Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How one small change can transform outcomes..

To get a feel for what I mean, watch the following clip... The collaborators on this project didn't tell people to use the stairs - they gave them a reason to want to use them and the way they did it was through fun which led to engagement and motivation. If we want to bring about different outcomes, we will need to make changes! Here's a short clip from Ken Shelton's ulearn13 keynote address on change. I need to underline the point he makes here, it's not necessarily a massive change that could bring about different outcomes for learners. In the example above, the stairs were not ripped out or taken away, but something was added to them to make a the change that was required. (I'm thinking now of how the SAMR model applies...) In looking through edtalks there are lots of excellent examples where teachers have made changes to an aspect of their practise and the outcomes for students have gone way beyond what the teacher could have ever imagined. Here are some examples that could provide inspiration for others:
Newsboard for the 21st century from EDtalks on Vimeo.
It's a great idea from Laetitia - all classrooms have cameras in them - use them! Checking out her Hauora TV is quite inspiring with 5 year olds interviewing and presenting. And how lucky are the parents of those parents to have such an open window into their children's classroom. This travel buddies idea is a small change from what a lot of new entrant teachers might do with a class toy or mascot that goes home with students, but rather than a written diary that comes back to the teacher and might be shared with the class, this takes the same idea to a whole new level. And Emma Watts talking about engaging struggling writers: What we have here are a number of examples where changes have been made to existing practise that have led to exciting outcomes for students.

Monday, October 14, 2013

From Professional to Personalised Learning Development.

I know some others are thinking along the same lines as me on this one. Here are my thoughts. In as much as we are attempting to personalise the learning experience for our students, we've continued to use the "drenching" method for PLD. All teachers getting the same thing from  a lead teacher or consultant, whether they want it or not and whether they're ready for it or not. What this type of approach fails to recognise is that while we're all working in the same place, we've each had quite unique experiences prior to being here.
Just like the students in our classrooms. And what do good teachers do about this? They personalise the learning experience in that classroom. What should a good Principal do? The same.

So - in thinking about 2014 (and we've already discussed this quite a bit) I am wondering how teachers can maximise their experience with their Teaching as Inquiry. We've got the process well embedded and we have differing needs in our classes now. Some teachers are better equipped at knowing what to do next with their learners.
My current thinking is to do away with the "drench" method and replace it with something more personalised, where teachers develop their own plan for "learning development".

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone already doing this at their school and what the outcomes/experiences have been for the teaching staff.

Is school just preparation for life?