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Showing posts from March, 2016

New Zealand Curriculum Implementation - Are we there yet?

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On Tuesday and Wednesday this week I had the utter privilege to be invited to participate in a Ministry of Education New Zealand Curriculum Think Tank. Two days, 25 positive, proactive agentic and action orientated curriculum leaders from across the country came together to consider how NZC implementation might be reinvigorated. Interestingly, I couldn't help but chuckle about how an article I wrote (as guest editor of English in Aotearoa) six years ago sort of captured the challenges we discussed.

English in Aotearoa Editorial – What new curriculum?

By Claire Amos

In August 2009 The Education Gazette spoke to New Zealand Curriculum project manager Chris Arcus, to find out what schools needed to know about the NZC at this stage. When asked where schools need to be by February 2010 his answer was this, “All schools need to do a couple of things – they need to design and implement a school curriculum and they need to teach using an evidence based inquiry cycle that informs what they do…

Dr Jane Hunter - Turning High Possibility Classrooms into High Possibility Schools #futureschools

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What's happening in some Australian Schools right now?

There are key issues that we need to be thinking about. The place of STEM? Place of professional learning. Disengaged students, particularly in high school. Radicalisation in schools. The SAFE schools policy. This is the context in which we are working.

The research project was qualitative

4 teachers in four schoolsHad to meet exemplary criteriaNo previous studies like thisData gathered over two years
What did research tell us about teacher's knowledge of technology enhanced learning in classrooms?

All were all early adopters of technology and considered exemplary in their use of technology.

The four teachers

Gabby - had interactive whiteboard, some desktops, iPads and her iPhone. Not one to one. Gina - worked for IBM prior to coming into teaching. Used a laptop, digital cameras, a maker. She believed it was important to teach coding because it taught you how to think. Nina - she had worked with Seymour Papert, she was in a o…

Claire Amos - Learner Agency - More than just a buzzword #futureschools

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Learner agency at Hobsonville Point Secondary School from EDtalks on Vimeo.
This is the closest I can get to blogging my own presentation, a repost from Semtember 2015 - the original post that inspired today's presentation.

Admittedly, even I'm impressed at the litany of edu buzzwords I manage to ram into one video here. When I first watched this, I couldn't help but imagine Tom Barrett poised with his Buzzword Bingo card and a kind but cruel twinkle in his eye. ;) And indeed I got royally roasted by Steve Mouldey, particularly when I managed to define one buzzword with another - did you know learner agency is really about student efficacy? Well now you do.

But joking aside, Learner Agency is bloody important.

So what does Learner Agency actually mean. The way I define it is the idea that the learner has a sense of ownership and control over their own learning. The word 'agency' is defined as "action or intervention producing a particular effect", so I gu…

Ayesha Khanna - Externships: Why Partnerships between corporations and schools is the nest way to teach STEM #futureschools

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Khanna began by talking about the future of work. 47% of jobs will be automated.

Khanna is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Keys Academy and innovative enrichment hub who champions the concept of "externships" which allow secondary students to apply their learning to 21st century industries.

Our new colleagues and competitors are robots.

Our new tools are becoming increasing sophisticated and are reducing in cost.

I am not interested technology, I am interested in giving young people creative confidence. I LOVE this quote. Consider it stolen and appropriated.

Our new jobs are going to involve wearable technology and virtual reality.

We are going to live differently. Khanna gave the example of designer babies.

How we work will be different we are going to see "the rise of the connected freelancer" (another goody - thanks Ayesha!).

Telepresence is going to become increasingly normal.

Smart nano-workers. For example 'HourlyNerd' where you can pitch projects to f…

June Wall & Jonathon Mascorella - Designing Learning Spaces - putting the cart before the horse #futureschools

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Learning environments can be defined as a set of physical and digital locations, context and cultures in which students learn.

Wall argues that environment IS important as it can shape how we behave and learn within it. She talks about the five cases - the zero case, the digital case, the side by side case, the embedded case and the classical case. Couldn't quite capture the meaning of each, but she concluded that the embedded case.

Found this explanation

Learning environments can be defined as the set of physical and digital locations, contexts and cultures in which students learn. Five typical cases of learning environments can be distinguished with respect to their relation to digital devices:

1. The zero case: there are no relevant physical or digital relevant stimuli in the environment of a person. The cognitive representations of the person can be formed rather independent of the outside world: thinking, dreaming, visualising something based on memory and creativity process…

Stephen Lethbridge - The Race to Makerspace #futureschools

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After warming up the crowd with a few Dad jokes like only Lethbridge can. He then began the session with a moments silence and this quote:

“So the urgent drives out the important; the future goes largely unexplored; and the capacity to act, rather than the capacity to think and imagine becomes the sole measure for leadership.”

- Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad: "Competing for the Future"

What is the proliferation of Makerspaces doing? is it a case of a good idea being scaled up and watered down? Is it keeping up with Joneses? He then talked about the renaming of Woodwork to Hard Technology, the change from Cooking to Food Technology. But has anything really changed??

He also challenged the notion of even having a dedicated space. Or that making can only happen in a certain space or in a certain class. He talked about us needing to consider the one important space - the mind and the idea that being a maker  is about having a "maker mindset".

He also talked about the im…

Darren Cox - Developing a School Culture of Professional Learning #futureschools

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Well this is a topic close to my heart.

This guy is loud and fast - a good thing to note as I can be exactly the same and I'm speaking in two hours time. Must not get too shouty. Must not get too shouty. Must not get too shouty.

He began by asking us why we became a teacher. He shared his story, what made him become a teacher and thanked the people who supported him along the way. Cox started teaching at 18 and became an Assistant Principal at 25, working with a lady with a drinking problem. He paused. This was a leadership opportunity for him.

As a leader, do we have an aspiring vision, are we empowering the students and tapping into what motivates them? Everything rises and falls on Leadership. You cannot lead people you are righting off - good statement. You need to like and believe the people you are leading. We need to view our staff as talent with capabilities that we need to tap into.

Without vision people perish. You need a long range vision - it helps in times of short t…

Erin Weightman - Reimagining Education, Revisioning the Future #futureschools

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Erin spoke of the the process of re-imagining secondary education at Surf Coast Secondary School. So interesting to hear a school going through such a similar journey to Hobsonville Point Secondary School. She spoke of integrated learning, of teachers working with teams of three teachers within a collapsed timetable. She then spoke of how they used SOLO taxonomy to scaffold the complexity of learning and talked of how they worked on projects under an umbrella concept - sustainable futures. This is all so HPSS! You can see what we are doing at HPSS here.

The only tinge of disappointment was the use of closed proprietary software - iTunes U - I have no issue with Apple, heck I am an Apple fan girl, my issue is using a platform that can only be consumed (properly) through an iPad. I did however the way they used the iTunesU courses to give students choice, agency and access to 24/7 learning. Also worried about the flurry of photos being taken of the iTuneU slide - the platform isn't…

Larry Rosenstock - The World is Changing...Schools are Not #FutureSchools

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I have enjoyed stalking Larry Rosenstock for some time now. I first came across him when I heard about High Tech High a couple of years back and then last year I was lucky enough to sit on a panel with him at EduTech. He was also one of the central players in the recent documentary 'Most Likely to Succeed'. So many reasons to be a ardent fan girl.

Larry began his talk by giving a background and insight into the path that led to High Tech High - a K12 charter school, now a chain of charter schools.

He then talked about the first teachers and schools, such as the basket weaver who taught others to weave baskets. He also talked of the great teachers he had and talked about the importance of thanking the teachers we loved and acknowledged the importance of the passion that they shared.

He talked about the importance of the Socratic Method - a technique that we see used at the beginning of Most Likely to Succeed.

Rosenstock worked as a carpenter and attended law school - which pro…