Thursday, 28 August 2014

Family Learning Hui No 2 Monday August 25th

Every Student Engaged in Deep Learning for Success
The evening began with a reminder of our school wide goal:To engage every student in deep learning for success.
 Digital devices are one tool for supporting engagement in deep learning. We use a range of ways to make this happen. These thinking progressions help to explain what we mean by deep learning.

Stage 1 of 4 stages leading the children to deep learning for success
The image above is the first of four stages showing how we encourage children to think more deeply about their learning. You can access all of the stages via this link.

Keeping track of multiple school blogs
Go to the google plus symbol and click on it and add the author of the blog into your circles. You will then be able to open a page of multiple blogs and keep up with the latest published news from classrooms.

A day in the life of a BYOD classroom
Mrs Frances-Rees and the manuka class presentation shows how BYOD (bring your own devices) works in a Year 7 classroom. You can access this by going to this link. 

Our Year 7 and 8's have been BYOD for the past couple of years. Now we are getting ready for the other year groups to have this opportunity. By offering a reasonably priced, reliable device like the chromebook, we are taking away the need for competition that can come when children bring a range of devices to school. There will still be class devices to access for children to use but the children that own their own can take these home to continue the 'beyond school learning' experiences.
Our focus is understanding that learning happens all the time. It's not limited to just between the hours of 9-3 at school. Now the children have access to school learning via our blogs and sites at home. You as parents and caregivers also have access and can support and reinforce learning at other times. If the learning is engaging then the children are more likely to want to learn themselves.
Here is a link to a video of Year 7 students articulating SOLO learning, Key Conpetencie's & digital technology and how these engage them in deep learning 

 Chromebook information
Gareth and a team from Harvey Norman explained how chromebooks work. We have flyers available in the office that describe the special deals only available to schools. Families can contact Gareth or the team from Timaru and Dunedin for more advice. We have their contact details in the office. We will share more information about this at our next meeting as well.

Extras to think about before our next get together early in Term 4
Bringing our families and students together with staff, is a way to learn together. It's also a way for families and students to actively contribute towards our vision to achieve our goal for success for our students.
Our work as part of a learning and change network has encouraged us to engage about learning with our students, families and community. This is a link to a recent video that I made explaining how we can achieve much more by sharing our own knowledge and expertise together.

We look forward to learning together again at the next hui planned for early Term 4. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

What deep learning and change ripples can we make together?

As an active participant in a recent NZ Learning and Change (LCN) Reference Group session in Auckland, we were asked to reflect on the nature and value of the LCN Strategy. Here are my reflections. They accompany a short video. Click here for  the link to the video.
Screenshot from the video linking the LCN strategy to self-organizing living systems.

Have you ever been part of a vibrant, energetic group of learners who seem to embody an organic whole, pulsating with energy and creating something new and exciting, no single participant could create on their own? (Widhalm 2011)

Learning experiences such as this are at the heart of the New Zealand Learning and Change Network Strategy. This is a strategy where whole communities actively connect and collaborate for the future success of priority students and their families. A strategy where the traditional supply driven, passive and hierarchical mode of professional learning is flipped into an active, ecological, lateral mode of learning.

Developing a growth mind set, believing that one’s learning abilities grow through deliberate practice, is essential for network members: students, teachers, family, school and community leaders. Believing that the expertise lies within and across the network, empowers members to actively articulate, partner and co-construct change priorities for future success for all learners.

Future success is evident through the immersion of learners in innovative, engaging deep learning environments that have the proven capacity to  increase cognitive ability and professional growth for the whole network. Forward thinking local networks transform into vibrant communities of practice. The lateral nature of these intrinsically driven networks means that all participants learn alongside one another within and across communities.
Constant collaboration within the network communities promotes a united sense of ownership and responsibility for the change priorities. Culturally responsive, continually evolving mutual relationships build trust which strengthens and propels the network further forward. Connections between networks nationally and globally ensure the capability for powerful change is strengthened in ways that aren’t possible individually.
Just as self-organising living systems maintain a state of dynamic balance, authentic agency from all participants based on evaluative reflections, continuously realign and reinforce the purpose and direction of the learning and change networks. Such is their nature inasmuch as they emulate self-organising living systems that have the capacity to respond continuously to change. (Wheatley 2011)

Individual to connected

Local to global

What deep learning and change ripples can we make together?

Annan, B. (2014) Learning and Change Networks Milestone 4 (final) Auckland UniServices The University of Auckland
Annan, B. Carpenter, R. (2014) OECD Innovative Learning Environments Project New Zealand Monitoring Note 2; Learning and Change Networks (LCN)
Dweck,C. (2006). Mindset:The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books
Fullan,M. (2011). Change Leader: Learning to Do What Matters Most. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Wheatley,M.(2006). Leadership and the new science. San Francisco: Berret-Koehler
Widhalm,B (2011) Educators as Architects of Living Systems: Designing Vibrant Learning Experiences beyond sustainability and systems thinking. Retrieved July , 2014, from (as part of Masters in Educational Leadership studies)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

6 motivational drivers that 'fire us up' and activate deep learning (Ch 6 Open)

Principles and values aren't enough, you need to have motivation for deep and powerful learning to happen (Price p107).

I have just reread and reflected on Chapter 6 of the powerful book  OPEN: How we'll work, live and learn in the future by David Price. I realize that the motivational drivers that Price refers to underpin my own continued engagement in deep learning.

Price emphasizes that these drivers don't rely on external incentives but are instead exclusively intrinsic (Price p108).
  1. Do it yourself
  2. Do it now
  3. Do it with friends
  4. Do unto others
  5. Do it for fun
  6. Do it for the world to see
1.Do it Yourself (Autonomy)
This is where self-determinism meets collaboration, accelerated by social networking tools (Price p109).
The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia is a good example. Individuals choose to share knowledge regardless of who they are. This is then critiqued or corrected by others and the world gratefully uses it at no cost.
I have chosen to make my own leadership and learning visible through my blog and Twitter. Nobody has asked me to do this. I am doing it myself.

2.Do it Now (Immediacy)
Learning is more powerful when it can solve an immediate problem. Price refers to this as 'Just-in-Time' learning. Finding information that provides a quick solution to a problem is more likely to be remembered than learning for the sake of learning or 'Just-in-Case' learning.
I liken this to typing a problem into 'google' and following the steps to solve it by watching a video and putting the new learning immediately into practice. 

3.Do it with Friends (Collegiality)
Learning in the Global learning commons is networked, linked-in and highly social compared with traditional, formal view of individual learning (Price p112).Twitter is now recognized as a primary source of professional development. Learn about this here. This embodies the 'knowledge lies within the group' message from (Annan) and 'use the group to change the group' (Fullan).
From video
4.Do unto Others (Generosity)
'Social learning thrives in a culture of service and wonder..'Conner 
We learn best when we do it with passion and purpose. Sharing and doing our learning for others provides a powerful motivation to learn (Price p116).
We need many ripples to form a tidal wave of positive change in education. I can either stand back and observe or I can be an active change agent and create some ripples myself.
5.Do it for Fun (Playfulness)
Some of the greatest life skills we learn are achieved because of the pleasure and fun we enjoy along the way, for example, swimming and riding a bicycle.
Fun without challenge is unsatisfying. 'Hard fun' is something that all learning professionals should create. How can we harness the engagement, self-discipline and resilience, skills evident when playing video games into our schools? Learning to create my very first video using the Videoscribe programme was 'hard fun' for me but I persisted and have learnt many new skills along the way.

6.Do it for the World to See (High Visibility)
From video
We have all become journalists through digital technology such as blogging and tweeting.Public assessment of work is more powerful to students than a grade or a mark from their teacher. This has transformed our motivation to learn.
I share in my sabbatical report  and in my video that I was inspired to create my own blog and join Twitter through following the work of young learners in the Manaikalani network of schools in Auckland.

Finally, Price explains that the technology provides the tools, but it's the power of personal connections,informal learning and displaying generosity to one another, which creates the imperative to learn, and act, collaboratively (p122).

We need to seriously ask ourselves these questions: What do these motivational drivers mean for you and your own personal learning? How can we bring the richness and vibrancy of social learning into our educational settings?

What are we doing about this in Oamaru, North Otago?
We have been focusing on these drivers for some time now within our own school environment. Becoming part of a larger network of schools has helped to create a greater opportunity for collaboration on a larger scale. 
This week, we will be holding our first ever # Whitestone LCN Event and you can read about our plans here.

I will be continuing to be 'fired up' by these drivers as I prepare to read 'Open Learning at Work' in Chapter 7 of OPEN: How we'll work, live and learn in the future by David Price and share my learning with you in my next review.