Thursday, 3 October 2013

Reflection 4

The end….
Learning is amazing.  You always start out, thinking you know a bit, or maybe quite a lot and then discover you know next to nothing really.  In the end you know more than you did, but most importantly you know there is so much more out there to learn!

What I have learnt in this journey?
I think the key things I have learnt in this journey are;
1.       The pedagogy has got to change in order to take advantage of digital opportunities
2.       The planning and leadership required to effect that change is huge, but possible
3.       Despite the fact I can talk a lot, I’m not big on writing as much -

video


How did I learn them?
Stepping out of my comfort zone has been important and trying things that were not really my first choice.  I found the discussions on the Learn site fantastic, but struggled to follow the flow of ideas on twitter.  Blogging has been great, and I aim to carry on this train of thought beyond this course as it will be a great resource for me to return to as I try to improve my practice.  The valuable input from our lecturers has been noted by many participants and I agree it was a vital piece of this puzzle.  All of these aspects are supported by the reading I have been doing to find the trick of effective eLearning - time to play, support from peers, effective & knowledgeable leaders. 

I am including a link to my final essay - mainly so I can come back and remind myself what I have learnt when I am lost and not sure where to start again.  Hopefully it gets me a passing grade! I'll list some of my favourite articles at the end of this post

Where to from here?
Taking the theory into practice -   I have already started down the digital road – armed with enthusiasm, snippets of knowledge and many ideas.   Now I have a little more knowledge I know to look further than my school, taking in the big picture, while still noticing the little things.  I know to get in and get my own hands dirty, learning with my staff and giving them opportunities to lead as well.  I know to take time to play and explore and reshape.  I know to follow the data to focus on what is working.  I know to share my knowledge and enthusiasm.  And I know there are 1000 new ideas, just a tweet away!
Hopefully this will help make the path lead to greater success for my students, more fun for my staff, and more learning for me!


I'm really at the beginning... ready to help my class sing and dance!


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Teenage Strategies for success

Struggling to get started, I commiserated with my 16yr old daughter who is writing essays for her year 12 classes.  'No worries,' she says - 'just go online - essaytyper.com  Don't copy it, because they will know you cheated, but it will get you started and it gives you a good model of what an essay should look like.'

Who needs teachers when there are things like this :) and students like her to find them!



Monday, 30 September 2013

Articles, articles and more articles!!!!

My parents used to tell me that watching too much TV would make my eyes go square, but I think the real worry is that reading too many articles on a computer screen will!  There are too many possibilities out there sometimes, and I am loving the ideas - but like scenario planning, pulling out the general effects and planning for / aiming for those seems to be the way to go!
There are so many things that inspire me to change/revise what I am doing as a teacher and as a principal I think the challenge will be to pick 1 path and start a journey.  
The following are some of the articles that I have read and may include in my final assignment.  I did intend to include summaries of them on here, but I think I will just attach my completed annotated bibliography to a later post. 
I am looking forward to the end of this course with eager anticipation and dread.  I have enjoyed the challenges and excitement of new learning, the conversations and questions and will dearly miss the professional discussions I have participated in and eves-dropped on.  But I am really looking forward to a little less pressure!



Angeli, C., & Valanides, N. (2009). Epistemological and methodological issues for the conceptualization, development, and assessment of ICT–TPCK: Advances in technological pedagogical content knowledge. Computers & Education, 52, 154-168.
Davis, N., Eickelmannt, B., & Zaka, P. (2013). Restucturing of educational systems in the digital age from a co-evolutionary perspective. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29, 438-450. doi:10.1111/jcal.12032
Eickelmann, B. (2011). Supportive and hindering factors to a sustainable implemetation of ICT in schools. Journal for Edcuational Research online, 3(1), 75-103.
Ertmer, P., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2013). Removing obstacles to the pedagogical changes required by Jonassen's vision of authentic technology-enabled learning. Computers & Education, 64, 175-182.
Kopcha, T. J. (2012). Teachers' perceptions of the barriers to technology integration and practices with technology under situatied professional development. Computers & Education, 59, 1109-1121.
Livingstone, S. (2012). Critical reflectionsin the benefits of ICT in education. Oxford Review of Education, 38(1), 9-24.
Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Brush, T. A., Strycker, J., Gronseth, S., Roman, T., Abaci, S., . . . Plucker, J. (2012). Preparation versus practice: How do teacher education Programs and prcticing teachers align in their use of technology to support teaching and learning? Computers & Education, 59, 3999-411.
Sherry, L., & Gibson, D. (2002). The path to teacher leadership in educational technology. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 2(2). Retrieved from http://www.citejournal.org/vols/iss2/general/article2.cfm
Timperley, H. (2011). Knowledge and the leadership of learning. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 10(2), 145-170. doi:10.1080/15700763.2011.557519
Vanderlinde, R., & van Braak, J. (2011). A new ICT curriculum for primary education in Flanders: Defining and predicting teacher's perceptions of innovation attributes. Educational Technology & Society, 14(2), 124-135.


Saturday, 14 September 2013

resources that may assist e-learning implementation

As part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning website - the developmentment of badges that can be earned for participation in various support projects could support leaders wanting to implement change...
http://pilnetwork.blob.core.windows.net/public/21%20Steps%20for%2021st%20Century%20Learning.pdf

The eLPF is a New Zealand developed framework that can assist a school to self review as well as consider next steps needed. This and other eLearning supports are available through TKI.
http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Professional-learning/e-Learning-Planning-Framework2


Reflection Three

What I have studied in this course so far…

Through the weeks so far in this course I have worked on many of the E-Activities.  I began with stumbling blindly through the orientation tasks, finding it difficult to understand enough to commit to a research topic without fully understanding the direction of the course.  The ecological perspective tasks were interesting and challenged / reminded me to look at the school from a larger perspective.  We often become very insular and focus only on the issues and work in front of us.

Considering the wider factors as suggested in Davis’ (2013) Arena of Change graphic we are able to effect change more successfully.  The introduction of various change models began as a new source of confusion mixed with excitement of possibilities.  As my understanding of the different models and they cultures they would be best used within grew, I could see how aspects of these models have been used within my own school, and how with proper planning they could be used to effectively implement change in practice.  It is important to be able to view the institution from an ecological perspective in order to determine which model of change would be the most appropriate.
I enjoyed the scenario planning, although I did not manage to complete as many of the E-Learning activities in this area as I would have liked.  The consideration of extreme possibilities appeals to my imagination.  I believe that many effective principals may use scenario planning instinctively as they consider the ‘what ifs’ and plan to bring about their ideal. 

The e-Learning Planning Framework is an interesting document.  It outlines a possible pathway for schools in New Zealand to build their e-Learning capabilities.  While there may be aspects missing, it is a workable framework and I believe would be more trusted by New Zealand Board of Trustees as it has been developed in NZ. 

How will this relate to practice?

In my situation this course is very relevant.  Despite the fact our school is small, the staff are keen to develop more effective e-Learning strategies – or a scaffolding of skills that will allow students to participate in e-Learning when they are in the senior end of our school.  All of the aspects considered in this course will assist me to plan a course of action to support this development and its implementation more effectively. 

The questions I am still asking….

Now that I have learnt so much, what else is out there that I don’t know – but should!
Is developing and implementing effective e-Learning at primary level (or trying to) worth the effort knowing that most of our students will attend a high school that has limited support for e-Learning innovations.
Are there models of effective pedagogy that will support e-Learning development or do we need to invent our own wheel?

Why these questions….

While I enjoy knowledge for the sake of knowledge – if it does not have practical application it is of less interest to me. J

What I have yet to learn…

Almost everything!!!!

I have to learn how to develop the theory and my new knowledge into a practical application.  How to use these models in my situation to develop a plan of action to create revolutionary learning experience for my students… and then how do I share that with others!

Ecological views
Davis, N., Eickelmannt, B., & Zaka, P. (2013). Restucturing of educational systems in the digital age from a co-evolutionary perspective. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29, 438-450. doi:10.1111/jcal.12032

Change Models
Evans, L., & Chauvin, S. (1993). Faculty developers as change facilitators: The concerns-based adoption model. To Improve the Academy, Paper 278. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1277&context=podimproveacad
Legris, P., Ingham, J., & Collerette, P. (2003). Why do people use information technology? A critical review of the technology acceptance model. Information & Management, 40(40), 191-204.
Sherry, L., & Gibson, D. (2002). The path to teacher leadership in educational technology. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 2(2). Retrieved from http://www.citejournal.org/vols/iss2/general/article2.cfm


A great quote ;)

"E-learning's a bit like teenage sex. Everyone says they're doing it but not many people really are and those that are doing it are doing it very poorly."
Professor Brown of Massey University


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=11124565


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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Cognitive enhancement article - a scenario

Should we use cognitive enhancers to raise student achievement? (Click title to see article)

This article was published in the September edition of NZ Principal (pages 27-31) and I assume will eventually be available on line as previous magazines are.

I thought that while this article does not consider the impact of e-learning/technology developments it is relevant to this course as it is a scenario to consider.  The article questions the use of cognitive enhancers to assist students learn.  I found it a provocative article and have enjoyed the reactions and debate it has caused in the staff room.  :)

If you could take medication to make your learning easier - would you?
I have certainly met students along the way who try so hard in their learning and struggle for no 'label-able' reason that I would love to be able to give a boost so they can feel successful - but is that ethical? or equitable?

It definitely got me thinking!

eLPF evaluation


The organisation I selected is a small school in a rural area of New Zealand. 

This assessment was conducted as a personal learning exercise to gain understanding of the ePLF and my assessments are restricted to public documentation without detailed insights into all organisational processes. 
Evidence used to inform my value judgments included the current school charter, Student achievement policy, school curriculum and discussion with a staff member.

The overall rating of the school in each section is emerging. 


Leadership and strategic direction
School documents refer to e-learning and use of technology in the classroom.  The importance of cyber safety is included at policy level and suggests the regular use of safety programmes to support digital citizenship skills.   While use of these are mentioned there is no description of how they will be used to support or enhance learning.  There is not yet an explicit plan for developing digital citizenship skills.  Staff have indicated that they are supportive of these developments.

Profession learning
The culture of the school is very supportive and teachers work together to develop sound practice.  Teaching as inquiry is expected and incorporated into the appraisal system, however does not explicitly focus on e-learning skills.  ICT PD has largely focused on the use of technologies, not pedagogical practice to support effective use. 

Technologies and Infrastructure
Significant investment in resources has been made over the past few years to ensure that teachers and admin staff have reliable access to internet, including mounted projectors, school-wide intranet, and student devices.  However, as the usage is increasing the reliability is decreasing as it struggles to cope with demand. 
Technical support is limited by budget and school location.  This has meant that key staff members have developed many problem solving skills.  The school does have a flexible budget for technical needs, however increased costs of upgrading infrastructure to include more robust wireless access and UFB will need to be considered.

Teaching and learning
The school staff and leadership have identified the importance of e-learning and want to establish a cohesive curriculum that include e-learning appropriate to their context. Digital citizenship has been explored with some classes, however it is not consistent throughout the school.  Teachers are using their own technologies based on their knowledge and skill level and trial specific technologies to address identified learning needs.  Older students within the school are beginning to use technologies to support authentic learning, however most activities require a response, not collaboration.
Assessment is largely completed in traditional formats, however participation online is seen as an effective record of learning.

Beyond the classroom
The use of school blogs, online access to newsletters and photographs has increased community engagement; however this does not regularly address impact of technology on learning.  The community do not regularly respond online although many do comment on blog posts in person rather than committing to online publication of comments.  Some families do not have internet access at home due to financial restraints or infrastructure limitations.   


While the school is at the emerging stage, from discussions with the staff member, the school as a whole is keen to develop their practice to enhance the learning opportunities of their learners and see development of e-learning policy and practice as an effective way to do this.

Source:

Ministry of Education. (2013). e-Learning Planning Framework. Retrieved from Enabling e-Learning: http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Professional-learning/e-Learning-Planning-Framework2#framework 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

2 down ....1 to go...

What a monumental task!  Despite all the distractions and speed bumps I've had I thought I was on top of things...
I have managed to submit the first 2 assignments - the annotated bibliography with essay and the scenarios for alternate futures. I found the bibliography and essay the biggest challenge - I found the lead up tasks somewhat scattered, in part due to my own schedule, but also I think I found it hard to follow so many different places to post ideas. I have never been a fan of this type of assignment as I always feel a little like I'm just proving that I read lots of articles by rewording them to prove my idea was actually theirs.

The scenario planning was fun!  (hopefully I will still think so after I get my mark) I enjoyed considering the vast possibilities out there and how we could get there.  I think that is closer to what I naturally do within my leadership - although possibly I take a few too many leaps towards things without enough planning.

Today I can across an article about the possibility of using cognitive enhancing drugs to increase the achievement of our struggling students.  A great scenario article as it looked at a variety of possibilities and viewpoints.  If I can find an online version I will add a link.

Monday, 12 August 2013

University Students’ Perception of the Pedagogical use of Podcasts

University Students’ Perception of the Pedagogical use of Podcasts: A Case Study of an Online Information System Course.
Description:

This study considered the use of podcasting as a means to deliver supplementary information to course participants.  Their findings supported the information found in a literature review completed as part of their research.  Students found the podcasts beneficial when reviewing concepts, it supported distance learners, aided the review of material, and assisted those who were absent from a lesson.  The disadvantages found when using podcasts included; unidirectional communication, limitations of technology used, classroom session not designed to use podcasts, and it encouraged absenteeism.  It was also noted that some students found it difficult to remain focused on an audio only presentation, especially it if was longer than 20 minutes. (Khechine, Lakhal, & Pascot, 2013)

Impact:

While this study researched the use of podcasts with university students, many of the same issues apply in primary school.  The length and appropriateness needs to be considered to ensure that students are not becoming bored or distracted with listening to recordings.  This study also highlights the need to plan for more opportunities to communicate about the recordings and to plan for the use of the podcasts or a discussion time within the class to make the most of the learning opportunity.

Bibliography

Khechine, H., Lakhal, S., & Pascot, D. (2013). Universtiy students' perception of the pedagogical use of podcasts: A case study of an online information system course. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 1(2), 136 - 151.



Sunday, 11 August 2013

Scenario Matrix

The two uncertainties I have used on my matrix are; Pedagogical development and Internet access

These are both important factors in my context as a primary school leader and teacher. 

In order to fully develop the use of e-learning opportunities, pedagogical reform needs to take place.  Teachers need to adapt their current practice to incorporate ICT and e-learning and as blended classrooms and open resources develop teaching may become a very different skill than we currently use.

Internet access is also an important factor.  In a rural setting access to the internet at school can be unreliable, and many students cannot yet access reliable internet at home.  As the use of interactive games and instructional video increases the pressure on the existing infrastructure is increased.  The cost of upgrading to the use of fibre is currently inhibitive to small schools.  The access to internet must improve if learners are to be able to make the most of e-learning opportunities.

Typewriters : This is the ideal quadrant, where access to internet resources is unlimited, fast and reliable and teachers have developed mew pedagogical strategies to facilitate self-directed learning within the educational setting.

Pens: This quadrant has developed new pedagogical strategies to incorporate e-learning opportunities; however teachers are limited by the limits of internet access including speed and reliability.

Pencils:  This quadrant has improved access to internet resources through a fast reliable network; however they have yet to develop new pedagogical practice to use these resources more effectively.


Quills:  This quadrant has limited access to internet resources and as such has not needed to develop / evolve their pedagogical practice as learning opportunities have not developed beyond current practice.


http://wikieducator.org/Scenario_planning_for_educators/Home
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scenario_planning 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Drivers of change

Open content is changing education as it allows more learners to access opportunities. It also is more easily updated and learners can revisit it as needed.

Online collaboration is changing education as it expands support for teachers, and can provide a wider range of resources. Student collaboration encourages gaining a wider viewpoint, and building a stronger collective understanding of the topic.


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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Scenarios can’t predict the future, so what’s the point?


Scenario planning isn’t about predicting the future.  It is about considering possible futures, the challenges along the way, and preparing ways to work with or around the relevant effects these events may trigger.
By considering a variety of possibilities instead of just planning based on the current trend, organisations can prepare for the effects of event types. For example; there are a variety of major disasters that could occur, earthquakes, pandemics, floods, etc.  While it is impractical to plan for each disaster, it is sensible to prepare for the common effects these events would create – possible lack of communication, loss of power, isolation.  By considering the effects that different event types may create the organisation can be prepared to maximise positive opportunities and minimise the effects of negative events. 

Scenario planning also takes into account a wide variety of viewpoints. By looking at what is happening outside the organisation, as well as at all levels within the organisation, this model assists planners to have a greater perspective on what may impact the future. 


In my situation, this would be a very effective model to use.  I have a lot of knowledge around the trends in education, ministry aims and current issues at my school.  However using scenario planning, I would need to include a wider scope of ideas and viewpoints.  This could include including the perspective of current and former students, parents, Board of Trustees members, teaching staff, resources and technology providers, university and Ministry of Education advisors.  By considering these viewpoints and discussing possibilities with this wider range of people, I am more likely to identify a wider range of future possibilities and be able to be more prepared for the variety of event effects that will impact my school. 

Revised research topic

Proposed question…

How does a rural primary school prepare for (or embed) the use of online courses and instructional video to support student achievement?

(What I want to look at is the use of online video & courses to improve the learning opportunities in multilevel classes – with a scenario planning lens this will consider and plan for how the school may need to change some of its infrastructure and curriculum expectations to embed this practice.)

Why?
I believe that students need to be self-motivated in their learning and be able to self-direct their learning.  The use of online video and courses means that students can learn and revisit instructions as they need to.  At a more personal level, using online video / courses would allow students in my multilevel class to receive quality instruction when I am working with a different learning group, thus maximising their learning opportunities.

What?
Major questions include – what infrastructure is needed, onsite resources needed, skills for teachers, new pedagogy to support effective use, perceptions of key users such as staff, students and parents – time frame for achievement?

Where?
I feel this is a key issue in rural schools around the world.  Teaching in multilevel classes is always a challenge as there are so many learning needs to cater to.  This could be an effective way to modify pedagogy and teaching strategies within a multilevel classroom to enhance the learning taking place.

When?

This is both an historic issue as well as current/future based.  The idea to use educational / instructional video has been around since the popularisation of television.   However it has not had the predicted impact on education, likely because the pedagogy hasn’t changed to support effective use.

Thinking about technology innovation, perception and the relationship between the past, present and future

To dwell on the earlier fads and disappointments that technology has generated in education would be pedantic. Innovators like to believe that theirs is the real revolution. But technology has been about to transform education for a long time. In 1841 the 'inventor of the blackboard was ranked among the best contributors to learning and science, if not among the greatest benefactors to mankind'. A century later, in 1940, the motion picture was hailed the most revolutionary instrument introduced into education since the printing press. Television was the educational revolution in 1957. In 1962 it was programmed learning and in 1967 computers. Each was labelled the most important development since Gutenberg's printing press.
                                                                                                                                                                —Sir John Daniel
Why would the major events and drivers of change you identified earlier be any different? 
What do I think?

Why would online video / open courses be different than the innovations and expected revolutions of the past?

Open access to education takes the control of who learns what and when away from the educator and potentially puts it in the hands of the learner.  A learner no longer has to wait until a course is available, until their teacher thinks they are ready or they can afford to attend the ‘right’ school.  However, this shift in education depends on the learners taking ownership and leadership of their own learning, which is something educators should be promoting and instilling in their learners.  The drive for life long learning.


Saturday, 3 August 2013

Thinking about big change in education


In human affairs — political, social, economic, and business — it is pointless to try to predict the future, let alone attempt to look ahead 75 years. But is possible — and fruitful — to identify major events that have already happened, irrevocably, and that therefore will have predictable effects in the next decade or two. It is possible, in other words, to identify and prepare for the future that has already happened.
—Peter Drucker[1]
What do I think?

I think the use of online instructional video and open online courses will enable motivated learners to follow their passions, achieve their potential no matter their circumstances.   The challenge will always be to motivate reluctant learners, and help them see the benefits of education. 

Why do people use information technology? A critical review of the technology acceptance model.

Legris, P., Ingham, J., & Collerette, P. (2003). Why do people use information technology? A critical review of the technology acceptance model. Information & Management 40(40), 191-204.

Description:

The technology acceptance model measures user satisfaction to explain why people adopt the use of information technology.  Satisfaction is the sum of a person’s feelings and attitudes towards the factors affecting the innovation.  These factors have been grouped into three categories; uncontrollable, partially controllable, and fully controllable.  This model provides a foundation for measuring the impact of these external variables on internal beliefs, attitudes, and intentions.  Limitations of this method include the reliance on self-reported use.  This is an inaccurate measurement and can only be considered a relative indicator and a more accurate measurement of use should be used.  It also considers the use of information systems independently from organisational dynamics which other research has shown to have a great impact on the adoption of innovations.  While this model is a useful tool when implementing change, it needs to be incorporated into a broader change model that includes the social dynamics and encourages the adoption of the innovation. (Legris, Ingham, & Collerette, 2003)

Impact:

This model would be effective when used in conjunction with a broader model.  While TAM focuses on the satisfaction of the user; their feelings and attitudes towards the information system, it does not consider the bigger picture of social and organisational dynamics.  This model has grouped the factors that affect satisfaction according to their degree of control.  This aspect of the model is effective as it can highlight for the change manager where improvements can be made in the system to encourage adoption.

Attributes of Innovations and their rate of Adoption



Rogers, E. M. (1995). Attributes of innovations and their rate of adoption. In Diffusion of innovations (4th ed., pp. 204 - 251). New York: The Free Press.

Description:
This chapter considers how the innovation itself, affects the rate of adoption.  Rogers states that the perceived attributes; its relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, opportunities for trial, and observable improvements, all affect how quickly an innovation will be adopted by a community.   Other aspects that affect the rate of adoption include the type of innovation or decision.  One that is individual based will be adopted more quickly than one that has to be adopted by an organisation.  The type of communication used to disseminate information about the innovation is important too.  The more complex the change is the more likely interpersonal contact will be needed to encourage adoption. As opposed to simple changes which can be affected through mass media.  The type of social system up-taking the innovation as well as how the leaders of change promote it also affect the rate of adoption. (Rogers, 1995)

Impact:

As a leader of change these attributes of innovation and variables are important to be aware of in order to effectively promote adoption of innovations.  By considering the attributes of the innovation being promoted the leader of change can address or highlight these issues with the adopters.  Consideration of variables such as the social system being encouraged to adopt a new innovation, and the complexity of the change will impact of the chosen methods of promotion.  This will also allow the promoter to align the change with the values and experiences of the target adopters and increase the rate of adoption.

CBAM change model

Evans, L., & Chauvin, S. (1993). Faculty developers as change facilitators: The concerns-based adoption model. To Improve the Academy, paper 278. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.url.edu/podimprovecad/278



Description:
Research has recognised that change is a process and leaders in education are facilitators of change.  The Concerns-Based Adoption Model outlines the stages of concern as the change process evolves.  The seven stages progress from concerns about what the innovations is; how the change will affect them personally; how they can use the innovation; building efficiency; effectiveness of the innovation; integrating or collaborating with others; and finally, improving on the innovation. These concerns progress from a self-based concern, to a task oriented concern and finally a concern based on the impact of the change that has occurred.
It is important for leaders of change to be aware of which stage faculty are at in order to address the concerns and provide the needed support to help them move forward in the process.  This is support is needed throughout the process and is likely to be required at all stages of change.  This model provides a useful conceptualisation of support stages required to implement planned long term change effectively.

Impact:
As a leader in a school, this model is important to be aware of.  Staff are often expected to implement changes to their practice based on Ministry of Education directives, Best Practice innovations, trends in education and community needs.  These changes are often expected to be implemented with little support from outside sources.  By being aware of the stages of change and being prepared to support staff through the whole process, school leaders will be more successful in embedding effective innovations. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Reflections -1-

The journey for me so far has been staggered.  Not by design, but due to unexpected admin from my principal role, and a cold that just will not let up –oh, and a brief trip to Fiji J  While at the moment I am finding it frustrating, but I know the path will smooth out and a pace will be established and I will be able to get my teeth into these new concepts.

Initial learning has mainly been focused on finding my way around the course site, and its hidden levels.  I have to admit I find it difficult to navigate to and from the various portals that we are using – Learn/moodle – blogs – Wiki educator – but as my familiarity grows, and I gather a large amount of bookmarks, I know it will become easier.

Setting up a blog and using it to gather my thoughts, reading summaries etc.  has been positive and I am thinking that something along this line would be a great model to use as a personal record of professional development / performance agreement within my school as we create a similar reflection journal on paper.  I find it very positive to be able to read what others participating in the course are thinking as it helps to clarify my own understanding of readings and new concepts.  It also motivates me to keep on task and find aspects of the course I have missed as they discuss concepts in blog posts or the forums.   It is also positive to see some familiar names on this course from others I am doing / have done this year.  Knowing the supportive nature of my ‘classmates’ and the seeing the frequent posts of our lecturers reassures me that the struggles of the course will end with a positive learning outcome.

I found the initial articles intriguing.  The Arena of Change by Niki Davis, is an interesting concept of how all the different aspects or stake holders in education are interwoven.  Often when considering implementing innovations, I have not explicitly considered the influences of these varying levels.  They do, however, all impact decisions that are made.  

I am still re-reading the articles which outline models of change and trying to get my foggy brain to make sense of them.  So far, the main understanding I have gained is the need to plan for change and be prepared for how others will react to the change.  In my role as principal I have been able to easily implement and manage change as I have only led small schools.  However as my school has grown and I am leading developments within our local area, implementing change needs to be more intentional, thoroughly planned, managed and sustained. 


I look forward to clarifying the different change models that apply to working with new technologies, implementing positive change in my own classroom and school and learning with a great group of passionate educators.  

Draft Essay Outline - Task 2.2 & 3.1


Title: Changing classroom practice with online instructional video

Abstract: - summarise the topic (How does the use of online instructional video change the in-class learning activities in a primary school classroom?), key findings and conclusion (350 words)

Introduction: - p1 – describe the nature and characteristics of using online instructional video (targeted to learning needs, available outside class hours, use of ready made or self made)
- p2 – explain it’s importance and significance of the change for teachers and students. (accessable outside the classroom, repeat instructions, independent learning)
- p3 – describe the main idea / pov / question that the essay will cover (how it impacts on planning? the change in in-class teaching style? How to impliment and sustain the change in practice)
(300-500 words)

Body:
Section 1 – Clear description of change model that would be effective for implimenting this change(include at least 4 biblio sources)– identify the appropriate change model(s) that informs this problem – could include diagrams? – describe the model and how it connects to introducing instructional video into classrooms (use of video needs at least 3 biblio sources)
Section 2 – review implications of the change model for my class/Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School – what has happened / what needs to happen / effects of the changes - cover strengths and shortcomings (pros/cons) of the change model – include citations, -  describe how it could inform educational practice in Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School – include references to other studies
(2-3000 words)

Conclusion:
Recommendations for future /next steps / lessons learned

(300 words)

Friday, 26 July 2013

The path to teacher leadership in educational technology


Reference:
Sherry, L., & Gibson, D. (2002). The path to teacher leadership in educational technology. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education[Online serial], 2(2). Available:http://www.citejournal.org/vol2/iss2/general/article2.cfm

Description:
This article considers how teachers’ ability to use technology and the support they receive impacts the ability to embed the effective use of technology in an educational institution.  While individuals may succeed in developing strong practice, the dissemination of that skill through to other classrooms is a complex task.  It needs not only the resources infrastructure, but also the support of administration, opportunities for professional development and opportunities to share experiences. Sustainability of innovations is also a concern.  If lead teachers with passion and skills are not celebrated and rewarded, they often move to a different school where they can further develop their skills.  The use of a Personal Learning Portal is suggested as a means to record the learning journey of teachers.

Impact :
Implementing effective e-learning as part of teacher professional development can enhance the learning opportunities of staff.  This can allow teachers to co-produce knowledge and lead their own development.




MOOC intro

Tēnā koutou 

This introduction is for the MOOC part of the EDEM630 course.  

I am a teaching principal at a rural school in New Zealand.  I am working towards my PostGrad endorsed in e-learning.  I am enjoying the challenge of working full time and learning, although it doesn't leave much time for anything else!

I am hoping that at the end of these courses I will be more confident, not only in using e-learning strategies within my classroom, but also establishing them within my school and beyond.  

This is my first MOOC course and will be a fun challenge to learn how to navigate a new environment and participate in a wider learning community than I have experienced in the past.  

I look forward to learning with you all.

Ka kite anō

Megan

Monday, 15 July 2013

Activity 2.1: Arena of change mindmap

Click here to see my brainstorm as a PDF.

My central topic of research is the effective inclusion of instructional video within multilevel classrooms.  While the use of instructional video is not new to education, the way it is being used is evolving quickly as access to such videos becomes easier through sites such as YouTube.  The way these videos can be used by independent learners is affecting the teaching methods employed in classrooms.  The potential for students to view, and review instructions prior to meeting with the teacher has the potential to enhance the learning opportunities of the students in my class.  This sustained implementation of this depends on a wide range of factors.  The mind map attached shows some of the aspects and how they relate to the Arena of Change as
developed by Niki Davis of University of Canterbury.

The varying layers of the Arena are shown in the purple level on the mindmap.  Different aspects need to be considered within the different layer that affect education; personal (in class), local (school), regional, national, and international.  These considerations are also organised within different quadrants.   Corresponding colours show if they are driven by commercial, political, professional, or bureaucratic developments. The ideas shown on this mindmap is the beginning of a list of aspects that need to be considered when implementing the use of instructional video into multilevel classrooms.  

Update: October 2013
Since completing this task I have changed my focus to include a wider range of possibilities.  I am considering how to embed the use of e-Learning strategies instead of focusing on a single tool.  The reason for this is ...
I have found in my readings that it is not the digital/eLearning tool that is the focus, but the pedagogy that is important  (Moskal, P., Dziuban, C., & Hartman, J. 2013)  It is also important that student have the opportunity to learn with more than it is for them to learn from technology (Ertmer, P., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. 2013).  I still think there is a need for students to have instructional material available online and certainly in a small school with multilevel classes the needs of the learners - and their abilities - is very different to those of tertiary students which is the level most research focuses on (Huett, K. C., Huett, J. B., & Ringlaben, R. 2011).
Ertmer, P., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2013). Removing obstacles to the pedagogical changes required by Jonassen's vision of authentic technology-enabled learning. Computers & Education, 64, 175-182.
Huett, K. C., Huett, J. B., & Ringlaben, R. (2011). From bricks to clicks: Building quality K-12 online classes through an innovative course review project. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 14(4).
Moskal, P., Dziuban, C., & Hartman, J. (2013). Blended learning: A dangerous idea? Internet and Higher Education, 18, 15-23.

Developing an infrastructure for online learning

Reference:
Davis, A., Little, P., & Stewart, B. (2008). Developing an infrastructure for online learning. In T. Anderson (Ed.), The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, second edition. Edmonton: AU Press.
Description
This chapter outlines some of this issues institutions need to consider when moving towards offering course content online.  The social context of education is evolving with the accessibility the internet provides and institutions need to be prepared to adapt as it changes.  It states that organisations also need to be aware of the realities of online learning systems.  While the ideal is possible, the reality is confined by restraints such as time and money and the systems developed may not reflect the ideal sought.  Any learning system needs to be considered from two distinct points; the needs of the learner and the intended outcomes.  Meeting these needs is essential for any system to be worth investing in.  Success of any system needs to have a sound infrastructure as there are many interconnected components to be considered.  Ensuring that the system will be robust and meet the needs of the course is fundamental.  As organisations move to a more open learning style, they also need to consider ownership of the discipline, as once content is available online, it is much harder to control access and maintain ownership.

Evaluation
This chapter highlights the need for organisations to consider many aspects of online learning prior to embarking on developing online courses.  The need to ensure that the infrastructure is sound is essential as well as the need to ensure that the reality of what can be provided is enough to meet the needs of the learner and the course goals.  The institution also needs to be aware that the social context of education is evolving quickly and that content available online is likely to be shared and used in a wider context that will question their ability to own the discipline they are delivering.  These are important aspects to consider in my own practice.  Not only will the learning management system meet my needs, but the use of my own content and the use of others to support the learning of my students.


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Blending Makes the Difference - annotated bibliography entry

Reference: 
Senturk, A. & Uzun, A. (2010) Blending Makes the Difference: Comparison of Blended and Traditional Instruction on Students’ Performance and Attitudes in Computer Literacy. Contemporary Educational Technology, 1(3), 196-207 retrieved from http://www.cedtech.net/articles/13/131.pdf

Description:
This study compared the learning outcomes for two university computer science classes. One class was taught in a traditional face to face lecture style, supported by slideshow presentations and lab time. This class was the control group.  The other class was taught in an instructed model where the class had a website developed for the course which included online lecture notes, simulations and online tutorials.  This site also enhanced students’ collaborative learning experiences through email, group questions and online student-teacher interaction.  Class time for this group facilitated discussions and lab practice.  The study noted no significant difference in student capability or attitude at the beginning of the course.  There was a significant difference in both student capability and attitude towards the subject between the two classes at the conclusion of the study.  Those in the blended class achieved higher scores in final assessments as well as demonstrating a more positive attitude towards the subject than the control group.

Evaluation:
This study notes that the improved outcomes in both achievement and attitude are due to the multimedia and collaborative aspects of the blended learning environment.  The blended learning offers improved pedagogy, increased student access to instruction and knowledge, and encouraged social interaction between learners.   Because of this students are able to learn at their own pace and discuss questions arising both online and face to face.  Having access to online video tutorials allowed students to review instructions as needed as they worked through learning tasks.  By being able to continue learning and practicing new skills outside of the classroom lab time, students were able to work at their own pace and make better use of face to face time with the lecturer than in the traditional learning environment.  This study shows that having access to multimedia tutorials and collaborative online learning environments improves the academic achievement and attitude in university students.  For my own practice I would have to transfer this to be achievable at primary school level.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Proposed research topic

Proposed question…
How does the use of online instructional video change the in-class learning activities in a primary school classroom?

This is a first draft question and is likely to evolve as my knowledge grows and my thinking evolves.

The research topic is based around the use of mathematical instructional videos and how they impact what happens in the classroom.

Why?
I am interesting in this area as a means to improve my own teaching and to share improved strategies with colleagues who also teach multilevel classes.  I believe that if used effectively it may improve learning opportunities, as the students will have less wait time to receive instructions and will be able to re-visit them as needed.  I suspect though that either finding suitable resources or creative suitable resources may be time consuming and hard to sustain.  I know many of the tutorials that are already online are American based, and most of the ones I have looked at are aimed at more complex math skills than my students are learning.

What?
Major questions include – does the use of instructional videos in math actually improve student achievement?  To me, this is the essential question.  If there is no benefit to the students – why change from current practice?  There is sure to be some questions/debate around the need for teachers if a video can do the job, but for me- the teacher needs to guide the student to the right ‘next step’ and expand on the introduction the video provided.  I think it will be important to consider the students’ viewpoint.  They are the key stakeholder in education, and if their feedback on the use of video instruction is as important as their achievement levels.

Where?
I feel this is a key issue in rural schools around the world.  Teaching in multilevel classes is always a challenge as there are so many learning needs to cater to.  This could be an effective way to modify pedagogy and teaching strategies within a multilevel classroom to enhance the learning taking place.

When?
This is both an historic issue as well as current/future based.  The idea to use educational / instructional video has been around since the popularisation of television.   However it has not had the predicted impact on education, likely because the pedagogy hasn’t changed to support effective use.

Possible question development….

How does the effective use of online instructional video change the pedagogical strategies used in a primary school classroom?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Introductions

video
Tēnā koutou! 

I am Megan and I am a teaching principal on the West Coast of New Zealand. When I am not teaching or learning, I enjoy travelling around NZ, and the world, with my family.

My school, Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School is a small rural school.  I teach year 3, 4, 5, and 6 students (7 to 11 year olds).  This is a great challenge as I have to cater to students working at curriculum level one through to level three. 

I have used blogs previously in my classroom for recording learning, sharing some learning tasks and as a way to share classroom events with parents.  This however, has not been consistent.  Our school also uses a blog as an information portal for parents.  This blog includes notices, summaries of recent events, reminders and links to the latest newsletters. 

This blog is being developed to support and record my learning from EDEM630 - Change with Digital Technologies in Education. I would like to use my learning from this course to build my e-learning skills so that I can develop online learning support and extensions for my students.  I also aim to share new understandings with colleagues with my school and cluster.


Starting this blog was fairly simple as I created and maintain the school blog as well as my class blog.  I try to keep things simple and build and develop the blog as it progresses.  When I started my first blog I used the many  tutorials available on Youtube to help me. Here's an up to date one if you are struggling to get started. This link will take you to instructions on how to change your time zone - an important one to make sure you meet deadlines for this course!

Sunset on Hokitika Beach - taken by me :)


I am looking forward to meeting you all and sharing this learning journey with you.


Ka kite anō.

Megan.