Friday, August 5, 2016

Connected Learners Share

The Manaiakalani Digital Immersion programme is designed to support teachers in their first year of teaching in a 1:1 digital learning environment. This eclectic group of teachers includes beginning teachers and teachers who have been decade(s) in the profession; teachers who are in their first year in a Manaiakalani school and teachers who have been in one of our schools for years but have never had the opportunity to teach in a digital learning environment until now.

One of the professional learning opportunities designed for this group is a whole day professional learning group once a term. This provides a chance for teachers to come together and explore their own teaching inquiry, to network and share, to learn more about Manaiakalani pedagogy and valued outcomes, and to develop some new digital skills.

Click to open presentation
Today we had 35 teachers attend our plg exploring the Manaiakalani focus for Term 3: “Connected Learners (young and older) Share”.

We began the day with an overview of the goals, valued outcomes and pedagogy of the Manaiakalani Programme, and teachers formed groups of three to share how they were outworking these in their practice after two terms (six months) in our schools.

The focus then shifted to how we as adults share. This initial conversation separated out personal, social and professional sharing. There were predictable differences  and robust opinion sharing around:
How do you share?
How do you define the boundaries for your sharing? If you have them.....
How do you deal when the boundaries blur or are breached?

Click to open this collection of reflections
A ’speed dating’ session followed designed for our teachers to each share aspects of their professional learning arising from their Teaching as Inquiry this year.

After connecting with half a dozen teachers they were invited to reflect on what they had heard and learnt, in light of their own Inquiry. With 12 schools represented here it was apparent that this was quite an eye opening time for everyone. Why? Schools interpret this important aspect of teaching in a variety of ways and this can be seen in this slide show.

We then spent time exploring how our young people share in Manaiakalani schools and touched on some of our celebratory events like Schools Inc and the Film Festival. But our major focus was blogging which is evident in all our schools.  We have endless anecdotal evidence from teachers and learners about the power of blogging in raising learner engagement and outcomes and discussed this.
Click to open the padlet

But it was the research of Rachel Williamson which excited attention and debate. An external evaluation of an integral component of our education programme. After spending time reading the report and talking in groups, our teachers contributed to a padlet with an ‘I Should” statement.

The most frequently recurring statements indicated that our new teachers had not been interacting with the learners’ posts and had become aware that this was important.

We ended the day with a ‘Create’ activity inviting everyone to create an infographic sharing the data they could gather from their own blog analytics. These were shared on their own blogs and in our Manaiakalani Google+ community. Reading through these showed the ongoing depth of critical thinking in this group. Some of the teachers chose to share their infographics on the presentation below as well.

 It is a privilege to be part of a group like this who are so open to exploring their own practice and go to great lengths to improve outcomes for our tamariki.

Thanks to Karen and Georgia for sketchnoting the session today and sharing on your own blogs.