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Summary of Progress - Milestone 6

With reference to the goals and success indicators in your contract (variation) the leadership committee will need to provide:

a.     A summary of progress that has been made towards achieving your programme goals

b.     A summary of the supporting evidence for this

1.      Students to become successful digital citizens:           

·        Our students will be successful citizens of the digital world, with the confidence and skills to be lifelong learners:

·        Promote student voice in learning and learning processes

·        A strong culture of inquiry is established

·        Global links, digitally,  with other learners as a tool for learning are recognized by teachers and by students

·        All students exposed to good practice in regards to cyber-safety and being digital citizens


Our cluster met for shared professional learning with Tessa Gray.  She made our teachers and principals aware of their digital footprint and how we need to keep our students safe; not by shutting the gates but by informing them of the need to facilitate cybersafety with students. To that end, schools are aware of resources such as Netsafe and are building them into their programmes e.g. the Term One CELL programme at Mokoia Intermediate and the English Department programmes at RLHS. We are aware that this is not a one off event but that teachers need to be guiding students constantly during the year.

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2.      Principals to lead the integration of e-learning in their schools (strategic and operational).        Principals facilitate the development of a strong culture of inquiry

·        Principals participate actively in school wide and cluster wide PD opportunities

·        Principals collaboratively set  direction within which the facilitators/lead teachers operate

·        The Principals support, communicate with and collaborate with the facilitators/lead teachers

·        Principals facilitate the identification by teaching and other staff of their needs in relation to elearning and its integration in practice

·        Professional development opportunities planned each term for each teaching member of staff

·        Principals’ performance management agreements and teachers appraisal goals include a component related to this programme as relevant.

·        Principals keep the Boards of Trustees informed and involved.

·        Principals ensure that the goals of this programme are reflected in the school’s strategic plans.


Our Milestone 6 lists a number of areas in which our principals have been involved with school and cluster wide professional development, collaborative meetings, strategic planning and the cluster action plan.  Each school has had attendees at relevant conferences and courses. Principal reports available show that Boards of Trustees are informed.

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

·        Establish a strong culture of inquiry.

·        Foster collaboration at all levels across the cluster, with a view to sharing current good practice and supporting each other in further learning.

·        Develop the capabilities and effectiveness of teachers in relation to elearning and its effective integration in practice.

·        Teachers integrate elearning to engage students and effect better learning outcomes.

·        Consider and implement a framework of thinking skills and self and peer assessment to inform the planning and implementation of teaching and learning programmes.

Integration of digital applications has increased although the depth of learning and change in pedagogy is varied both across schools and particular teachers.  The biggest change is the acceptance that blended learning is not going away.  The range varies but there is a move towards more independent learning/student centred learning.  The teacher is more facilitator of learning and less of a didactic transmitter of information.
Platforms like the VLN, Twitter and blogs are ensuring that teachers are collaborating within and between schools, nationally and globally; the numbers of teachers involved in social media and networks increases exponentially.
Teacher inquiry is built into the Registration Criteria for Teachers.  Inquiry learning is thus to the fore and teachers are scaffolded to use this method to facilitate learning.  SOLO Taxonomy and other critical and creative thinking models are fashionable and available. We find their use in classrooms across our cluster although not in all as yet.
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4.      Family and whānau to actively participate in their child’s learning   

·        Establish productive partnerships with the wider community for reciprocal learning.

·        Community reflects on student work through student portals on LMS, blogs or wikis.

·        Community engages in elearning developments through student led conferences, community meetings or professional development which includes parents and caregivers.


Last time we said: “Our cluster evidence on the VLN gives examples of community links and consultation through email, newsletters, face to face conversations in Three Way Interviews and survey tools such as Survey Monkey. Classroom teachers are encouraging parents and caregivers to comment on blogs.  It is certainly an area where further development is possible, such as PTA meetings where we discuss cyber safety. “ We still need to move on this.  We need to find  out what tools our community uses for communication e.g. texting, Twitter, Facebook.  We need to find out what internet access our students have at home.  We need to think about how our learning entres can support our communities.
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5.      The sector by sharing online professional reflections to inform colleagues of the challenges and opportunities afforded by e-learning

·        These reports will be shared with the sector online in the Virtual Learning Network [VLN] (/).

·        To participate in a wider professional learning community than that provided by our cluster, in a way that reinforces our learnings

·        To celebrate and share with others the learning undertaken in our cluster

·        Milestone 6Goal 1

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

b) Students use self-assessment rubrics and peer reflections to improve their literacy across the curriculum.

c) Evidence is collated in student blogs, wikis and/or portfolio formats.


Our VLN cluster sites are rich with evidence.  Members of the cluster are using blogs, some for their own professional reflections.  Twitter is on the rise.
Evidence posted on the VLN, whether video or discussion, shows that teachers are integrating elearning into their practice and ralising that digital learning engages students.  They are finding out whether it effects improved learning.  They are working out new ways of learning; they are at different stages on the continuum of learning about the applications and integrating them in new and different ways.
Teachers are recognising the value of e-Learning professional development opportunities and integrating this into their practice.  
Schools are at the beginning of moving forward with thinking skills and peer and self-assessment.
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c.     The key lessons for the cluster

Sustainability is an issue. It is important to start some momentum and build some capacity in the staff beyond the lead teachers.  The principal is intrinsic in school wide developments, and certainly we have seen developments gain more impetus with their involvement. Strategic planning for the future is important.

Where schools have not got internal experts, they need to buy in expertise to ensure their goals and objectives can be realised.   

d.     The next steps towards achieving the cluster goal/s

Milestone 6 – Goal 1

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

b) Students use self-assessment rubrics and peer reflections to improve their literacy across the curriculum.

c) Evidence is collated in student blogs, wikis and/or portfolio formats.

 

We have stated in our variation that integration into classroom practice is a focus.  Students need to be given models of self-assessment which will mean professional development for staff on using and creating self and peer assessment opportunities such as rubrics.  Students are to be encouraged to use online platforms such as blogs to develop e-Portfolios.

We need to develop inquiry learning practice and critical thinking skills in all our learners.

 

e.     A list of any emerging issues, risks, or opportunities particularly in relation to service delivery and reporting requirements.


For the last Milestone we wrote: “As always for us, our issues involve the geographic spread of our cluster schools, the difference in sector and age groups and that we have four sets of leadership personnel.  Smaller schools have issues of “too many hats” and can be time challenged to complete necessary documentation and evidence.  Another problem is the variation in understanding of the pedagogy involved and the absence of necessary skills to manipulate sites such as Google Docs and the VLN.”

The appointment of an external facilitator would have meant that interests and needs within the four schools could have been addressed and catered for by a knowledgable other.  We have depended on sharing knowledge within our own schools; Ann and Annemarie have decided to meet weekly after school because of their shared passion for elearning and their schools have benefitted from their networking and research.


It is now up to individual schools now to keep moving forward both in developing infrastructures, cybersafety practices and teacher involvement with blending elearning.  Individual Principals and leadership teams will need to give import to elearning as part of today’s pedagogy and make sure it is written into strategic plans.  The ELearning Planning Framework is a good place to start.