Friday, 27 November 2015

Session 4: Learning Theories

There are no technology shortcuts in Good Education - article Kentaro Toyama
- Is this article balanced?
- What are the areas in which technology does not work?

Class notes:
Gravity - what goes up must come down!

Theory or style? Leadership style - the theory exlains and predicts a style. Leadership style is how you react in that environment, based on what you know. Often based on a leadership theory. 

The theoretical foundation for teaching and learning applied within any learning environment underpins fundamental values, beliefs and priorities within the educational experience. It is through our own adoption of theoretical elements that we reveal our personal approach to practice.

While it can be debated that most education theories have influence on the new education practices that inform contemporary teaching this course reflects a "collaborative constructivist" view of teaching and learning. This view supports the inseparable relationship between personal contribution and social influence in shaping the education process. More specifically, collaboration and constructivism correspond respectively to teaching and learning responsibilities in the education experience. The learning transaction supported in this course recognises the two interests of collaboration and constructivism, while philosophically the approach belongs to the work of John Dewey's 1938 principle of "interaction" which unifies the subjective (personal) and objective (social) worlds.
The dual purpose of education includes the need to construct meaning (reconstruction of an experience) from a personal perspective and confirmation of understanding within a community of learners as part of a unified education transaction.
With the introduction of technology there is even greater focus on the creation of cognitive and social conditions that allow us to approach learning in a meaningful way that enhances the learning experience and increases ownership of learning outcomes.
Learning theory - a theory about changes in observable behaviour.
 - how do changes become permanent?
 - Is the change immediate?
 - What role does experience play?

10 Theories from the Hat: (Check out the video)
Conditioning: Mind =  black box, can't see in can only see the behaviour. Teaching has influence on the mind and changed behaviour.
(I still need to watch the video and add a summary of each theory.)

Connectionism or Law of effect:

Progressive Education:

Constructivisim: social development thery (a collection of theories)

Constructivisim: Equilibration

Social Cognitive Theory:

Situated Learning / Cognition:

Community of Practice:



We employ a whole range of these in our classroom, even within each lesson.

Session 4: Research Informed Practice

There is a good deal of research that has been completed about teaching in the past 100 years. Are we aware of this research and are we applying it?

We need to design learning on the basis of previous research. Are we aware of the wider debate?

Research Informed Teaching Adults - article (Unitec Website)
We must apply the research, not just theory for the sake of theory.
Theory without practice is meaningless but practice without theory is blind. One must inform the other. They are both essential.

Ministry of Education - Best evidence synthesis - focuses the same things rather than tralling through lots of different stuff.

Research and Teaching:
Research-led: Curriculum based on research interests of teachers.
Research-orientated: process is as important as the content.
Research-based: curriculum based on inquiry-based activities.
Research-informed: consiously draws on the teaching and learning process. 

Who do we know:
Piaget, Dewey, Vygotsky, Wittgenstein, Bruner, Feuerstein. 
There are heaps of theorists. There is no way we can know everyone but we usually work within a small field of knowledge.

Researchers vs. practitioners:
Practitioners feel like researchers are not in the classroom and write for other researchers rather than for teachers. It does not make sense or relate to the classroom. The issue is that they need to write in a way that will be accepted by 'Peer Review'.
We, as teachers, need to part of the discussion and debate that is happening in education. The best researchers will try to unpack what it what it means in a clear and concise way. We both need each other - the same relationship as theory and practice.

So what?
Am I just using effective strategies ofered by people such as Daily 5 or can I be challenged by a theory and adjust my assumptions and change my approach? Do I use things or approaches because I know they work or can I explain how they fit into a theory?

How does this fit in with neural placisticity? In the past you would never believe that the brain can change and re-wire. This new knowledge should be changing how we develop learning experiences.
Feuerstein method.

Moderm Learning Environments:
We should say that the pedagogy of effective learning should drive the space we are provided.
The 7 principles of learning - article.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Session 3: What is augumented reality....

The new reality?
The rate of change is increasing. 
Disruption - the more overdue change is - the more sudden it appears & catches you offguard.
Two options - 
  • Expensive but use my product or none....
  • A new product crosses over into a different market, at a lower cost
What is now possible that never was....
  • bendable bateries, wearable technology
  • ubiquitous computing - computers disappear and become part of life, clothes, watches, walls, smart buildings, quantum dot solar panel windows
The class of 2025 - kids entering school this year.  (Friedman - The World is Flat)
  • Population increasess by 1 billion people from 6, 534 to 7, 518
  • Shrinking working population - too may old people
  • 200,000,000 25 - 34 year olds with degrees - same qualifications
  • The old model of trade has gone - University degree @ Canterbury for thousands of dollars or go online e.g. MIT then get your learning examined at a different centre. Free qualification & learning from home!
  • Indian graduates have the same qualification and willing to work at 1/4 the price - Global Village!
Digital Divide - 1st world countries have cheap devices and Internet access. Develping countries not so much access - this is changing. Wifi solutions for countries - Internet balloons etc. The wold world will eb Wifi enabled very soon. 

If you have a device and the Internet - can you educate yourself? Hole in the wall project.
Heutagogy - approach of kids can teach themselves. Self education is now becoming a reality.

If we can learn ourselves - what's the role of Key Competencies? 
1. Literacy, numeracy, science ICT social and financial literacy.
2. Character traits... grit...
In 20 years time - with mathematics became a recreational activity? Will coding be more important?

Opportunities and risks for our students:
  • must be open to new learning and change - slow adopter or use the tools available today and the new ones as they arise
  • World of Apps - constantly changing and throw away when no longer needed
  • positive mindset
How do we accommodate this world in the way we teach?
  • Multiple jobs, pick up new specific skills and discard them daily
  • How can augmented reality support this learning?

Augmented Reality - a digital overlay over the real world - e.g. details about the stars n the sky.
Virtual Reality - virtual word with some real life aspects overlayed.
Class Notes:  
There are many approaches that can be used to bring learning to life through augmented reality 
  • A Student Photo Wall: Set up a display of student photos in the classroom linked to a personal student videos about the individual student that can be shared with parents and visitors.
  • Book Reviews: Have students record a video of themselves giving an review of a book. The trigger image to launch the video review could be the book cover, a picture of the student or an image they have drawn. Afterward, other students/teachers can scan the cover of the book and instantly access the review.
  • Parent or Inspiring Role message: Source a recording from an inspirational speaker or record a message from a parent/friend of the student that provides words of encouragement to the student. Attach a trigger image to student desks or cover of their books.
  • Year books/School magazines: Add an AR to printed school publications and include video profiles from sports events, school plays or award ceremonies as a rich memory of school activities.
  • Word Definition Walls: Students can record themselves providing the definitions to different vocabulary words on a word wall.
  • Lab Safety/Safety Messages: Put trigger images linked to safety videos around a science laboratory/workshop so that when students scan them, they can learn the different safety procedures and protocols within the learning environment.
Building a Community Garden - an innovation or not?
Innovation requires putting students’ ideas or solutions into practice in the real world. For example, it IS innovation if students design and build a community garden on the grounds of their school; just designing the garden is NOT innovation.
In cases where students do not have the authority to implement their own ideas, it is innovation ONLY if students convey their ideas to people outside the classroom context who can implement them. For example, it IS innovation if students present their ideas for building a community garden in a public park in their town to a local environmental group or to local officials, but NOT if students design a community garden for that public park and only share their plans with their teacher and classmates.
Innovation also benefits people other than the student; it has value beyond meeting the requirements of a classroom exercise. The townspeople who tend the new garden in the public park and the teenagers who attend the rewritten Shakespeare play benefit from students’ efforts, for example.
It also counts as innovation if students create a project for a science fair or submit an original poem to a regional poetry contest, for example, because the fair and contest are not educator-controlled and have real audiences who are interested in and may benefit from the students’ work.
We argue that viewing AR as a concept rather than a technology is more productive. We identify features and affordances of AR systems and applications.
The instructional approaches adopted by an AR system are discussed.While AR offers new learning opportunities, it also creates new challenges.
We provide solutions for challenges and suggest directions for future research.
Augmented Reality in Education by Dr Mark Billinghurst
Ingress, Google cardboard, Zombie Run, Anatomy 4D.

How can we use VR in schools?
  • Art work - explanation from the artist
  • 2D technical drawing not detailed enough - make a 3D version or model that can be a walked through e.g. architect modelling a house
  • School - focus on construction of atoms, famous buildings, battles (Minecraft), life cycle of a frog, flight simulator  - using the expertise of the students to unpack the learning, using real sources and manipluating them. 

The making of Gallipoli in Minecraft®

Try Simcity or Civilization!

What are the barriers to using technology in class?

What models are there for this in the classroom?
  • We need to embed this process into the strategic plan

  • Artists - free souls
  • Adaptive competence - knowledge workers to innovate for our employers (Teachers s there is a definate end expectaion.)
  • Delivered competence - workers are the owners, 

SAMR Model:

Do we just use ICT to reproduce drill and skill worksheets? How can we use ICT to totally throw the task on its head and integrate collaboration? The new experience could not happen without the technology e.g. live through a volcanic erruption or walk to the South Pole, ask real explorers questions as they are walking to the Pole.

TPACK Model:
When we are teaching there are different aspects involved. Where do knowledge, pedagogy and knowledge of technology overlap? How can we balance our knowledge in all areas e.g. history - history channel videos - used in an effective pedagogical way.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Session Notes 2

What skills do kids need for the 21st Cent?

How does leadership allow for these?

Grant Lichtman: What 60 
Some schools have the answers but we are not connected and sharing our ideas.
Suggests that educational change is not hard but is complicated.
The issue might be more change management. Are we all pushing in the same direction?

Ecosystem model: Schools are a range of adaptive connecting systems. They are not finished but are being created - living ecocystems. We as a school need to learn and know that we need to grow.
If schools grow - it happens at the fringes of an ecosystem. The edges of the ecosystem need the ability to make changes - leadership.

Industrial model: Kids all same age, same intervention, same outcomes. 

Spheres - land, ocean.... 5th sphere - cognitoshpere - system of knowledge creation and management.

Problems - anchors of time, space and subject, dams and silos. 

1. Teach to kids future not our past - teach into the unknown (design learning arund a game?)
2. Self-evolving learners
3. Self-evolving organisations

Schools are not very good at finding spaces in which people are encouraged and enables to fail.

If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we are robbing our children of tomorrow. - John Dewey.

The Purpose of Education:
Gert Biesta's domains - three fuctions - we need to address all three..

 - gain knowledge to be able to do something

 - cultural integration, part of society

 - become more autonomous in thinking and acting

ITL Top skills for the future

  • Collaboration
  • Knowledge construction
  • Self regulation
  • Real world problems/innovation
  • ICT for learning
  • Skilled communication
Key Competencies

  • Thinking
  • Using language
  • Managing self
  • Relating to others
  • Participating and contributing

To what extent do we model these Key Competencies as a teacher?
How do our strengths influence our leadership skills?
How do we develop these competencies?
 - mentoring
 - self assessment
 - peer assessment

 - work within a community of practice
 - wide professional reading - accross education and even business (Leadership theories)

These Key Competencies need to be expressed in form of outcomes, daily activities and forms of assessment. Rubrics for KC are an excellent tool for deveoping competencies.

Trumping Leadership: 
KC of leaders

- strategically
- outside the box

- break down those walls, pool funding, shared PD, relational trust between school, students, community. Links and relations with other school e.g. local high school, networks.

Managing self:
- maintain balance so we are in an effective working flow. Away time from work.
- forming networks so there is communication with other colleagues

Micheal Fullen - Sustainability in Leadership (Great book to read)

Saturday, 7 November 2015

21st Century Skills

Grant Lichtman - Denver TED Talk

We want to disrupt the industrial mindset of education to create lots of little workers. Teachers who want to develop students who can solve problems and answer questions rather than follow lots of routine activities.

Bad news:
Schools are not very good at innovation.
 - competing intersets
 - risk adverse
- they struggle with change and innovation

Good News:

Schools down the road have some of the answers but we need to make connections with them and share our progress.
Institutional change is uncomfortable, complicated and messy but not hard in comparison to other things in life!
Schools are becoming dynamic, messy and chaotic as a result of student ownership of learning, permeable, adaptive, self correcting - authentic reflection.

LDC: Reconceptualising Leadership

Wayne Freeth: University of Canterbury

It is not just about the Leadership Team but there is a 'sleeping giant' of teachers who can make change to improve student learning.

Teacher Leaders :

  • Show expertise in their teaching and share knowledge with others
  • Are constantly looking for ways to improve their teaching
  • Reflect on their teaching to improve learning
  • Engage in action research projects
  • Collaborate with colleagues, parents and communities about effectiveness of action
  • Socially conscious and politically involved
  • Mentors new teachers
  • Involved in university or teacher pre-service training
  • Are risk-takes who are involved in school decisions

To encourage teacher leaders, the principals need to:

His concept was that seeing 'knowledge' as a verb and employing 'distributed leadership' could form a starting point from where we could develop mere effective and equitable schools.

The NZNC challenges us to think deeply about core values and beliefs but the effort required to make change is underestimated.

Leadership structure works against shared leadership and autonomous actions.

Schools are getting on with the task but sometimes without a shared deep understanding or cohesive plan.

The over-loading of teachers reduces any participation in deeper thinking about the meaning of the curriculum and its nature within their school.

7 Skills for the Future

Dr Tony Wagner

Crisis in education: Stuck between a rock and a hard place!
The rock - economy based on using your hands has moved to one where we make our money by using our 'skilled' brain.
 - successful career
- ongoing learning
- life of active and informed citizenship

How do we teach and assess these skills?

The hard place - this generation is differently motivated to learn.
How do we motivate this generation to achieve excellence?

The previous educational reform of adapting the testing and a bit more PD is not going to do it! We must rethink teaching and learning for the 21st century.

The World is Flat   - Thomas Friedman

Any job that is based on a routine is being 'off-shored' or automated.

What skills will our kids need to get and keep a job in this new global economy? Are they the same skills people need to be continuous learners and informed citizens?

What do effective companies look for in their employees?

Seven survival skills:
1. Critical thinking and problem solving - continuous improvement - Toyota car builders: build cars, ideas for better building, future cars.

2. Collaboration across networks and leaning by influence - IBM - team work across the globe. As part of a team you need to understand and respect cultural, religious, ethnic etc differences. Lead by influence - the most effective leader is a worker who engages others and ask the right questions.

3. Agility and adaptability - jobs change continuously and we all need to learn new skills as companies are constantly re-structuring. Microsoft & Xerox - require workers to be agile and adaptable.

4. Initiative and entrepreneurialism - CISCO - set goals that challenge you rather than playing it safe. They are looking at how to create a working environment that encourages taking initiative and being adventurous.

5. Effective oral and written communication - they can't write because they fail to analyse and reason. They need to write with 'voice'  by clearly articulating their point of view - persuasive writing!

6. Accessing and analysing information -  effective web search, sort into value of information  - important or trivial.

7. Curiosity and imagination - we are searching for products that show imagination - they stand out from the crowd.

A whole New Mind - Daniel Pink

Economy at the moment:
Our community is based on consuming things they don't need and going into dept. Rather than compulsive consumption - we need to be the country the comes up with more innovative and sustainable ideas.

How do we educate for innovation?
Where does curiosity go as kids get older?

What do we see as we walk through our classes?  (USA)
What evidence is there of critical thinking, problem solving and student independence of learning? The problem is that the leadership is asking them to 'teach to the test'. This does not allow for critical thinking and independence.

Global gap between the skills our kids need to learn and the things that we are testing.
Global Learning Gap - connective, collaborative multi-tasking is happening out of school hours. Kids are waiting to get out of school to continue with the great learning they manage themselves. They are craving coaching and mentoring with teachers that engage them on a mutual ground rather than talking down to them.

What this means to us in class:
1. Hold ourselves accountable for what matters most - attitudes, strategies, characteristics and competencies not numbers! How can we test what matters?

2. Looking for new ways - avoid isolation as this encourages repeating the same thing. Collaboration creates 'peer-based' accountability and change.

Personal Response:

  • I believe in students developing independence in learning so they can talk about their own targets, success and next steps.  Reflect ion is the key to excellence.
  • I work hard to develop with students the strategies that will help them get out of the 'Learning Pit' and be resilient when faced with learning challenges.
  • I believe that daily experiences should be about group work, being creative and finding innovative ways to solve a difficult problem.
The question is - what do you see as you walk through my classroom? What are my kids doing? Are these skills and attitudes being developed or is it something quite different?

My Challenge:
  • Continue to collaborate and be active in Twitter and other communities so I an constantly reflecting on my teaching and looking for better ways to do things.
  • Make a list with the kids of what matters most and put it up in class.
  • Reflect with the kids about where we saw aspects on the list each day.
  • Ask colleagues to visit and look for these things in our class learning.

DLC: Future Focussed Learning Report 2014

The world is changing and our kids need to be digitally competent if they are to participate successfully in a modern economy and society. A strategy needs to be in place from kindergarten to secondary school so a digital divide does not develop.

Digital technologies should:
Transform teaching and learning.
Make learning anytime, anywhere...
Motivate and connect learners.

10 Priorities:
1.  Meet needs 21st Century learners
  • Learners need to be designers, innovators and creators - not just consumers. 
  • This development will rely on the three concepts of ubiquity, agency and connectedness.
    Ubiquity: digital technologies are everywhere, involved in everything.
    Agency: learners have the skills and opportunity to make choices.
    Connectedness: being part of something bigger - e.g. planting with Kakariki Greening Project  
  • Safe, legal and ethical behaviour on-line
  • Programming skills are required to make technology do what you want it to!
2.  Equitable access to devices

  • access to devices - BYOD, business sponsorship or leased devices
  • quality internet connections & speed
  • quality teaching - needs the teachers to be confident with technologies

3.  Invest in people and innovation

  • develop thinking skills, collaboration, problem solving, 
  • cross-curricular challenges to make develop knowledge
  • teacher collaboration to support peers
  • teacher PD to develop skills and new teaching methods - initial teacher training, further PD
  • common vision within school culture
  • regional hubs and support networks

4.  Future-focussed learning environments

  • rely on fast Broadband
  • Network for Learning N4L
  • Link in other resources like KAREN & REANNZ

5.  High quality digital content

  • Creative Commons Licensing so all created content can be shared
  • Free up collaborative creation of resources

6.  Regional collaboration

  • Government to support regional school networks so they can share in ideas, collective conferences and initiatives - like the Lincoln Cluster
  • Mobilise expert 'future focussed teachers' to go out and support others
  • Expectation of 'Teaching as Inquiry' approach 

7.  Robust evidence base

  • Develop a co-ordinated education research approach
  • Decision making based on empirical evidence, evidence best practice both local and international - in curriculum, policy and within schools
  • Teacher research supported by post-grad study support

8.  Align curriculum, technologies, funding, infrastructure

  • Develop a systematic plan
  • Consultation with the sector

9.  Funding structure

10. 5 year plan

  • Long term goal with agreed goals and measurement set in place

Personal Response:
Well, I guess as part of the UNITEC - Post-grad Certificate in Applied Practise that I am helping make this happen as my skills, teaching methods and leadership are being developed to me the 21st Century Learner's needs.

Our school has a wide range of devices for students to use in class and are implementing BOYD from Year 4-8 so that the apps, learning and skills can be used at home or school so learning can take place anywhere or anytime.

Our Lincoln Cluster has collective conferences, TecFest where students come for an intensive two days training from experts within the cluster, SOLO focus groups, Early Years School Transition and G & T One Day schools programmes. We are in an amazing team but possibly the teachers themselves from the schools need to be more pro-active about creating our own support groups across schools. This needs the attitude of us taking the initiative rather than waiting for 'The Cluster' to do it for us!

Friday, 6 November 2015

DCL: Introduction to Blogging!

Well, this first required resource is a reflection of the information I give the kids I am teaching how to blog. It is a subject close to my heart.

Some possibly valuable blog links to follow:

The next step in the blogging resources reinforced the value of blogging.

Links on this blog:
Blogging to improve student writing

Some key references regarding the importance of blogging in schools:

Personal Response:
I have chosen the Blogger Blog as my platform because it is what I use in class and simple to use.

I have been blogging professionally since 2013 and find it a perfect platform for sorting our my thoughts, making and storing/sharing notes from PD, unpacking resources, making next step plans and keeping myself accountable. I also blog so that my learning can be shared by a wider audience and hopefully support the learning of other teachers. We are part of a community and have a responsibility to give as well as take.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

What is Knowledge!

Our actions in the classroom make assumptions about learning, what we believe knowledge and reality are. 

Elements of a research Conceptual Framework 
Ontology – our world-view, understanding of reality.
Axiology – assumptions about learning that underline our teaching practice. 
Epistemology – how a community of practitioners know these things about reality and learning. How do we know about knowledge? 

How do we know something is true?
Knowledge is something that you can justify, you can prove by supporting facts and believe. 

How do you define knowledge?
Knowledge – noun: exists as a complete thing – codified, not changing.

Knowledge – verb: it is created by collaboration – emerging.

Check out how we defined knowledge as a collaborative team...

What does this mean in my classroom?
I believe that knowledge is all about things we do together in our classroom and environment. We co-create knowledge together as a learning community of students, teachers and family. With this knowledge, that is new to us, we can make a difference to our world. This is important because our individual actions have consequences and effects on the world.

We learn together.
We all have something to contribute in this journey.
We have responsibilities to help each other on this journey - AKO kids teaching others.
As a teacher, I have the job of facilitating and participating in this journey, not leading it.

It will be interesting to see what the kids think knowledge is!
  • Growing from small to bigger, getting better
  • You can remember lots of facts
  • You get it by trying again - practise, prototypes
  • Get it by reading and doing things - like having chickens, go-karts
  • People help me get knowledge - brother, dad
  • Hard work
  • Doing it in a team
  • Solving problems