Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Provisional essay plan

In preparation for the first assignment due in a few weeks for EDEM630, this blogpost is a provisional essay plan.

  • What is my goal for writing this essay?
My goal for writing this essay is to fully articulate and make sense of different change models and how my own school context and the changes that we are moving towards or immersed in, can been influenced or understood through the change models identified.  Ideally, one of my goals is to use the knowledge I have gained from understanding these change models to lead a more effective change process at Cobham.
  • What information do I need to include?
I need to include a wide range of relevant sources that will influence and support my own thinking in relation to my school context.  I will need to align these to the changes that are currently happening and are planned for in the future at Cobham.
  • How will the information be organised?
I will use the assessment rubric and outline of what is required to shape the content of my assignment.
  • What is the personal change context you would like to focus on?
The personal change context for my essay will be the introduction of BYOD to Cobham Intermediate and the support structures that are needed to ensure the most successful and effective BYOD programme possible.
  • What is the central thesis or key question you aim to answer drawing on the research on change with digital technology in education?
My topic of research is "What support needs to be provided to ensure a successful BYOD programme?"
  • What are the main themes you plan to address in the body of your essay (bullet points)?
 - What different areas of support need to be considered?
 - How has the issue of equity been addressed?
 - What have the key contributing factors been for other schools who consider their BYOD       programmes to be successful?
 - Where, who, when and how can schools access the necessary support needed to implement a successful BYOD programme?
  • What conclusions do you anticipate?
I anticipate that there will be several different areas that need support to be put in place, for example, staff and student professional development, community consultation and infrastructure.  I also expect that there will be a large investment needed by schools in terms of funding and time to ensure the successful implementation of a BYOD programme.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Whakanuia te wiki o te reo Mori 
Celebrate Mori language week

The kaupapa for Te Wiki o te Reo Mori 2015 is ‘Whngaihia te reo Mori ki ngmtua,' with the aim to encourage and support the language development of parents who can then whngai the language to their children.

Ngmihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Greetings to you all.
Te Wiki o te Reo M
ori /Mori Language Week takes place this year between Monday 27 July and Sunday 2 August. This special week provides an opportunity to celebrate and learn te reo Mori, helping to secure its future as a living, dynamic, and rich language.

I strongly urge and encourage you to really step it up and promote the use of te reo Mori at school during this week and hopefully beyond. 

Here are some practical ideas that I know all of you can try next week with your class & around home and school:

- Greet everyone in person, everyday in te reo Mori (kia ora, tnkoe/krua/koutou, mrena, ata mrie, ka kite an, haere r, e noho r) &/or change your email greetings/signature to te reo Mori using these google doc ‘Useful Phrases in te reo Mori' - https://goo.gl/ZgB0hH
- Always start & end the day/session with our school karakia
- Sing a M
ori waiata everyday http://tereomaori.tki.org.nz/Reo-Maori-resources/Hei-Waiata
- Learn these classroom kupu-https://quizlet.com/subject/classroom-kupu/ & then create labels to stick them to the relevant objects in your class, use the Mori names of the objects when possible
- Sign up to Te Kupu o te Wiki
- Share with your class everyday a different Whakatauk- https://goo.gl/QEqJOAor Kwaha-https://quizlet.com/subject/maori-kiwaha/ 
Ensure you and your kids know how to pronounce Mori names correctly (people e.g. Anaru, Hurihia, Awanui, Ngriki and places e.g. Akaroa, Rangiora, tautahi)
- Celebrate all the M
ori words you & your kids know already, you might be surprised - make a class list & identify them all e.g. kai, marae, mana, kaupapa, whnau. Discuss their meaning, practice pronunciation but most importantly, commit to using the kupu/words you already know in your everyday conversations
- Know these two documents inside out & use them as key resources for
planning, teaching and assessing te reo Mori at school 
          1) Te Aho Arataki Marau mte ako i te reo Mori Kura Auraki http://tereomaori.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-guidelines 
          2) He Reo Tupu, He Reo Ora http://hereoora.tki.org.nz/
- Get to know your kids better by learning & sharing your own and as well as their own mihi
- Identify & discuss important M
ori values - http://tereomaori.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-guidelines/The-importance-of-learning-te-reo-Maori/Exploring-shared-values. Decide as a class how we can demonstrate, celebrate & promote these values at school
- Share some of the articles, videos, stories from the links below with your whole class
- If you need help, please just ask. I am always happy to help with pronunciation, support & encouragement!

Don’t just think about it - commit to it, krero Mori e! 
Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui!

Resource page offering links, ideas and stories

Te Kupu o te Wiki

Virtual Learning Network Discussion

A digital kit of resources for Mori Language week – resources, websites, blog posts, you tube clips of waiata, lang, video, photos, Edtalks, whakatauk. Collaboratively put together by educators across NZ led by Tania Coutts (CORE Education) https://docs.google.com/a/core-ed.ac.nz/presentation/d/1yCWb__TzLsCzcF6QS2u8Z6yf3M5_8eGLl-Vy6rVZ1f8/edit#slide=id.p

Ngi Tahu Resources & Downloads

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Arena of Change at Cobham

e-Activity 2.1

  • An introduction of your central topic of research, that is, your identified change with digital technology in education.
  • A description of the ecology which identifies the relationships between your change and the wider ecosystem
Figure 1. The arena of change with a successful BYOD classroom programme at Cobham Intermediate at it's centre.

My topic of research is "What support needs to be provided to ensure a successful BYOD programme?"

The change at our school in relation to this topic is that our school went BYOD at the start of Term 2 this year (2015).  We now allow and encourage all students to bring a device of their choice, that they own, to school to be used as a learning tool, when and where appropriate.  We also provide 5 iPad minis and 5 Chromebooks in every class to top up the amount of devices available for student use.

We believe that moving towards a 1:1 digital device, or at the very least 1:2 programme will enable access to technology anywhere, anytime within the school environment and beyond for our students and that this will enhance their learning experiences and enable learning activities that were previously not possible.

Figure 1 is the artifact that I am reflecting upon.  The 'arena of change' model above is created in relation to my own school context, Cobham Intermediate and is based on the work of N. Davis, 2015 and her arena of change with digital technologies.  I created this model using Google Drawings.

At the centre of this arena of change is our classroom environment, where the biggest change is visible-children coming to school with their own devices on a day-to-day basis.  We have all teachers and students, in ever class affected by this but to differing levels.  Some classes have a very high uptake, with almost 1:1, where others have less than 1/4 of students bring a device to class.  This, along with teacher confidence and competence, is enabling different degrees of device use in class. Less devices available has hindered some teachers from implementing activities that require or could benefit from device use.

Moving outwards within the arena, to a school level, the level of support provided by the leadership team, parents, BoT and PTA has had a direct impact on the BYOD programme as well.  The PTA, along with funds from community charities, have provided funding to purchase additional devices to cater for equity issues. Our BoT has supported the move to BYOD and developed sound policies and strategic planning around the roll out. Parents have been consulted with and communicated to throughout the whole process.  The leadership team is integral to planning and providing the necessary professional development needed for both staff and students to ensure new knowledge and skills are being developed.  This should also be in conjunction with what is happening in the BLCC - Burnside Learning Community Cluster, as many of these schools feed into our intermediate school or our kids move into theirs.  It is important to maximise the opportunities to collaborate and grow professionally as a staff internally and externally, across our wider PD networks, such as the cluster and online professional learning groups (PLGs) open to us, such as on Google +, Twitter, Facebook and the VLN, drawing on the expertise and knowledge of others with BYOD experience and skills.
"PD opportunities within and across schools often support change with ICT-related PD within the school and/or across it's networks of overlapping ecologies" (Davis et. al. 2013.)

In terms of the bureaucratic and political influences, the current Government has huge influence of what is happening within our school environment.  The Ministry of Education has fully supported and encouraged the effective use of digital technologies to support learning and the New Zealand curriculum gives us great scope for developing programmes that support the effective use of digital devices for learning.  "Schools should explore not only how ICT can supplement traditional ways of teaching but also how it can open up new and different ways of learning." (MoE, 2007, p. 36).

Teachers may have the scope to innovate in their teaching and learning programmes but are still accountable in terms of reporting against the national standards and meeting school student and E.R.O targets, which can influence when, what and why the incorporate the use of digital technologies into their classroom programme.  This has been been influenced hugely however since the government invested in the school network upgrade programme (SNUP), ultra-fast broadband in schools (UFBiS) and the Network for Learning (N4L).  Having the much needed infrastructure in place was critical in terms of the timing for when our school was finally in a position to move to BYOD.

Finally, the services available also contributed to whether we would go BYOD and of course, of successful the implementation of the BYOD programme will be.  When Cobham trialled BYOD in a small amount of classes last year, we also trialled GAFE accounts for all of the staff in the school and just the students in those classes and use of the Hapara Teacher Dashboard for managing the google account in those classes.  The success of both of these initiatives was such, it went without saying that when we rolled out BYOD across the whole school this year, all students now would move to GAFE accounts and all classes would use Hapara Teacher Dashboard to manage student work, with Rev It supporting us with the management of our network and hardware.

So What?
Seeing the ecosystem clearly identified and visible has been an affirming moment, as well as being able to articulate how the relationships between each layer has impacted on the change taking place within the classroom, or more specifically, impacting on how successful the change has, or has not been implemented and managed within our school and for our students.  Seeing the layers of change and how they interact developed my own understanding of the domino effect of change across the ecosystems-you can't get change happening in isolation, "Systems don't change because only one party takes action" (Fullan, 2014, p. 76).

Upon reflecting on how the ecologies exist and interact with each other in relation to my own school environment, it is apparent that our teachers are at the heart of the model and therefore at the 'coalface' for the change.  This is where the ultimate success of BYOD will be measured, in terms of what our teachers feedback about how the devices are being used, the uptake of BYOD and most importantly, the impact of student engagement and achievement.  This being said, the teachers would not have necessarily been able to make this whole school change without the support and direction from leadership.  Fullan (2011) comments that "...for a system to develop it must be led.  Supportive leaders become an essential component" (p. 3).  In our case, leadership has been driving this change from the outset, allowing for consultation with all key stakeholders,  professional development opportunities for staff, providing ample funding for school devices to top up availability in classes and ensure equity for all, as well as implementing a pilot programme so we could slowly introduce the change and evaluate its impact for our staff, students and whānau before making a decision about rolling this out across the whole school.  This meant that we were confident that we were making the right decision, based on what our teachers and students wanted and based on evidence gathered around an increase in engagement.  We are still investigating any direct links to an increase in student achievement results as this is harder to prove. In my opinion, the leadership support to make this change, for the right reasons and through a systematic, deliberate and well-timed approach has meant the initial stages of the change process has been successful so far.

Now What?
I would like to encourage others to view and reflect upon my arena of change.  I would love to receive some feedback as to other perspectives in relation to my model and any similarities or differences other school contexts face in relation to the implementation of BYOD at their schools.

As I become more knowledgeable about correct APA referencing and annotated bibliographies I may need to edit this post and correct any errors I may have made.

I have aspirations to share this model with the staff and leadership team at my school, or perhaps even better, work through a collaborative activity where groups, which could include staff, leadership, governance, parents, students etc could create their own change arena for our school.  Having mixed groups could broaden the perspectives brought to the table and identify different influences the others may not have considered.  We could then share the change arenas and identify the similarities and/or differences as well as the possible implications and opportunities.


Davis, N., Eickelmann, B. and Zaka, P. (2013), Restructuring of educational systems in the digital age from a co-evolutionary perspective. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29: 438–450. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12032. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.canterbury.ac.nz/doi/10.1111/jcal.12032/epdf

Description: This article recognises the increasing range of radical restructuring resulting from the co-evolution of education and digital technologies in school systems and related activity in the global ecosystem. It explains the co-evolutionary perspective of ICT in education, sharing learning from a case study of a rural secondary school in New Zealand and explores resistance to restructuring with ICT, the co-evolution of virtual schooling in the U.S and summarises the restructuring of schooling systems in the 21st century.

Evaluation: An excellent article that uses a wide range of evidence informed research to supports its statements. It clearly articulates and defines the relevant terms and describes how the interconnected ecosystems relate to each other however I also found it to be written to a high academic level, therefore it takes careful thought and consideration to be able to process and understand the concepts. This article has been essential to supporting my topic of research as I have used the arena of change model as the basis for understanding my own school context and the various ecologies and influences surrounding and impacting on my own school perspective.

Fullan, M. (2011). Learning is the work. Unpublished manuscript. Retrieved from http://www.michaelfullan.ca/media/13396087260.pdf

Description: This paper outlines some of the traditional forms for teacher development and the lack of success these have had in terms of making a real difference to improving teacher practice. The overall theme for the paper is how collaboration is the key to substantial and effective teacher development and that this collaboration occurs regularly and across various levels. It is in the day-to-day conversations, support systems, feedback and feed-forward and professional conversations that happen between and across staff, leaders, students and parents. This also extends outwards to between and across other schools, networks, organisations and collaborative networks. It details how innovation will come from teachers working in collaboration and leaders developing an interactive system.
Evaluation: This paper comes from a well respected and internationally known educator (one of my favourite experts to learn from). It is short and succinct, making it easy to read and process. The results are linked to Canadian and American examples but I still found the information relevant and applicable to my own experiences within the New Zealand education system. The key concept of collaboration is extremely relevant to our school context as it is a key focus across the school to develop and enhance student and staff collaboration. This also is very relevant given the move to Learning Community Clusters (LCC) and the Investing in Educational Success (IES) policy where our schools is now needing to collaborate across several schools within the Burnside LCC.

Fullan, M., & Langworthy, M. (2014). A Rich Seam: How new pedagogies find deep learning. Retrieved from http://www.michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/3897.Rich_Seam_web.pdf

Description: This report discusses three new forces impacting on education today and going forward into the future. The first force is 'new pedagogies' and relates to the new learning partnerships that develop between and among students and teachers when resources and digital tools become 'pervasive' The second force is 'new change leadership' which 'merges top-down, bottom-up and sideways energies to generate change faster and easier than anything seen in past efforts at reform'. The third force is 'new system economics' where the essential and powerful learning resources and tools which accelerate the first 2 forces become more affordable for all. The report gives the background to why change is happening globally, what the new pedagogies are all about, how they can be viewed in modern education and what the possibilities are if the new pedagogies model is developed in schools.

Evaluation: This report is an excellent resource for anyone in education. It comes from a well respected and internationally known educator (Fullan) who has numerous highly regarded books and papers published in relation to key educational concepts within future-focused learning like change management, leadership, collaboration, digital tools etc. The report is well structured and references a huge amount of research, both from international experts as well as New Zealand experts, which I found reassuring to know there were links to our education system. One of the most beneficial aspects of this report was the numerous school stories, including teacher quotes, statistics & data, tables of relevant information etc as I was able to directly link and substitute these examples with some of our own information in relation to my school context. I believe this report is an essential resource for education leaders and all teachers to read as it is engaging, informative and very motivating. You come away for a better sense of the immediate need for change and the possibilities the new pedagogies model could provide us with.

Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum. Wellington: Learning Media.

Description: The New Zealand Curriculum document, alongside Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, is the key document which sets the direction for student learning in primary and secondary schools throughout New Zealand. It provides essential information and guidance schools need when designing and/or reviewing their school curriculum.

Evaluation: The New Zealand Curriculum document is viewed positively by many and is widely considered as flexible, practical, more child-centered and an improvement on its predecessor. Some express uncertainty due to the reduced prescription and increased professional autonomy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bring it on BYOD

One of the first tasks I need to complete as part of EDEM630 is to select a research topic, under the umbrella of change with digital technologies in education, to direct my own study of the literature during the course in preparation for the final research paper or case study I will have to submit.

It was a no brainer for me as to what I wanted to focus on and anyone reading back through my previous posts will notice I have already started musing out loud about this kaupapa as so much of my work and strategic planning as DP and the lead teacher of e-learning revolves around this - BYOD.

My first task is as follows:
  • STATE your research topic and identify the specific digital technology (or technologies).
  • WHY did you choose the topic? What interests you about it? Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?
  • WHO are the information providers on this topic? Who might publish information about it? Who is affected by the topic? Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
  • WHAT are the major questions for this topic? Is there a debate about the topic? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
  • WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level? Are there specific places affected by the topic?
  • WHEN is/was your topic important? Is it a current event or an historical issue? Do you want to compare your topic by time periods?

My research topic will be: What support needs to be provided to ensure a successful BYOD programme?

I chose this topic because going whole school BYOD is a huge change currently being implemented at Cobham and it will continue to play a major role in our strategic planning going forward as well as all teaching and learning programmes, hopefully in time, play a vital role in improved student assessment and evaluation processes, not to mention opening up learning to whānau and our wider community.  This is a relatively new topic to education, increasing in interest over the last 4 or so years since the iPad/tablet was developed as the introduction of smaller, more affordable devices made the possibility of a 1:1 programme, with all students using some form of personal computer or mobile device, an absolute reality.

There are lot's of fantastic information providers available online who have lots of relevant thinking and resources to share, here are some New Zealand gems!
Virtual Learning Network (VLN) - BYOD in Schools Group
Enabling e-Learning - Learning with 1:1 digital devices
Twitter - BYOD
CORE Education Ltd - BYOD
EdTalks - BYOD, 1:1 digital devices

Besides these I would like to acknowledge that there is a wealth of information shared internationally that offers much to learn from but some of the best learning I have gleaned about this topic and leadership around e-learning has been from other educators blogging about their journey, here are just a couple of my favourite Kiwi bloggers:

Making the decision for a school to go BYOD and move towards a 1:1 device programme is a big one as people have differing opinions on whether this is a good thing or not.  There are plenty of fantastic discussions online debating the pros and cons or the things worth considering before you take that leap:

I personally think it is a must.  Schools cannot and should not have to provide all students with a laptop or tablet but rather take advantage of the fact that most students already have one anyway and now we can use these devices to engage and ignite learning in the classroom by introducing BYOD.  I do believe though, that schools must address the issue of equity and should always make up the shortfall and provide devices for all students who are not able to purchase/provide their own.

The major questions that are driving my own thinking and seem to be the key questions considered in many debates around the topic are...
  1. How do we ensure staff are prepared and feeling confident and competent enough to run a successful 1:1 digital device programme in their class?  If staff are not ready, it is likely that they may not include opportunities for students to effectively use their devices and therefore we have parents spending lots of money on learning tools that don't get used!
  2. How can we track whether the 1:1 digital device programme is successful for both staff and students?
  3. Is it better to mandate what type of device should be used or allow any type? What are the pros and cons of both option?
  4. What can the school do to ensure equitable outcomes for all students? (e.g. access to a quality device, access to all learning opportunities provided, opportunities for engaging learning experiences utilising the devices)
I would love to hear any ideas, thoughts, feedback or links to other interesting reads or research you may know about that could help me on my way - sharing is caring!

* Singh, N. (2012, December). B.Y.O.D. Genie is out of the bottle - "Devil or Angel".  Journal of Business Management & Social Sciences Research.  Retrieved from http://www.borjournals.com/a/index.php/jbmssr/article/viewFile/142/1194

Description: This journal article focuses on the trend of businesses allowing their employees to 'bring their own device' to use at work and the pros and cons of this happening in the workplace.
Evaluation: The information comes from a reputable source and follows the expected model of a research article with excellent information, literature review, data and analysis.  This article was useful for my research as it clearly documented a similar methodology as to what I hope to follow with my own research and had an abundance of information that although was related to the context of a business/workplace environment, it had obvious links to the context of education.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lifelong learner in action!

I have a passion for learning that has been with me right throughout my life.  And because of this, I have not gone longer than 1 year without doing some kind of personal study or learning since I started kindy. Some might say I am a glutton for punishment, which is true, but the truth is I get restless easy and once I finish or achieve a goal, I am eager to begin the next.  So when I started my Masters of Education in 2010, I knew that I would keep going, (even with several new jobs, new babies and new houses to deal with) until I graduated and received the qualification I have spent thousands of dollars and I don't want to even acknowledge how many hours on!

This year I am studying part-time again as I am working full time.  All going well, come December, I will have completed my Masters of Education!  The reason I am sharing this with you, is firstly to promote lifelong learning as adults and the continuation of study through the varied institutions available.  Secondly, one of my papers that starts this term, requires me to blog about the course learning so rather than start a new blog, I will be blogging right here as it fits perfectly with the kaupapa of 'learning out loud', links directly to my work at Cobham as well as my obvious interest in educational change, the effective use of digital technologies and a shift to 'modern learning pedagogies or practice'.

Have I hooked some of you?  If so, here is where you can find out more about the two courses I am completing this year through the University of Canterbury:

EDEM682 - Transforming Education in Canterbury

EDEM630 - Change with Digital Technologies in Education

Check it out and perhaps think about taking the dive next year yourself....I know you are busy, we all are, but the challenge, the achievement and the learning experiences are worth it.  Be a role model for your kids, push yourself, make it happen and share your learning!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Flippin' awesome teaching for a new generation

Yesterday I attended the Burnside Learning Community Cluster un-conference. Held on the first day of the holidays, many teachers and support staff came together from almost all of the early childhood, primary and secondary schools in our cluster to network, share ideas and to learn.

The keynote by Dr Cheryl Doig from Think Beyond was called 'Into the Future' and raised some excellent points about the changes education is facing. I went on to several different breakouts afterwards but one particularly grabbed my attention. I went to see a secondary science teacher, @mattynicoll and his breakout called 'Rewind Learning' (see the video above of another time he has shared this presentation online).

I have been interested in flipped learning for a few years now but I was excited to see and hear examples in my own backyard. I first heard about a teacher at Breens Intermediate doing some cool things, just starting off by recording himself & posting it to his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/mrmteacherbreens.

This is exactly how Matt described his beginning too and that he just had to push past the fear of looking/sounding silly and embrace the possibilities that posting learning activities online would offer his students. Allowing kids to watch the video at their own pace, watch it after school hours, rewind and watch over and over, watch it before or after the actual physical lesson at school and to share it with others who might also have an interest in it and could work together with you on the concept is just a few of the awesome benefits to recording and sharing lesson content online. Matt's YouTube channel is also an awesome resource https://www.youtube.com/user/mattynicoll and its very cool to see just how well the lesson have developed and grown in quality and confidence!

The concept of flipping the classroom sounds time consuming and challenging at its most complex but what I got from listening to Matt share his experiences, is that you can take it at your own pace, to a level that you are comfortable with. All you have to do is give it a go, try something new, be innovative, take risks, step outside your comfort zone...you know, all the stuff we ask our students to do!

But don't take my word for it, I am by no means an expert. If it's an experts opinion you are after though, perhaps take a listen to this guy, one of my all time favs!

Michael Fullan: Technology, the new pedagogy and flipped teaching