Monday, February 20, 2012

Gathering the Community

It was great to see such a positive turnout at our goal setting and meet the teacher evening last week.  Enjoy some of the highlights

Goal Setting, Meet the Teacher Picnic on PhotoPeach

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Visible Professional Collaboration

Throughout the year we have captured teacher narratives on video to understand more fully what is required to function effectively as part of a learning hub team.  Through collecting teacher voice we have discovered what many of the positive are from working in this way.  One of significance is the visible nature of the environment allows you to learn with and from your colleagues on a daily basis.

Other advantages of working in collaborative learning spaces;
  • “You are not alone” is one phrase that has been used throughout the year - incidental successes and challenges can be shared and attended to in the moment.
  • Daily professional learning opportunities - you observe your peers teaching because of the visible nature of the spaces.  You pick up lots of ideas and different ways of approaching.
  • OTJs by 2 or 3 teachers, can discuss more deeply those children you are not quite sure of where they are achieving.
  • Pooling strengths and expertise for both working with colleagues and teaching students.
  • Planning sessions where student achievement is discussed and groupings re organised to best meet needs.
  • More space and furniture possibilities to facilitate different learning
  • Less down time for transitioning as there is always an adult to begin setting up the next task.
  • Healthy sense of accountability when your practice is so visible in front of your colleagues.
  • Relievers practice is visible and it is quickly identified if they fit the culture of ‘how we do things around here’
  • The children benefit from the skill of 2 or 3 teachers.  Can approach the teacher that is fit for purpose.
  • Pooling of resource - have more mass of e.g. construction rather than a class set - 3x
  • Shared planning critiquing and talking about ‘how do we know these children need this learning at this time?’  Accountable to the hub to complete your planning in the shared environment.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lunch at the Wetlands

What a fun time we had today walking to our local wetlands and enjoying lunch with our new friends.
We are so lucky to have such a wonderful resource on our back door step.

Lunch at the Wetlands on PhotoPeach

Emerging Technologies

I always find the Horizon Report an interesting read to keep track of emerging trends.  It is heartening to see that much of what is being implemented at Stonefields School aligns with what is highlighted in the report.

The NMC and the Horizon Project are best known for its flagship Horizon Reports that focus on higher education and Y1-13 globally. Now, with 10 years of research that has helped us understand the nature and range of impact of emerging technolgies, the 100 thoughtleaders involved in the retreat have  moved from reflections and metalearnings from the last decade, to notions of renewal and transformation, to ultimately metatrends and action.

Out of the discussion, 28 metatrends were identified. Of these, the ten most significant are;

1. The world of work is increasingly global and increasingly collaborative. As more and more companies move to the global marketplace, it is common for work teams to span continents and time zones. Not only are teams geographically diverse, they are also culturally diverse.
2. People expect to work, learn, socialize, and play whenever and wherever they want to. Increasingly, people own more than one device, using a computer, smartphone, tablet, and ereader. People now expect a seamless experience across all their devices.
3. The Internet is becoming a global mobile network — and already is at its edges.
Mobithinking reports there are now more than 6 billion active cell phone accounts. 1.2 billion have mobile broadband as well, and 85% of new devices can access the mobile web.
4. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based and delivered over utility networks, facilitating the rapid growth of online videos and rich media. Our current expectation is that the network has almost infinite capacity and is nearly free of cost. One hour of video footage is uploaded every second to YouTube; over 250 million photos are sent to Facebook every day.
5. Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world. As authoritative sources lose their importance, there is need for more curation and other forms of validation to generate meaning in information and media.
6. Legal notions of ownership and privacy lag behind the practices common in society. In an age where so much of our information, records, and digital content are in the cloud, and often clouds in other legal jurisdictions, the very concept of ownership is blurry.
7. Real challenges of access, efficiency, and scale are redefining what we mean by quality and success. Access to learning in any form is a challenge in too many parts of the world, and efficiency in learning systems and institutions is increasingly an expectation of governments — but the need for solutions that scale often trumps them both. Innovations in these areas are increasingly coming from unexpected parts of the world, including India, China, and central Africa.
8. The Internet is constantly challenging us to rethink learning and education, while refining our notion of literacy. Institutions must consider the unique value that each adds to a world in which information is everywhere. In such a world, sense-making and the ability to assess the credibility of information and media are paramount.
9. There is a rise in informal learning as individual needs are redefining schools, universities, and training. Traditional authority is increasingly being challenged, not only politically and socially, but also in academia — and worldwide. As a result, credibility, validity, and control are all notions that are no longer givens when so much learning takes place outside school systems.
10. Business models across the education ecosystem are changing. Libraries are deeply reimagining their missions; colleges and universities are struggling to reduce costs across the board. The educational ecosystem is shifting, and nowhere more so than in the world of publishing, where efforts to reimagine the book are having profound success, with implications that will touch every aspect of the learning enterprise.