Sunday, August 6, 2017

Life Long Learning

This post is more about MY learning than my students. Pretty much my learning directly impacts the learning my students do so, really it always comes back to their learning anyway.

I want to start with a Question:


Assume that is rhetorical. Of course you wouldn't. So, my next question shouldn't be an incomprehensible leap; why is it so hard for parents to accept that the research from across the globe for students showing the greatest progress are students in 1-1 device immersion classrooms with teachers using best practice with today's tools. I think it's because we need to communicate more around WHY we have moved to 1-1 devices in our classes at WGP. Fundamentally, when used effectively as a learning tool our chromebooks enhance the learning and engage the digital natives we teach. That's not rocket science. What we need to do is absolutely ingrain responsible use. And we can only do that by learning how ourselves.

I have felt fortunate to have been able to engage in a range of pertinent learning days with some amazing educators sharing and delivering future-focused methodologies (including the 2 different groups of WGP teachers and my good friend and critical colleague who went with me to educamp).

On the last day of Term 2, 6 WGP teachers attended "The Power of Inquiry" workshop day led by Kath Murdoch, an international expert on implementing inquiry into any classroom. Her action research and examples of teaching inquiry were an inspiring reminder of what we take away from children when we always 'TELL' without giving them the opportunity to 'DISCOVER' and be 'INNOVATIVE' with their learning. Preparing our students for their very uncertain future depends on us giving our students powerful opportunities for deep learning and not assuming we are always the ones to know what that looks like. Her final provocation of the day showed that beautifully. If this gorgeous labrador can know what his best friend needs to develop his understandings I think we can strive to do better :)


Educamps run across NZ. They are an 'unconference' conference where participants share innovative practice and participants select the learning pertinent to them, This term our focus for Inquiry is Human Movement and A5 & A6 are using the lens of 'What is a Refugee?' to provoke thinking around why humans move and what motivates these choices. I haven't yet introduced mymaps to my students and looking at where we have come from is the perfect opportunity for purposeful learning. Hence, I went to EARTHRACE for one of the workshops at Educamp Auckland:

This will be part of our cybersmart programme this week. 

Another big focus of the day was looking at, unpacking and providing a critical response to the 'DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES' document:                    
This will become compulsory to teach from 2020 and be the expectation of every teacher to integrate best digital practice within, throughout and as part of the everyday. We are doing much of this already - responding to what we already know and that which ministry have identified as a necessary part of a teachers practice.

This learning led nicely into the day our WGP digital technologies team went to the Core Education 'digitech roadshow' Event. Again the WHY was highlighted by the Digital Technologies document and the key note speaker was innovative kiwi designer Michael Walmsley. Mike has created the 'CODE AVENGERS' website
Suffice it to say A6 students will also be learning code starting this week :)

We heard again why its not about the tools but what you do with them that matters. That working within the Google Apps for Education domain gives students the depth, breadth and pertinent skills they need to take them into their future. I'm all good letting Google provide research rich tools for my students to experience. Why wouldn't we be :) ? Thanks Mike and the Core team for giving my practice some reminders and ideas and my students more of what they need.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing A6 student blogs as I come across ones that really make me smile. Please take the time to visit, read and give feedback to your child on their blog. This improves engagement and ultimately student progress. Which is the business I am in. Stay tuned....

No comments:

Post a Comment