Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Learning & Problem-Solving in the Real World and Entrepreneurship, Start Ups and Crowdfunding (Week 10)

Homework Task:
We had to prepare for this week's session by viewing the shorter interview video of Riley, the Young Ocean Explorer and had to think about:
  • How could we use our students’ real-world (in/outside school) learning experiences as proof of their learning?
  • How could we help them to find their passion?
Once you’ve viewed the video publish an example of an inspiring #realworldassessment to the G+ Community.

Reflection on the homework task:
What a powerful video! To see and hear the excitement and passion of this young learner really touched my heart!
Now my attempt in answering the above questions...
  • I think it is important to know our students and to listen to what they have to say and share. Unfortunately, the importance of these can so easily be dismissed. 'Student-centered' (project-based) learning is valuable and can lead to student-led discussions and projects according to students' interests. Teachers should be able to ask students what and then how they would like to learn the content and how they can be supported. It would be more powerful to access according to the Key Competencies rather than the traditional 'grading'. Meaningful assessment can also be accomplished when looking at the 4 C's (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication) and how students use this in real-life. When students can apply what they have learnt in class to a 'real-world' context, this to me would be proof of their learning.
  • Help them find their passion by introducing them to a variety of 'subjects' by either reading to them or to find out what sparks their interest. Encourage students to be curious about everything and when they find something they would like to explore more about to give it their all. You can also assists by helping them to connect with an expert in their field of interest. 
#realworldassessmentA couple of years ago, I sparked my students' interest with participating in a Global classroom project with the 'Travelling Rhinos '
My students were also involved in learning about an endangered species. We choose the Kiwi. Here is a movie on how our project unfolded.

I have also found this Meaningful Assessment 'chart' using the 4 C's which I think can be quite useful when looking at making assessments meaningful.

Digital & Collaborative Learning (DCL) - Learning and Problem-Solving in the Real World 

Problem solving tasks requires that the problem needs to be investigated to guide the approach and then to design a coherent solution. This solution needs to be tested and improvements iterated.

Real world problems are experienced by real people and data used is real.

How to find real-world projects online? How could you use the sites? 

Some platforms to use:

We worked with Zooniverse, chose a project and 'do something real today' by helping scientists and researchers to do science by analysing real world data. Feedback in the G+ Community were required after this task. 

While working on a school project, 16 year old Boyan Slat started studying oceanic plastic pollution and the problems in cleaning it up.

Leadership in Digital & Collaborative Learning (LDC) - Entrepreneurship, Start Ups and Crowdfunding

We played a game called 'Market Share'. Purpose: Business education and how to increase financial literacy for the next generation. Our table split up into two groups. This was a great way of putting collaboration into place.

Whilst listening to Frances Valintine it was stressed that we should encourage our students to make a difference if they have an idea. We need to identify passions and look at ways to involve students into creating their own enterprises. There are a lot more 12 year entrepreneurs out there than before. Tristan Pang is one of the worlds youngest speakers.

A continuum of social enterprise

How do we as a school provide financial literacy?
ASB Financial literacy (ASB GetWise)

Group Task:
Develop a business plan (that solves one of the pre-determined problems) using the LEAN approach.

~ "The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'" - Maria Montessori ~

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Less Assessment - More Engagement and Multicultural and International perspectives on Education (Week 9)

Homework Task:
We had to prepare for this week's session by viewing the TED talk ‘Don’t ask me where I’m from, ask where I’m a local’ by Taiye Selasi and do the task (about your Rituals, Relationships and Restrictions) she suggests in her talk.  

Ideas from my homework:

What does your identity look like? First generation Kiwi (although have been living in a number of countries)
Where are you from? Lots of places...
Where are you local or multilocal? Where I feel home.

Listen to news
Driving to work
Checking emails
Seeing parents every day
Study / Research / Learning
Twitter / FB / VLN / G+
Church (regularly) on Sunday
Social media: local, across NZ & worldwide PLN) 
Colleagues within school, cluster events
Parents & students
Work-life balance

"Culture exists in Community and Community exist in Context. I carry my experiences within me, where I am from comes from wherever I go." - Taiye Selasi

Digital & Collaborative Learning (DCL) - Less Assessment - More Engagement

- Interesting to see how NZ value where we sit on this
- We want to be perceived to have a good education system

How do we create a need to know?
Do you talk about engagement in your assessment? "Engagement always connotates a relationship - one of involvement - to something" - Shernoff, 2013, p.11

"When you interact with someone who is fully engaged and filled with passion, it can be an overwhelming and unforgettable experience.There is no faking can't 'Meg Ryan' that type of passion!" 
- Burgess, D. (2012). Teach like a pirate: Increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator.

Group Task:

By: Annemarie, Alison, Clare, Graham, Wendy and myself

Some digital tools that might be used for (formative) assessment: 
  • Padlet (collaboration canvas), Socrative (audience response), Kahoot, ForAllRubrics (rubric creation), PollDaddy
  • Flubaroo (grading), VoiceThread (audio comments), Videos (assessment), XMind (mindmapping), Formative (real-time FA)
  • Turnitin (writing and assessment), TodaysMeet (collaboration), Google Docs (collaboration), ThinkBinder (collaboration), Knewton

Leadership in Digital & Collaborative Learning (LDC) - Multicultural and International perspectives on Education

Maori Education - Transformative paradigm. They take more pride and strength in being Maori when their identity is acknowledge. Kotahitanga.

Michael Fullan on change:
"Moral purpose without change agentry is martyrdom; change agentry without moral purpose is change for the sake of change."

"We shouldn't worry about how effective we are in getting things done, but we should be focus on being good at getting the right things done."

Change is hard. There is a ceiling effect to how much we can learn if we keep to ourselves (Fullan and Hargreaves 1991).

  • Participate in an online Quiz about Finnish Education System comparing it to New Zealand's – using Kahoot!
This was an interesting exercise... 
My 'thoughts' about this tool:
- Fun and engaging
- Students who are slow, might find using this tools challenging
- Might be a bit disheartening if they don't see their name on the scoreboard
- Is there a way that students can track if they make progress/ becoming faster in answering questions?

Best practices of this tool:
- Students benefit from online games
- Engage students in educational in a fun way
- Challenges students in learning process
"When we use Kahoot students are engaged!" What do you meant by that?
State of flow, because you are engaged and time flew by.

Group Tasks: (by Annemarie, Alison, Graham, Clare, Wendy and myself)
  • Think about which local communities do you belong to? Which do your students belong to? Are they same as yours?

  • Think about how do you define an Education System’s success? What do you think success means on a personal level?

What is success on a personal level? If we think that IQ does not determine success, is it instead the outcome of... grit, perseverance, optimism, curiosity, empathy, sense of rightness, social intelligence and other character traits? Paul Tough emphasizes that character traits, not cognitive skills measured by IQ test, lead to success

Jude Barback writes: "As in many other countries, Finland's approach to education has provoked much interest in NZ education circles, with many questioning whether we should be looking at taking a similar path. to do so completely would mean a major shift in political direction, away from standardised testing and other competitive measures. Yet, steps like raising the profile of the teacher training through a postgraduate focus are within grasp. In any case, watching and learning what other nations are doing - and doing well - is important, but so is considering our own unique challenges and circumstances that need to be addressed. The best path can only be taken when best practice fully meets the specific needs of the population - that is New Zealand's real challenge."

~ "Scholars have noted that the ability or inability to direct one's attention is an essential determinant of the success or failure of any practical operation." -Lev Vygotsky, Mind in Society ~

Friday, January 15, 2016

School Transformation and Leading Change (Week 8)

Digital & Collaborative Learning (DCL) - School Transformation

Overarching Question: How do we ensure education evolves to reflect the needs of today and tomorrow?

Group Discussion:

  • Draw a concept map of your own educational philosophy (using Coggle)
  • Contribute to the shared vision statement Padlet for your location

We looked at some Common and Distinctive themes

Homework Reflection:
  • Explore your responses to the homework reading (from Ha-Joon Chang) by using the '5 why's'
Conclusion and our 'why's'
why happening at all
why more in rich countries
why a higher number in machinery
why is it ok to not get a qualification (why do they not see the need) 
why does it mean the 'stacker' don't have to have an education
why making choices to go into part time e.g. stacking shelves

  • Choose a video from this week’s LDC Portal and discuss the values of education which underpin these views.

Reform for 2 reasons  economic, cultural
Divergent thinking not the same as creativity (ability to see lots of answers, think laterally)
Parental attitude could be a problem

We also watched "An open letter to Educators" by Dan Brown
Conclusion: If schools were to 'survive' we need to cater to/for the future. Knowledge is not highly valuable anymore. What is important is the skills to access and apply the knowledge.

There is a need to adapt for the Future-focused learner and the need to challenge our habits and mindset.

Group discussion
What is the ministry's vision for New Zealand education in 2025? Education in 2025

Page 1: What does 'Anton' tell us about lifelong learning as opposed to school based learning?
Learning centers, learn from parents, peers, whanau. digitally connected,
Learning available online, does not stop at school gate

Page 2: What does "LEAD WITH PEDAGOGY, ACCELERATE WITH TECHNOLOGY' actually mean? What is (if anything) is missing from the ministry's vision?
Learner's don't always have to be digital connected
Not STEM, but STE(A)M putting a in for arts
Cultural responsiveness? Relational pedagogy missing - self believe?

Leadership in Digital & Collaborative Learning (LDC) - Leading Change

Fullen's 'Six secrets of Change' was mentioned and here is his view on change management.

Change does not happen in a vacuum. It happens in the context of:
1. Multiple stakeholders (Who are they in education?)
2. Strategies (What is your school's strategic vision?)
3. Evidence (How do you find evidence to support and monitor change?)

To remember:
Build capacity 
Bridge gap 
Have ownership after change happened
Most powerful - learning from peers

  • Critique the 'principal's letter' from the perspective of change management
After critiquing the letter from the principal regarding introducing BYOD we came to the conclusion:
He has not limited the number of changes
Did not mention strategic goals
No justification of change based on evidence
Potential risks not identified
No robust evidence suggested
(none of bullet points were considered)

  • Collaboratively create a change management strategy document for a topic of your choice

'New word learnt':
'Learnacy' (new term - part of agency) ability to learn or skills to be learn (formative/metacognitive)

~ "Great leaders are prepared for the winds of change" - Reed B Markham ~

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ready or Not...

Fierce... one word that gives me the possibility of doing things deliberately this year. I will be fierce in re-connecting with myself as well as connecting with who I am becoming.

The best part is that I can take a bit advantage of my chosen word, as it enables me to also include and focus on words like:   
Stronger,  by taking on opportunities and not let fear holding me back
Braver, in the choices I make
Kinder, to myself to ensure I am the best I can be
Unstoppable, in doing things in a thoughtful and proactive way

I guess it [sometimes] could be easy to forget that reaction is human... Therefore, I think it is important to realise/remember that although one have good intentions, we are actually [a bit] 'imperfect'. But with some fierceness behind me, who knows what this year might bring...

Quotes to ponder:
  • "Even the nicest people have their limits. Don't try to reach that point because the nicest people are also the scariest when they've had enough" - Anonymous
  • "Be afraid of the quiet ones, they are the ones who actually think" - Anonymous

~ "If your goal does not scare and excite you at the same time, the goal is probably too small." - Bob Proctor ~