teaching and learning.
To train staff to use ICT tools that will aid student teaching and learning.

What did we do?

Our progress during term 1 was hampered by the Earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks. We had a Teacher Only Day planned for mid March that had to be cancelled due to the Earthquake and subsequent site sharing. This was going to be a big focus for our year as it was an opportunity for us to deliver some meaningful PD as well as cement relationships which had developed last year with Casebrook. There have, however, been regular meetings between the two schools to ensure that we are both still on track and heading in the same direction.
Staff within each school meet weekly to discuss the program and the progress to date. To aide students to become successful digital citizens we have written an on-line course that all students will complete over the next two terms. All teachers now have an ICT goal as part of their appraisal process and staff are beginning to investigate ways in which they can integrate ICT into their teaching and learning. We have also been working on improving our Moodle site and are offering staff PD on its use. Linked to this is our parental portal which allows parents to access their child's attendance and assessment data. This is part of a process to try to involve parents more in the teaching and learning process. All teachers have a MyPortfolio account, where they are recording their ICT goal and their Registered Teacher Criteria information, as well as using them to collaborate on teaching and learning. We are also running a trial Digi Class. These students have access to a laptop 24/7. The teachers of this class meet every week to discuss their teaching and learning and the ways in which they can use the technology.
PD to date has been offered as part of our PD programme. At least half of all PD sessions in the school are related to ICT. In addition to this we have run some half day and whole day sessions for the Digi Class teachers.

What happened as a result?

Due to the Earthquake we are a bit behind on where we would like to be, but we feel that we have caught up a lot of ground and are well placed for the rest of the year. We have completed a lot of ground work with regard to infrastructure etc. which will help us in the coming terms. Some of our priorities had to change immediately post Earthquake and the Site Sharing has added other obstacles and restraints. For instance, we have not really been able to run any half day PD sessions as staff are reluctant to miss classes to attend as they feel that they need to make up for lost time. Also we can not hold them on-site after school as we do not have access to enough computer rooms and resources. Our Digital Citizenship course is all ready to go and staff are excited about the opportunities this will open up for students, as part of the programme is introducing all students to papNEt (Moodle), Google Apps and MyPortfolio. This is due to start after Queen’s Birthday Weekend.  Staff have had several PD sessions on MyPortfolio and are now confident to use it. Several teachers have now begun to use it with their classes. We have had very positive feedback from parents regarding the Parental Portal and this is about to be rolled out to all parents. The Digi Class is going well. The staff and students involved have all made progress with regard to their ICT skills.

What have we learned?

The Earthquake made us realise and appreciate the power of ICT. It also made us take stock of where all our information was held and how we used the resources and technology. We have also learnt that staff and students are very resilient and adaptable and that in many cases priorities have changed. We are looking to build and develop our papNET site so that staff and students can make the most of the opportunities that this may bring. From working with parents on the Parental Portal we have learnt that parents are keen to be involved in their student’s learning. Staff have enjoyed developing their MyPortfolio’s. We introduced these to staff by allowing them to use them for a use that was relevant to them and one which hopefully made their life easier. In our case teachers are recording their ICT goals and their Registered Teacher Criteria evidence. By using examples that they can relate to it has helped them to see its potential and how they may be used with students. Our Digi Class trial is going well, but this too is teaching us a whole new range of skills and is opening our eyes to what it may be like if students have access to technology 24/7.

Next Steps:

Our next steps are to complete the Digital Citizenship course with all our students. We also plan to continue to develop our papNET site and find ways in which it can be used effectively for teaching and learning. Staff will continue to use MyPortfolio for their personal use and hopefully more and more teachers will begin to introduce them to their students. With regard to the Digi Class our next step is to ensure that we are making the most out of the opportunity that this trial is offering to us and to begin to spread some of the lessons learned to the rest of the cluster.