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"Integrating E-Learning Effectively into Classroom Practice"

Rotorua Town and Country Cluster Reflection  - Milestone 6

Year Level - Primary

Cluster Type - Traditional ICTPD Cluster

Context - To reflect on our 3 year ICTPD journey teachers (79) completed a reflective online survey generated by the cluster facilitator. Questions were asked to cover each of these areas

Focus Example of Content/Questions Asked
Demographics Had they completed a baseline data survey, How long they had taken part in the contract
Goal 1 Purpose, Impact, Benefits, SOLO
Classroom Experiences What three practices are you most proud of in using e-learning/ICT's with learners, over the period of the contract (3 years) and why?
Goal 2 Knowledge of Schoolwide E- Learning Strategy, Strategic Planning/Curriculum and the E-learning Framework
Goal 3  Confidence, Frequency of use, Change in practice, Pedagogy
Goal 4 Community Connections (How has ICT supported/strengthen these connections?)
Goal 5 Sharing and Participation (What, Where, When and to whom?)
Personal Reflection Most appreciated, Least appreciated, Concerns and Emerging issues
 
A pdf copy of the questions asked can be accessed below.
 
Collective Clusterwide data including all 7 schools has been used for the purpose of this reflection.
Individual schools were also provided with a downloaded copy of their individual responses to inform future practice and sustainability.


National Goal 3

Teachers to integrate e-learning effectively into their practice creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for all students

Cluster Goal 3 

Increase teacher knowledge and expertise that will work towards raising student achievement through e-learning and SOLO Taxonomy

and  as a direct consequence of this (taken from our Goal Alignment Documentation, which can be viewed below)

  • All teachers will integrate e- learning into their long term planning and implement authentic learning across the curriculum.
  • Teachers will set goals and reflect on the effective use of IT as part of their appraisal process.
  • A range of ICTs will be used to engage students (paying specific cognisance to Maori and Pacifika students) and promote learning across the curriculum that is both innovative and exciting.
  • The indigneity and distinctiveness of Maori students will be taken into consideration to foster an understanding of the cultural identity of Maori and Pacifika students (MoE, 2008b)
  • Teachers will increasingly facilitate student decisions about when to use ICT to support their learning and foster an expectation that students become effective self-managing learners. 

Focus -

Establish, Implement, Sustain

  • Students show increased engagement and achievement in their learning through their use of ICT and this is reflected in student voice.
  • Teachers and students are utilising an increasing range of ICT tools in teaching and learning programmes. 
  • Teachers demonstrate a willingness to try new ICTs and share ideas.
  • Teachers are achieving appraisal goals through effective use of ICT. 

Which ICT's are having the greatest impact within your classroom?

Teachers rated a range of ICT equipment, tools and creative experiences.

The use of You Tube rated highest, closely followed by online games and digital photography. Interestingly online collaboration rated in the bottom four of choices but after speaking with teachers it became clear that to date this experience has wither not been offered or still remains an ‘unknown’ for many teachers. 

   Impact Graph

What benefits do you believe your learners have experienced in the use of ICT?

 ‘Thinking’ and ‘Engagement’ were rated as being of the highest benefit for over 90% of teachers closely followed by ‘Participating and Contributing’. 

  Benefits Graph

A sampling of teachers comments

 “The internet has made our students today truly global in their perspective of themselves in the World or contacts with other cultures.. However understanding of true globalisation at year 5/6 still depends very much on the maturity and home experiences. 4 of my students have no internet 2 have no TV. (by parental choice) and exposure has to be sympathetic to this situation so students are not alarmed by uncensured exposure to THE world and its news.”

 

“The students in my class are excited by learning that involves ICT. I can see that the use of ICT is now normal and expected during most lessons. If for any reason it isn't being used in a lesson students will often suggest ways they could use it. Through working collaboratively students are able to develop their ability to relate and participate and I have seen a massive improvement is this area. I have often seen students flick onto a search engine to find an answer to a question, how to spell a word or watch a video to satisfy their curiosity.”

 

“Curiosity about the technology has been increased but not necessarily about the curriculum area they are using the ICTs to focus on. Great discussion around SOLO maps, videos, photos. Communication skills improving.”

 

How confident were/are you about using ICT's with your CLASS?

With 66% of teachers now ‘Confident’ and 18% ‘Very Confident’ participation in the ICTPD Contract has significantly impacted on teachers confidence and therefore has directly impacted on the use of e-learning across all schools. 

  Confidence with using ICT with class

ICT integration

When considering how classroom practices had changed as a result of participating in the ICTPD contract teachers stated that 

“I consciously seek the best tools to use to enhance students' learning outcomes. The tools will vary according to what we are learning and whether it is a visual, audio, problem solving or creative project. I often consider ways I can integrate ICT because I know it is highly motivating and engaging for my students. I use flow charts and collaborative learning, especially peer mentoring more frequently. We sometimes use a learning ladder where the first child teaches the next and so on until we have a class full of 'experts' with a particular tool. The student who know the programme best start each ladder. I know that there is still a lot for me to learn. I try to 'showcase' some of my students learning with ICT during whole school assemblies.”

“I am now more aware of the huge amount of effective tools and websites available to enhance lessons. I have found the sharing of these resources so valuable and now I need to ensure that I continue to spend the time needed to find those that are most effective, depending on what I am teaching, and use them effectively.”

Changes to classroom practice:

"When I started at St Mary's (Feb 2006) I had one old computer in my class that worked slowly, a laptop that was so slow and inefficient that I preferred to use my home or the library computer, no personal mobile phone and no other ICT tools. I now have an interactive whiteboard, 7 classroom computers, 5 ipads, a mac laptop for personal use, an iphone for personal use, 2 flip videos and a plethora of mini tools such as microphones and wireless keyboards that I use throughout the day for teaching, learning and planning. Is that much of a change?"

“I believe the changes in my classroom practice have been to broaden the classroom experiences and interaction with the wider world and to share the children's learning by providing opportunities such as our classroom blog. To use ICT to enhance learning rather than to duplicate, prettify or make the process more complicated for the sake of using IT. To allow children to explore, play and learn from each other in a safe environment where there are clear rules and boundaries (e.g. what to do if something you're not sure of comes up on the screen) and supervision. To make IT a part of the classroom and accessible. For example, if a child brings in a strange bug or insect or have been to visit a different country allow children to question and provide search topics where they can find out about it. Using IT for a wider purpose that is relevant and engaging to the children.”

 
Teachers were asked 

What three practices are you most proud of in using e-learning/ICT's with learners, over the period of the contract (3 years) and why? 

Here is a small sampling of the responses

 

  • Essential Learning Area: Oral Language (Year Two students)
  • ICT Tool: Photobooth

We were practicing pragmatics in Oral Language early in the year and sharing information about ourselves. 

Students practiced giving their full name, address and phone number, interests and hobbies etc. They could then choose to record themselves using photobooth. We reflected on their clarity, volume and content. We also discussed what information we should not share with strangers or on the internet (cybersafety). Finished videos were shared at a school assembly. The children loved seeing themselves and could see a purpose for their learning. The also learnt how to use the application independently to complete tasks. 


  • Essential Learning Area: Cornerstone Values
  • ICT Tool: Digital Photography

The introduction of digital photography in the Schools Cornerstone Values has been fantastic. When they get to my level they have already been through the values cycle many times. Introducing 5 frame stories to them made them have to think of how to show the value in pictures only. They also had to think of still frames that captured the exact moment they wanted to portray. The students thrived with the idea and really thought outside the 'box' to create fabuous stories for the value that term. They showed a clear understanding of the value and were 100% engaged. 

 

  • Essential Learning Area: Oral Language/Writing
  • ICT Tool: Website

Use of ICT to motivate writing. When studying machines able to use 'abcya create a car' where children made their own car and wrote about it. Involved lots of oral language. Unexpected outcome was children who previously hadn't been motivated to write were hooked in by the website. Samewith 'Build your wild self''. Chlidren shared learning by talking about the process and their creations with peers in Buzz groups and with family. Children's writing was displayed on classroom wall to be shared and on class webpage. Some children created their own cars at home with their family. Also use SOLO DESCRIBE map to inspire and scaffold children's writing. 


  • Essential Learning Area: Literacy
  • ICT Tool: Online Digital Story

We watched Storyline online "The Rainbow Fish" storybook to engage the students. We discussed the morals of the story and what the Rainbow fish had achieved. Using Tagxedo the children described the Rainbow Fishes attributes and created a Fish shaped display of their thinking. The students wrote a retell of the story to publish alongside their Tagxedo fish. We then read the book "the Rainbow Fish saves the Big Blue Whale". The students created a 3D fish character from the story, we created a Big Blue Whale and hung our shoal of fish in our classroom. We used video to capture our completed learning and uploaded onto our class blog and visited as a class discussing what we had learnt about being great friends and role models. 

 

  • Essential learning Area: Te Reo Maori
  • ICT Tool: Interactive Whiteboard

 I created an Interactive calendar (using Mimio Software) for the interactive whiteboard including many of the calendar routines that are common place in a Year 1 classroom. I then translated this calendar into Te
Reo. This calendar has made this learning experience simpler and more 
interactive. This resource engages the students to use te reo orally, associate the oral with the written and the visual in an authentic everyday context. It also provides the mathematical side in the calendar, counting and finding numbers before and after and counting down time to events. This tool also provides a way of explicitly teaching students the icons, language and mouse skills they need to navigate many computer programmes. For example, the red x to close, the undo, the save, copy and paster, next, click and drag, clicking off in an empty space, double click etc. By talking through these as we use this resource students learn valuable knowledge and simple problem solving solutions. When children are then in the IT Suite or using the classroom computers the teacher can have confidence that the children have the mechanics they need and the students have confidence in navigating many programmes with success. 

 

  • Essential Learning Area: Te Reo Maori
  • ICT Tool: Video Camera

After visiting the Waiariki marae for a powhiri the children re-enacted a powhiri which we videoed and shared on our ultranet page for parents to view. We also watched it to review and motivate the children to help them
complete the related assessment. We videoed the children a few times and 
let them watch and then discuss how to improve their performance. The children displayed an excellent understanding of the sequence of a powhiri in their assesssments. 

 

  • Essential Learning Area: Writing (Senior)
  • ICT Tool: Powerpoint

Powerpoint Made pick a path stories with class at the end of the year to bring together all they had learnt about writing during the year. Children worked collaboratively using their strengths (artist, writer, computer driver etc). Working together allowed all children to succeed to a high standard, and the pick a path idea meant all contributors ideas could be used at some point in the story. Finished products were very good. 


  • Essential learning Area: Writing (Special Needs)
  • ICT Tool: iPad

A text to speech app was used very successfully to motivate an unwilling writer to write. He entered my class unable to write displaying autistic tendancies. Through being able to hear his text back he was very motivated
and willingly develped texts. This lead to him wanting to use the ipad more 
and more and he has now developed his writing (both pen and paper and on a device) to where he is achieving mildly under the expectations for his age group.