"What are you going to do?" A resonant statement made by Ewan McIntosh at ICOT 2013 in Wellington. Our PLG is at this point. What are we going to do?
We have had some great conversations about ICT in education. At times we have gotten side tracked talking about the latest hardware and software, however, these distractions can often be opportunities in disguise and where some of the best ideas come from.
Literacy is the set of the rules that structure human communication. This communication is both projected(orally or written) and received(listened or comprehended) by individuals when experiences and knowledge is shared. Technology allows us to communicate quicker and to a wider audience, broadening our scope, producing faster and greater understanding. Technology has sped up literacies continual evolution into a new form; Digital Literacy. Check out the following clip on Digital Literacy by Sonja Delafosse .
Digital literacy is intertwined with being a digital citizen and this is where we intend to start. The plan for our PLG, is to create some teaching resources around what it means to be a digital citizen at Catholic Cathedral College. These resources could be used by any teacher and would be intended for use at the beginning of the year with new junior classes as an induction into the digital component of education at Catholic Cathedral College. Here is an interesting clip on being a Digital Citizen by Xin Zhang.
Sometimes, us adults assume all school children(digital natives) know how to use all aspects of technology. We all know about sentences that have the word "ass|u|me" in them. With this in mind we intend to create teaching resources to follow on from those on digital citizenship which teach students how to use our google environment more effectively in their daily digital life at Catholic Cathedral College.
Professional and personal email usage, professional and personal social media usage, appropriate online behaviour, google calendar use, google document creation and the use of comments for feedback and feedforward and multiple device workflow are but some of the resources we will be working on.
We'll need to work with senior management to best fit this deliberate teaching into the academic year at Catholic Cathedral College. We'll also need to work with staff to help us create and use these resources.
Almost a month ago my PLG was fortunate enough to have a Skype call with Sam McNeill the Director of ICT at St Andrews College here in Christchurch. Sam talked about their story so far implementing 1:1 devices with this years Year 9 intake and the ways teachers at StAC are using technology in the classroom to enhance learning outcomes.
Sam recorded the Skype call using Screenflow and posted an edited version on his StAC e-Learning in action blog about the session. It's fantastic that Sam is so willing to share and I hope that those who take the time to check it out from this post also share with those who might be interested.
I've often thought, life is about timing and switches. It's about knowing when to switch on, take advantage of and make the most the opportunities that come along. Good teachers do this all the time. They are in tune with when that lightbulb moment happens for both the class and individuals in their lessons.
Three 30 min sessions is not a lot of time. From my previous post you'll know we are using Design Thinking as a process for our own personalized learning inquiry into how we can use ICT at Catholic Cathedral College to improve literacy. The first stage of the process is Discovery. It's where you start to understand the problem you are looking to solve, start to plan the research you need to do and gather inspiration.
When I was planning the first session an email came through from our school office about a free talk by Abdul Chohan from Essa Academy outside of Manchester in the United Kingdom. There was a link in the body of the email and I just happened to click and watch. The journey this school went on resonated with me and I couldn't help but think of the parallels between Essa and CCC. I played it to the PLG as the hook for our first session and the discussion around it hijacked the rest of our time. A member of the PLG and a colleague from another school went to the talk and their feedback confirmed the value of their story to us. At our last session the group member reported back and shared the extensive notes they took at the talk. The outcome of this conversations is that is that we can't get away from hardware and infrastructure being symbiotically connected with how we can use ICT to improve literacy at CCC.
For the second session I created a shared google doc to brain storm elements of ICT breaking them into hardware, software and web based. This way people could add links to further information about a product to better inform the group of the product they had added. In time for our last session Tim Thatcher from Napier Girls High shared a resource through Visarts he had created, called The Digital Artroom. This is a wonderful site that shares the pros and cons of using different types of technology in the artroom. Are there similar sites out there for other curriculum areas to help us in our research.
Two such blogs that I'm finding really useful is Edutopia and StAC e-Learning Stories by Sam McNeill the Director of ICT at St Andrews College in Christchurch. Edutopia is a blog of the best blog posts out there in education and Sam's documents the e-Learning journey underway at St Andrews College. Interesting stories from both find me via Twitter. Sam's story is the other end of the spectrum to Essa Academy as STAC a private school in Christchruch, but both are heading towards the same learning outcomes for their students.
We have our project board made and are ready to get stuck into our education problem and the journey it will take us on. The last opportunity thats revealed itself, is that all members of the PLG at the last session are able to run over time. So I look forward to sharing more discoveries, sidetrack conversations and mistakes along the way.
A special thanks to the members of the PLG for your contributions so far!
Some of the best PD discussions are had in the staffroom over a coffee. My posts are intended to be like one of those conversations. Feel free to join the conversation, we just might help each other out. My opinions are my own.