Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"This is how James learns."

For all the differences between the schools we visited today the similarities were perhaps even more pronounced. Both Carol Anne McGuire, New Village Leadership Academy and Elaine Wren, Echo Horizons have responsibility for working with students and supporting their colleagues to integrate e-Learning into their practice. The impact of having dedicated teachers in these positions seemed to link much of what we saw in today's school visits.

While both Carol Anne and Elaine acknowledge this is a collaborative effort (dependant on the support of their individual school's leadership and beliefs about the role of e-learning) the impact their support was having on both teacher confidence and student learning was evident. Similar to New Zealand, working collaboratively, ensuring access to support and relevant professional learning and removing barriers for teachers, were all identified as important to effective integration of e-learning.

The following clip features students who have had access to the one-to-one laptop programme for the past 2 years. Accessing the technology and the confidence with which they utilised it for their learning was noticable and at times scaryingly innate! (Thanks to Ash for sharing his video to pick up some of the gems I missed.)

Elaine from Echo Horizons describes how specialist teachers collaborate and use technology to provide rich learning opportunities for their students and continue learning themselves.

How might having a dedicated e-learning specialist teacher working in your school make a difference for teachers integrating e-learning? If you already have someone working in a similar role, what is it that they do in this role that makes a difference for students and teachers?

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