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Leading e-learning at Papatoetoe Central

E-wrapper cluster VLN Template 2012 

National Goal 2

Principals to lead the integration of e-learning in their schools (strategic and operational)

Cluster Goal 2

To enhance the capability of school leadership to implement ICT strategic planning.

 

  • What was important for us?

To ensure all teachers improved their competency in using the technologies available to them. 

To ensure as much as possible that students’ exposure to the use of the newly purchased technologies was equitable. 

We were aware that students could have one year in a classroom with a teacher whose pedagogy was strong in elearning and then the following year there was the possibility of a very limited elearning component in the teaching programme despite all classrooms having the same resources. This also meant that expensive technology tools were lying idle in some instances. 

  • What did we do?

After purchasing mimios for all classrooms over a two year period, professional development in using mimio was initially provided by external facilitators for all teaching staff.   This year new teachers, 3 beginning teachers, were also able to have the external professional development to help them get started with their mimio. 

Ongoing professional development for mimio was also provided on a weekly basis by one of our classroom teachers who was also an ICT contract eleader, this qualified as a playground duty for the eleader.   These mini workshops were provided during a different break time each week so everyone had the opportunity to make use of them.  Teachers were encouraged at staff meetings, via messages in our daysheet and by email to bring their problems, queries and ‘it won’t work’ issues to these workshops.  

We set an expectation that the sharing of ideas in using the mimio was a component of the weekly year group team meeting.  Teachers were also encouraged to share at our weekly staff meeting.

Other technologies were addressed by contracting an independent ICT facilitator, Stuart Hale, to work with teachers in small group situations.  We provided this professional development for specific teachers who had been identified by the ICT eleaders, as well as self selected, as requiring more support to use new technologies in their classrooms including cameras, imovie, and the recently purchased software, ComicLife.  Teachers were released for this professional development which involved 2 teachers with similar needs for a 45 minute  session.  Towards the end of the year this professional development moved into classrooms to include groups of students, the classroom teacher and another teacher released.

Whole staff professional development was provided in photography and Comiclife.

We provided support to ensure all technical issues were resolved as quickly as possible.  Teachers accessed an online computer log to register any technical problems they were experiencing.  These problems were addressed on a daily basis where possible and on a weekly basis if an IT expert was required.   

  • What happened, as a result?The teachers initially targeted for mimio support made huge gains in their ability to incorporate mimio into their daily teaching and learning programmes.  In some case they became the ‘go to’ people for their team.     

Although teachers were initially selected for this process, it evolved so that teachers were volunteering for the opportunity. 

All teachers would now consider teaching without their mimio unacceptable. The resistance to mimio that some teachers demonstrated in the beginning has been completely overcome.

  •  What have we learned?

We have learned that an expectation needs to be established in terms of using technological equipment provided and in conjunction with this expectation, a programme of support that includes a variety of approaches as well as a culture of sharing fostered.

We have learned that like all learners teachers are on a continuum in their willingness and abilities with technologies but with the right approach and sufficient time change in teaching practice does take place.  

  •  What are our next steps?

Our next steps are to use a similar professional development model to support the introduction of ipads.  Each classroom has 2/3 ipads as of term 2 this year. 

Ongoing provision of professional development for new teachers (PRTs).

To focus on an inquiry approach using the technologies we have available.