Saturday, February 28, 2009

'Learning Everywhere'

As I synthesise some of my thinking (and hyper-linking) from the last three days of the Learning@School09 conference the three keynotes from Andy Hargreaves, Pam Hook and Wes Fryer have provided both an anchor point and many springboards for my learning.

If our students “are messages we send into the future”, how do we best prepare them to succeed in a future that is increasingly unknown? Within the context of his book written with Dennis Shirley, The Fourth Way, Andy focused on the importance of investing in people and community to better develop more creative and inventive individuals, better prepared for the changing global economy. Stories from both industry (Nokia) and education (Tower Hamlets) demonstrated the improved outcomes and possibilities that can be achieved as a result of communities “connecting to the best they have been” while investing in people, through building stronger schools with increased community engagement and support for each other.

A focus on collective responsibility and communities setting high standards for achievement, in contrast to individual accountability, has proven to have a greater impact on student learning. These examples reflect the concept of Ako in Ka Hikitia and also Pam’s questioning of where and how learning takes place… “learning at school verses learning everywhere”. ICT enables students to “bypass teachers altogether” and we were reminded again about the evidence that class sizes and ICTs alone have little impact on student achievement. What makes the difference is quality teaching – what happens when we change our practice based on the evidence? ...and how can we utilise the technology and online environments to support learners more effectively as demonstrated by Wes in the final keynote? (see conference blog).

As a result of the conference keynotes (and the many conversations with others attendees in between) my thinking has predominantly been anchored by the importance of the collective responsibility for student learning. Amongst the many, many springboards the following stand out for further exploration and thinking:

Read - Visable Learning (Hattie) and The Fourth Way (Hargreaves and Shirley)
If you have access to EBSCO a preview by the authors can be downloaded from Educational Leadership, Oct 2008, Vol. 66 Issue 2, p56-61

Explore - Hooked-on-Thinking Pam and Julie’s wiki

ParticipateThe e-Learning Research Network online discussion Hattie and ICT Implications

Stumbled on the following video while writing this post. How is this a metaphor for the history of education?

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Portal to Learning@School

Last year I created a public portal to the uLearn08 conference in my aggregator, Netvibes. This was useful as I was quickly able to scan updates from the numerous conference feeds including blog posts, tweets, photos etc. Also able to share these with virtual attendees and others who could not be there in the flesh with some interesting consequences (see Reflections and Connections post).

I have created a portal for the Learning@School 09 Conference in Rotorua next week to keep track of the various conference channels and 'back chat'. I have previously blogged about the value of using an aggregator to manage online learning and maybe a conference portal could also be useful if you can't make the conference and want to personalise the conference channels you follow.

Looking forward to seeing my virtual learning network face-2-face and also collaborating with Rochelle Jensen to facilitate a few breakouts. Rocky and I are very excited to be working together over the next couple of years and will be utilising the Software for Learning wiki to learn more about how teachers are utilising e-learning to support student learning.

See you all next week,
Hei konā

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome to the Eastern Block e-Learning Cluster

Welcome again to Willowbank Primary, Point View Primary and Somerville Intermediate who together form a new ICT PD cluster for 2009, Eastern Block e-Learning. Today was the cluster's launch at Point View School. I have posted some photos on Flickr embedded below. As promised links to online resources explored this morning have been posted on my Delicious, a Social Bookmarking tool, which enables me to save my bookmarks online. I have included a brief descriptor for each however please contact me if you have any questions.

Thanks again to Suzie Vesper who joined us on skype. You can access Suzie's blog here, I would recommend that you add this blog to your reading list. Suzie also highlighted the website ICT PD Online the learning community area that provides support for schools involved in the ICT PD Cluster programme. Instructions for joing ICT PD online can be downloaded from the cluster wiki here.

Finally I would like to acknowledge the teachers from each of the cluster schools who stepped up and shared their knowledge at the taster sessions today, it was appreciated. If you have links and resources to support your sessions links can be included from the cluster wiki. If you need support with this contact me or your Principal.