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Reflective Summary Miller Ave

The context

Teachers from a variety of levels (Year 1-13) and schools (primary, full primary and special) across the cluster gathered for a Teacher Only Day focusing on Inquiry.  The Inquiry aspect was covered by Dr Jeni Wilson (Associate of the University of Melbourne)   with the rest of the days ‘breakout’ sessions being delivered by teachers and friends of the cluster.  The context of the breakouts was ‘real stuff’ that was happening in classrooms and schools cluster wide. The breakouts were provided by a wide range of people from the cluster and covered a wide range of topics.

The Focus

The focus of the breakout supplied by Miller Ave was on using Mimio Interactive Systems in classrooms. It was an ‘inspiration’ session aimed at getting teachers to try something new. It was never intended as a “How To” although attendees were supplied with access to the “How To” after the session.  It was purely an inspirational and motivational breakout.

This relates to cluster goal of

  • Develop confidence and competence of teachers and principals in ICT literacies  

And the National Goals of

  • National Programme Goal 2. Increase capability of teachers and principals to improve students’ learning and achievement through e-learning
  • National Programme Goal 3. Strengthen professional learning communities and increased collaboration within and across schools

The Rationale

INTENTION

To motivate teachers to try something new, and show them what can be done.

WHY?

Mimios are currently in multiple schools (Miller Ave, Netherton, Paeroa Central and St Josephs) throughout the cluster and are on the ‘wish list’ of others.  The ones that are currently in the cluster are being used to varying degrees from hardly used to  only using downloaded content right through to ‘Can’t live without’.

EVIDENCE

Timperley (Teacher professional learning and development  BES report) states that Professional development led by outside experts has limitations because these experts are not present in the school on a continuing basis. This means that it falls to site-based leaders to help teachers  translate their new understandings into practice and to sustain the professional inquiry process.

 

Teachers not only from my school but others from the cluster had previously contacted me for help and inspiration and some had re contacted me for another session. Teacher Only Day provided an opportunity for this to happen in school hours  (which is always nice) and enabled other teachers to join us from both schools with and schools without Mimios.

 

HOW DID WE HOPE TO IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING?

The BES report written by Helen Timperley entitled Teacher professional learning and development. States that To make significant changes to their practice, teachers need multiple opportunities to learn new information and understand its implications for practice. Furthermore, they need to encounter these opportunities in environments that offer both trust and challenge.

 

With teachers using the available technology in the classroom to it’s full potential this will lead to better student engagement and therefore learning outcomes will improve.

What we did

Originally Mimio  use at Miller Ave was basic with teachers making simple activities they had made themselves – which could possibly have been done in more traditional ways, but teachers felt they could ‘have –a-go’ at turning them interactive.  As teacher confidence grew so did the variety of activities and curriculum areas covered.

At Teacher Only Day we showcased a variety of activities for different levels, we made a point of showing some activities we had done years ago which admittedly we were embarrassed about when we found them hiding in our hard drives but this made it real.  It is like a child learning to read.  We don’t expect them to be able to read an encyclopaedia when they have been at school for a term and our expectation of teachers had to be the same. The variety of ideas we showcased catered for all teachers who chose to attend the session from those of whom it was totally new to others who had been learning for awhile.

Some of the slides we used to showcase our journey ….

Photo - see file below 

Photo - see file below 

 Photo - see file below

Stage 1 – Class roll completed before school

Stage 2 – Interactive Numeracy Games

Stage 3 – Interactive Reading Lessons with all the bells and whistles

      

What happened?

The outcome of the Teacher Only Day has been extremely positive with contact continuing via email with some of the teachers who attended asking ‘how to’ questions.   It is interesting to note that even the Miller Ave teachers who attended ‘learnt something’  and have been seen to try new things, even though we are constantly sharing our classroom practice with each other we don’t see everything that happens in somebody elses classroom.  Sharing at Teacher Only Day didn’t enable everyone to see everything either but it opened the door to a variety of different activities and ideas.

TOD presentation

What did you learn?

Nothing is impossible!  Baby steps even tiny baby steps  are crucial without them no one is moving forward. It is important that the people who are leading the way are not forgotten often time and effort goes into helping people to ‘catch up’ but the people leading the charge also need help and support to do even more, they need to keep the charge going and keep raising the bar.

Next Steps?

Keep learning, keep playing, keep watching what others are doing.