The notion of reflective practice in our education profession is invaluable, but sometimes, we only explore our own little 'bubble' or 'circle of trust' that can lead to a false sense of security. It reminded me of a recent tweet (forgot who it was from, sorry!) which warn us about the danger of professional learning communities on social media becoming 'echo chambers'.
So I decided to challenge myself and invited Melissa Bray (@Melsybray) from St Peters Girls School in Adelaide to unpack what Learning Management System mean to us, the similarities, the differences in our uses and implementations, and anything in between. The result was a presentation titled 'A Tale of Two Cities - Building Communities of Practice that support Innovation' (presentation slides below). It also meant participants at the presentation only had to listen to me ramble for half the time! :)
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness ….” (It was time for something different.) Come hear a tale of universal priorities, shared practice, similarities, and yet important differences in the way Newington College (Sydney inner-West) and St Peters Girls School (Adelaide) leverage Canvas to improve student success. Separated by geography, both are Canvas power-user schools and attendees will benefit from the intersection of the two narratives. Michael Ha and Melissa Bray will identify the differences in implementation and usage, as well as the similarities of student empowerment and ownership of their own learning through Canvas engagement. Through their years of experience, having walked through the many "springs of hope" and the occasional "winters of despair", this presentation will help any K–12 school writing their own narrative to understand how to deliver student success in their city.
I throughly enjoyed the process and highly encourage each and every one of you to 'go outside of your box' and challenge your thinking with someone from a different tribe. Good Luck.
At the start of this year, I was a little taken back by a question from a new staff member, "What do you actually do? What is your role?"
It is a question often asked at many schools of their ICT / eLearning / Digital Learning / Digital Technologies 'person', whether it be at an integrator, leader, head, or director level. Before we start, one thing for certain: for me, it wasn't about the shiny new gadgets or the latest version of so and so app. So I decided to map out the what, where, how, and when of my work, and where I like to see us heading in fostering a culture of learning.
With the guiding principals on top, and our reference questions to the right in green, what transpired was a four-year plan that depicts sustainable transformational change. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither should this be. As suggested by John Kotter, successful change management involves creating a climate for change, as well as engaging and empowering each and every individual in the organisation to ensure its ultimate success.
Sounds fancy so far, doesn't it? But will it work? I mean, we have over 150 teaching staff, and 1200 students that I work with, that's a rather big classroom to differentiate and cater to each individual. How might the professional development of staff and students scale, built around best pedagogical practice, and is consistent across the school? Two ideas I'm hoping to introduce are:
Without giving everything away, how do YOU plan and foster a culture of learning in your school? I would love to hear from you and connect. Below is an updated version of my Project Kaizen graphic as well as the slide deck of my presentation I gave on this topic at the National FutureSchools conference.
PDHPE staff took the deep dive and became students again to emphasise with challenges our boys face when completing an assessment task. Tinkering with the implications of their Year 7 Young Consumers unit on teaching, learning and assessment, staff walked away with a set of strategies and teaching activities that could be used in the classroom the following day.
These activities included:
More details about the workshop, as well as all the resources used, can be found in this website.
Other workshops in this series include:
“How might we leverage technologies to make learning visible?” That’s the big question our Languages Department tried to unpack during their half-day curriculum workshop with me. Not only did teachers discover the difference between ‘doing a project’ and Project Based Learning by designing cupcakes and being Masterchefs, they also trialled a variety of Digital Learning tools which will allow students to showcase their knowledge & understanding during Poetry Night in Term 3.
More details about the workshop, as well as protocols used can be found in this website.
Other workshops in this series include:
Brenda (Science teacher) had a dilemma: “is there sufficient scaffolding in our current project design to ensure all students are successful at some level? What are we missing that would make this a stronger experience for all students? What do we need to strengthen or add onto the Science of Separation unit?" The Science department investigated and unpacked these dilemmas in a half day workshop recently led by me. And together with the Library team, supported her through using structured protocols to introduce a researched focused ICT task that is authentic, challenging, and engaging.
Activities used during the workshop included:
This website was our home-base and contains all the protocols and activities from the day.
Other workshops in this series include:
Last year, I was task with investigating how ICT is impacting our school and explore ways to move forward and improve. I'm hoping over the next few posts, I can reflect on the overall process and what I've learnt from this experiences. I would love to hear your feedback also :)
As we move towards 2020, we will continue to be challenged by the fast pace of technology adoption in an increasingly interconnected and complex world. The rapidly changing technological world in which our children are growing up in is a vastly more complex one than previous generations. Information on any given topic is now freely available. Our ability to visually communicate with people, anywhere and anytime, is available at our finger tips.
The new Australian Curriculum has developed a specific emphasis on ICT in education. The curriculum places an emphasis upon building innovative capabilities of students within and across discipline boundaries by providing opportunities for all students to become competent, productive, creative and ethical users of ICT. As a ‘general capability’ within the Australian Curriculum, ICT skills are expected to be embedded seamlessly across the disciplines of the entire curriculum (ACARA, 2015).
This review aims to investigate how ICT is impacting teaching and learning at Newington College, and in particular, how it is facilitating the College’s Learning Framework. Through a range of surveys and interviews, it is found that although technology use is well embedded across the curriculum with learning and teaching at the heart of integration, more facilitation is required to improve the pedagogical use of devices in improving workflow and outcomes.
Newington College Learning & Teaching Framework
The five areas the review will focus on are teaching and learning, leadership, evidence of success, professional learning, and learning environment. A range of data will be collected including surveys, one-on-one interviews, small group discussions, and classroom observations. It is hoped that all stakeholders will be involved in the process: students, teachers, general staff, and parents. It is anticipated the review will be completed mid-Term 4 this year. Some of the essential questions around this review include:
At a recent #PubPD organised by Craig Kemp, I again explore the notion of giving teachers more autonomy and explain simple ways to redefine teachers' professional learning, these can include:
I'm keen to hear ways you've seen schools changing the ways professional development are ran.
Below is a hands-on workshop I ran at the TeachTechPlay Conference exploring the idea around:
"How might we facilitate meaningful and engaging professional learning"
You can learn more about the SQUID activity here:
You can learn more about empathy maps here:
Whilst it's still a relatively niche technology to integrate in an educational context, I have been exploring the role of drones in teaching and learning for the past 3 years. Below is a presentation I gave at the National FutureSchools Conference to discuss my successes, failures, and anything in between...
Over the September holidays, I was lucky enough to be a featured speaker at the PEAK Phys Ed ACTivate Conference. It was held at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra with educators from around Australia attending.
A special thanks to Andy Hair (@MrHairPhysEd) & Aaron Gardiner (@azzalanche), who dropped into my 3rd Session for the day via Google Hangout to share with participants what it means to be a connected life-long learner. Below are the slides to my presentations, I've added a few extra videos to hopefully explain some of the slides:
An article I read today which talks about the LA iPad program.
What Schools Must Learn From LA's iPad Debacle:
Does this reflect how many schools are approaching technology integration in education?
I'm very excited and humble having been invited to visit Googleplex in Mountain View California as part of the Google Geo Teachers Institute later this month. They only invite 50 educators from around the world for each event...
As part of the Institute, participants will be learning all things Google, from Google Maps, Google Earth, to Tour Builder, and how to incorporate these tools, and much much more, effectively into our classrooms. "Attendees will also learn about innovative instructional strategies, theoretical foundations, and receive resources to share with colleagues. Speakers will share real life examples of how they are using these tools in their classrooms across all subjects."
It would also provide a wonderful opportunity to network with other teachers around the world and share ideas on what makes their classroom tick.
Keep an eye our on my Twitter account @nerdyphyseder for updates!
On Monday 7/7/14, a new web-show, 'Teach Tech Play', was born. Hosted by Eleni Kyritsis (@misskyritsis) and myself, it is a show where the audience gets involved and teaching ideas are shared, all within the space of 30 minutes.
Teach Tech Play is about
Each presenter is given 3 mins to share something they are doing in their classroom, and the audience will vote for their favourite presenter who will be crowned Play King/Queen for the month.
Teach Tech Play will be a monthly show airing on the first Monday of each Month at 8pm AEST.
Below is the first episode:
Eleni and I are looking for new presenters so if you are interested please contact us. Constructive feedback are also welcomed :)
Hope you enjoy our show and turn in on the 2nd episode airing Monday 4th August 8pm AEST.
Last year, I wrote about using AR.Drone in my PE class. After a few trials, getting blown by a gale, and a ladder being involved in the rescue process, here is my review:
Have you ever tried using a drone or other filming techniques in your PE class? Would love to hear about it!!
Ever wondered how quickly data is generated on the Internet?
This website provides an animation of how much data is transferred over the Internet in real time:
And if you are wondering how much the Internet giants are making per second...