It’s important to try new things…

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The future is looking bright and exciting. I am really feeling motivated after trying out some new tools and making connections with more like-minded peolple in my PLN.

Future learning tools and strategies I would like to try in the future:

* Use Storify to collate ideas and resources from external PD ( first attempt can be at EduTECh this week). Sometimes we go to great PD but struggle to get time to share the ideas.

* Create a public blog for my School Library program and experiences. Just got the go ahead to start this.

*Help students connect globally or just with a local author using Skype, Google Hangouts or other social media tools (inspired by Millers blog posts).

*Have a play with Augmented reality. I am not familiar with this field or gaming really. Out of my comfort zone 🙂

*Integrate more student-directed creating and making with technology in the Library – a monthly Makerspace Monday to get us started

*Continue to use Feedly to get the most out of the Blogs I choose to visit – started this week.

* Encourage my staff to like and use Twitter and help them create PLN – might to start with a small group. Will use Greg Miller’s video

* Be a friendly mentor and leader and show my teachers how they can use digital, social tools to amplify students learning .

image: http://gettingsmart.com/2012/05/what-does-going-digital-mean-for-the-future-of-k-12-assessment/

 

Limitations of online learning – Have we got it right yet?

group computer

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-learning

Schools, learning institutions and educators are consistently trying to build up innovative, engaging and collaborative online learning spaces. Are these spaces what we say they are and are students and teachers coming to the party with this strategy yet? Todhunter (2013) in his paper  about the limitations of online learning  puts forward the thesis that the framework of the terminology in online learning is inconsistent with the actual offerings available; he looks to stakeholders for clarity about what is on offer and happening out their in the wider picture.

Blended learning ; that is a combination of face to face time and online learning time is what is happening in many classrooms. School’s vary still in their uptake and variety of online learning technologies.My school leadership are still in the process of engaging the interested and influential teachers to try new types of curriculum and learning approaches, and identifying the best tools. We will then share evidence of this teaching approach and engage the other teaching staff (much like Greg Green’s strategy in his Flipped school).

A strong focus  in schools is on developing teacher quality and relationships with students. Many teachers still base their relationship building with students around face to face contact – it is important. Good quality and collaborative online learning can assist with engagement of learners and in turn have a positive effect on relationships . Todhunter (2013) names the lack of social interaction as one of the most severe barriers to online learning – I say more teachers need to learn about forming social knowledge networks and integrate true collaboration into their online learning environments. This knowledge can shape good teaching pedagogy and practice. It will also lead to the amplification of learning.

If ‘flexible learning’ is enabling learners  to to learn what, when and how they want (self-directed) it would be good to include this in teaching practice to help students develop a sense of ownership of their learning. Shifting the emphasis on specific needs for students by moving from mass instruction to student-directed instruction can assist in differentiation too.

So, in my workplace at the moment we need to work on the design and type of tools we use in online learning. Education for teachers about building knowledge networks through online tools will also help. There is a strong need for social interactions to build relationships between teachers and students , teachers and teachers, and between students. Blended instruction is the best way currently to do this, I believe.

 

November, A. (2011). Learn from a school that has completely flipped out – An interview with Greg Green on flipped learning model. [podcast]. November Learning Podcast Series. Retrieved from: http://novemberlearning.com/an-interview-with-greg-green-on-flipped-learning-model

Todhunter, B (2013) LOL — limitations of online learning — are we selling the open and distance education message short? Distance Education, 34(2), p.232-252

Design Brief Beginnings – feel free to add your thoughts

I have begun writing (have been thinking up to now) my Design brief for  the entrance area to my workplace as described in http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2014/08/08/blog-task-2/

blog task 2 sketch 2

Based on my immersion notes these are the questions I have been asking  about the people using the space and the physical space it self:

*What should be the first type of environment students and staff come to – should it be the same for both students and staff?

*How can we make the staff or arrival time of the day a positive experience?

*How do students and staff want to meet and greet each other in the mornings ( and after school hours)?

*What sort of interactions do we want the students to have in the morning?

* Why do the students who congregate closer to the Library engage more with staff – assuming this good for all ? How do we encourage this?

*How can the entry of the school facilitate a positive school community?

Now to answer these problems…..

Pillars of my design

welcoming & inviting             social spaces           shelter             student/staff relations          flourishing and friendly community

Considering that both the admin building and Library building are up for redevelopment, the options are open.  They don’t have to stay in the same positions.Here is some intial thoughts…

*The building at the front of the building needs to have outside undercover areas, gardens and an inside supervised area (ie.Library). There needs to be space for staff too

*Signage – effective, attractive and more of it

*Access after and before school – the ‘connecting’ environment between home and school.

 

Hello world!

Hello again study!

It’s been three years since I finished by last degree. It was an online Masters degree too and I really enjoyed it. I felt such a sense of achievement graduating.

Now I am experiencing that nervous excitement that comes with new ventures. I know that what I am going to learn about over the next year will be very interesting and so very relevant.

One of my first goals is to find effective ways to organise and collate all the new information we are receiving.