Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What Next?

2014 brings new learning and a fantastic work opportunity. This year I have been seconded for one year to be a Facilitator. I will be working for the Ako Hiko cluster for three days of the week and two days of the week I will be working in three Manaiakalani Cluster Schools.
Last year I was given the opportunity to work with three new to netbook teachers as a facilitator within my own school (Panmure Bridge School). I worked .2 in their classrooms. The facilitator role was very successful and I enjoyed it. My team of teachers were enthusiastic and had a positive attitude in giving things a go. We had lots of fun, making movies for the Manaiakalani Film Festival. All of my team are equipped to use the school video camera, to transfer footage from the video camera to their computer, to edit and publish their movies onto their blogs. As a Facilitator I loved going along to Toolkit sessions and then the next day saying to the teacher "I went along to this amazing tool kit session yesterday afternoon, it's on...... would you like me to teach your class it?". They would say "Yes go for it". The students were very excited about being the first in the school to try this new application out, trying the app before my own class. The students enjoyed making flipping eBooks and after a while would present their learning on a flipping eBook. Skills that were taught in lessons were applied at a later date without me modelling to them or being in the room, which was great.

I look forward to working with teachers and their classes this year. It'll be great to share my knowledge and skills with others and to utilize my Masters degree. I would like to thank Mrs Dorothy Burt, Mrs Fiona Grant and the Manaiakalani Trust for giving me this wonderful opportunity to grow and to be part of introducing 1:1 digital learning environments in the Mt Roskill area.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

MITA Evaluation

This project has provided me with an insight over the needs these new year five students have when they enter into a 1:1 digital learning environment. There is a need for the year five students to be learning the technical skills sooner so that the curriculum learning objectives can be covered right at the beginning of the year when they enter into the classroom.
When my target students were interviewed at the start of the year their knowledge and experiences around E-Learning and technical skills were limited. Some of the students had more experiences than others in being monitors and in using the three class desktop computers. There is a need to equip students earlier in getting them to use the Google Apps for Education Package and to be blog authors at year four level.

Since this project has been implemented six Chrome Books have been purchased and are used in the year four class. As part of my Manaiakalani Facilitator release I have created blogs for each student and have worked with every student to ensure each student has at least one post published on their blogs. My E-Learning Monitors: Caitlin, Angel, Jharda'e and Patrick have been a great support to the year four class and have helped the class teacher and students with Google Apps and Blogging. They have been called upon when I am teaching my class. Their knowledge and skills have been invaluable to this class as well as all the junior classes in the school. Some of the year four group who are confident fast learners with their class Chrome Books have posted a number of posts on their blogs. This year four group are also called upon by the classroom teacher to help the other students which is great. Every year four student has activated their Google Account and has been taught how to create documents. Some of the top performing students have created presentations. The class teacher has attended the tool kit sessions focusing on the beginners guide to Google Apps and class sites. She has got a class site in which the class can access their follow up reading activities. The teacher has been shown during a facilitation session the Teacher Dashboard and is getting the students to file their work so that she can comment on the students learning. The year four students have been given a great start to when they enter in a 1:1 digital learning environment. I feel these students will be equipped with the knowledge in the technical skills and the understanding of the pedagogy Learn, Create, Share. At the start of term 1 2014, there will be more of an emphasis of the curriculum and objectives, and less of the orientation around accepting blog invites and activating the google accounts (technical skills) which all takes time. 

This project has been very successful. It has been a real team effort. In order to equip students to become successful learners in a 1:1 digital learning environment there needs to be a collaborative team approach. A collaborative team approach entails: getting senior managers, classroom teachers, students on board and utilizing student knowledge (peer mentoring). I found the more I utilized my own students by getting them to share their knowledge to younger students, the more receptive these students were. I loved taking my students to work with me to other classes when I did my facilitation among the classes.

To view the current year four blogs, check out their class blog. The individual student blogs are down the side:
I would like to thank the Manaiakalani Trust for allowing me to carry out this project and for giving me the opportunity to share this project at the ULEARN 13 conference and to the Learning and Change network visitors. It was a great experience to push myself out of my comfort zone especially in the area of public speaking to teachers as a lot of my work is done behind the scenes. This year has been a year of pushing myself out of my comfort zone and putting myself out there. Being accepted into the Google Teacher Academy was a fantastic learning experience to share my MITA project on a global level and to network with others from around the world in Chicago.