TeachMeetNZ meets ACCoS

vanschaijik_sonya

Yesterday I hosted TeachMeetNZ meets ACCoS. TeachMeetNZ is about New Zealand teachers connecting online. The project reflects the research and work of New Zealand educators in action. These live events are convened across all education sectors to address the emerging technologies, trends, and challenges poised to significantly impact teaching and learning.  TeachMeetNZ has been live streaming since May 2013.

This session’s focus was to highlight some of the fabulous learning happening in Kāhui Ako across New Zealand and especially from our Auckland Central Community of Schools (ACCoS) Kāhui Ako  and was an initiative approved by our ACCoS Lead Principal, Jill Farquharson. Somehow she trusted that TeachMeetNZ would be an important strategy to help share our work across the Kahui Ako. Jill often hears me say, ‘If I cannot see what we do then it does not exist.

Nearly two years have passed since I have hosted a full TeachMeetNZ session. The system has changed a lot since that last time and in some ways is a lot more stable and a lot smoother. I now launch a live stream via youtube using Google Hangouts. Before I would do this the other way around.

As I prepared the team of educators for the session, I had a few challenges. My main one being that several are not yet on twitter so in some ways that forced me to use email for communication. The challenge with email is that the conversation is closed where as on Twitter, using the #TeachMeetNZ hashtag enables the conversation to be open and transparent. I liken it to eavesdropping because you can move in and out of conversations by listening and often you do not need to say anything, just listen.

Therefore the main organisation was via email. I had put out the call for presenters via our Across School Leaders and via our Google+ community yet still most of the presenters were gently persuaded with a bit of arm twisting.

I love the numbers of any event and here are some numbers.

Yesterday 8 presenters took part.

  • 1 principal
  • 1 across school leader
  • 2 in school leaders
  • 3 classroom teachers
  • 1 external facilitator

In addition there was

However the power of asynchronous communication means that many more will come and visit the recording after the session.

I have learnt to make use of playlists on Youtube so on the TeachMeetNZ Channel there are

  • 9 ACCoS mini videos sharing work across our ACCoS Kahui Ako.
  • 3.45minutes was the fastest presentation
  • 5.13 minutes was the longest presentation

After the session I had evaluations completed from 7 Educators, one quote I liked  was  ‘Interesting range of topics.  Wonderful opportunity for sharing within and beyond our kahui ako.’

What happens after the session with the individual videos has always been enlightening. Each presenter has their video clip on their TeachMeetNZ wiki page. Some will complete the triangulation of learning and reflect about the process. Some will go back and share their video and slides with their staff. Some will investigate twitter and join the global staffroom. Some will take time out to rest and recharge because they have been through a huge learning curve.

However all will return to their places of work with a spring in their step knowing they have achieved a huge milestone in their careers and that is to share what they do in such a visible way with the global community. From an event such as this I usually sit back and watch what happens to the team and smile as those hesitant steps of sharing with technology become stronger.  So to the following educators who helped make the session the success that it was, thank you.

TimeKeeper: Catherine Palmer  (ASL) @CatherineP63

Twitter Broadcaster: Dr Wendy Kofoed @newmarketschool

Presenters Name Topic
Alison Spence

Principal Kohia Terrace

Principal’s ASB APPA Travelling Fellowship 2017

Leadership Across Schools

Amy Battrick

(ISL)

Esol Strategies at Kohia Terrace School
Elena Reihana

Teacher

Using WeChat for Parent Engagement
Erin Hooper

(ASL)

As a matter of PaCT
Hannah Cameron

Teacher

Engaging the Community – Reporting to families
Patricia Whitmore

(ISL)

Learning Maps for reading
Sarah Morrison

Teacher

Using See Saw as a digital portfolio for junior school learners to share with their families.
Viv Hall Growing Kāhui Ako leaders

So where to next?

This week I leave for Hamilton to attend ULEARN and I am running a session with Sue, Erin and Catherine, three other Across School Leaders in the Auckland Central Community of Schools. The title for our session is ‘Lessons learned from an Across School Leader in a Kāhui Ako. Our session is Fri, Oct 13, 2017 10:15 AM – Fri, Oct 13, 2017 11:15 AM at the Claudelands Events Centre.

In addition I am with Christine Trimnell as she shares  ‘Global Projects – 21st Century learning in a digital world’. This is the work we have done with Flat Connections.  This session is: Fri, Oct 13, 2017 8:30 AM at the Claudelands Events Centre in the Holman Stand room.

I look forward to catching up with old faces and new faces at ULEARN, I look forward to meeting my digital buddies face to face and to connect with other Across School Leaders from other Kāhui Ako. I especially look forward to getting a #Grelfie with  Brad Waid an old time twitter buddy. Then when I get back I need to start my piece of writing for EdBookNZ another collaborative project that I coordinate.

#EdBookNZ

In September of 2014 I had been turning a few phrases around as I researched the term Connected Educator.  From there I created a list of current phrases and decided to get some bloggers to unpack and query what these terms meant. Then thought, why not write a book and each blogger contribute their part. Via twitter I out a call out and the following tweeps responded. Each author literally had to take a term that they used and critique why it needed to change. My other stipulation was that they needed a critically friend who would give them feedback before their post went live.

#EdBookNZ 14

Read the Digital Copy- you will need to sign in to download.

https://issuu.com/ulimasao/docs/completed_book__2_

Purchase the paper copy

https://www.peecho.com/checkout/issuu/332766/completed-book-2-

The following year, I thought, let’s do this again.

#EDBookNZ15

Read the Digital Copy- you will need to sign in to download.

http://issuu.com/ulimasao/docs/edbooknz_terms_2015

Purchase the paper copy

https://www.peecho.com/checkout/issuu/332989/edbooknz-terms-2015

At the same time I realised that I needed to seriously look at co-construction. So running alongside the book, I set up the wiki and invited educators in to unpack the Practicing Teacher Criteria. I was aiming for a collaborative definition of each of the criteria. However as is usual I learnt the most as understanding Tataiako helped frame the terms of reference.

Here you can check out the wiki of terms. http://edbooknz.wikispaces.com/

Doing this huge collaborative helped me see where I needed to move with TeachMeetNZ, My ideas appeared so big and daunting that I literally freaked out and shelved TeachMeetNZ under the pretence that I was studying. In some ways there was no way I could carry out what I could envisage. That too and just having a year to percolate my thinking.

In 2016 I put out another call in regards to EdBookNZ as I believe in always giving back. So that was my main claim to collaboration. That and tuning communication systems for our ACCoS Community of Learners.

#EdBookNZ16

Read the Digital Copy- you will need to sign in to download.

https://issuu.com/ulimasao/docs/edbooknz_terms_2016

Purchase the paper copy

https://www.peecho.com/checkout/issuu/332988/edbooknz-terms-2016

  • @leonie_hastings
  • @stuartkellynz
  • @jamesanderson
  • @newmarketschool
  • @AKeenReader
  • @mrs_hyde
  • @nikora75
  • @Doctor_Harves
  • @beechEdesignz
  • @kerriattamatea

 

Now this year,

 

#EdBookNZ17 

I put out another call for EdBookNZ and have my complete list of educators. I am really excited because as usual creating an artifact for the education community pushes me into hyperdrive as I also one of the authors.

With EdBookNZ I had a massive disaster on ISSUU when I accidentally deleted all my collaborative books. I was more gutted in losing the history of downloads.

But in saying that, better things happen and now on ISSUU the books can be purchased or the PDFs download free. However you do need to create an account for the downloads. I also am unsure how to make the paper copy link easily accessible but am working on that.

Finally I am really excited about holding a printed book because I have been trying and trying to do something on Amazon, but found the process of publishing too technical.

I used ISSUU because it was the easiest platform for digital publishing. 

A dear friend and mentor said to me recently, holding the completed #EdBooks in your hands is a powerful example of collaboration.

To finish with, I just have to put a shout out for Saturday’s session of #TeachMeetNZ. This session highlights our ACCoS Kahui Ako. If you register on Eventbrite, you will go in the draw to win another example of collaboration. ‘SOLO Taxonomy and English Language Learners.’

 

 

Outliers

Recently I ran a collaborative project with four amazing educators and learnt from them what happens when we provide conditions, and then learning takes over.

Since then I have been reading the work of Tony Wagner and he writes that

‘isolation is the enemy of improvement’.

http://www.tonywagner.com/1191

Over the years I have read around the following labels for teachers such as

  • Teacherpreneur
  • Connected Educator
  • Disobedient Teacher
  • Outlier Teachers

So focusing on Tony Wagner’s term of Outlier Teachers I put on my SOLO Taxonomy hat and made connections with my situation.

If you used our National standard Data to access us as a school you will quickly see that out the 11 schools in our Kāhui Ako, we appear to fall short. However if you dig deeper into our school’s data, you will see that many of our children have scores that stand up straight as they head towards the national norms. Therefore our children have exponential learning. If you look at our attendance data, we are above the national norms for attendance for our decile rating and for our major ethnic group. Our current ethnic data reveals that our dominant group is 65.1% Asia.

Data.jpg

In addition we have currently surveyed our students using ‘Me and my school’ survey and can see that our children love coming to school, that they know where they are with their learning and that they feel safe and valued as learners. By doing this we listen carefully to our students to better understand their classroom and school experiences.

Most of our learners at our school need time. They need time to learn in their second language of English and they need time to collaborate.

 

Collaboration

Collaboration is essential for professional educator innovation. As an across school leader for our Kāhui Ako, how do we create opportunities for collaboration? Research identifies that the greatest variance happens within a school. Therefore I wonder what our principals and school leaders do to support and create opportunities for collaboration within their own schools. I believe that part of our ACCoS work is to forge across school collaboration yet still be aware of what happens within school.

 

In our school

In our own school we value transparency and communication. Our teams of teachers work together to collaboratively gather data about learning, set goals and plan learning. All data and planning is open across the school. Teams plan learning sessions to develop children’s curiosity and imagination, teaching them the skills and dispositions that matter most. Learners passions often evolve through perseverance, respect and self discipline.

 

One team has been experimenting with developing genuine interests through group projects. When we see this in action there is a genuine love of learning and excitement. Experiences are created that excite the learners both intellectually and emotionally. These teachers  have the courage and sense of urgency needed to make a radical break from the old ways of learning and have encouragement from our senior management  to innovate their practice.  As students undertake new ways of learning they must provide evidence of what has been learnt such as the creating of something useful. One strategy I really like is the peer review that happens. Children give each other feedback on work completed and failure is celebrated if the process has been documented. They are known to take calculated risks and sometimes this has resulted in incredible learning. Problem solving happens across disciplinary boundaries and we can see other curriculum areas as well as key competencies come into the learning. These sessions are noisy and can appear chaotic to an outsider however real learning is happening as passion and purpose develops through this discovery-based learning. The children are intrinsically motivated.

 

Over time the other teams in our school are now beginning to trial and experiment with similar ideas.

 

Placing an arm around the shoulder of disobedient teachers- Digby Wells.

Often when I see teachers experimenting outside normal phenomena I am aware that they can be under constant scrutiny and ongoing questioning. An arm of support that I have given some of these teachers is to share their narrative using #TeachMeetNZ or reflecting via #EdBlogNZ. Often within their own school they fly under the radar but via social media they use technologies to learn from other outliers, connect with them, collaborate with them, and create stunning learning for their learners. They understand the importance of authentic, performance-based forms of learning and show their own learning via their educator digital portfolios. They leave breadcrumbs of learning for other educators to follow. They have a strong sense of service to the education community and often I hear the words justice and citizenship in their discussions. If I dig further I can hear the importance of sustainability and looking after our planet voiced strongly in the work they do. There is also a commitment to diversity and ensuring that all voices are heard. They understand and embed cultural competencies in their pedagogy. Therefore generally out of the norm these teachers have sets of qualities strongly in common with each other. What these qualities are? I am not sure of yet but I am working on my understanding.

 

Leading from the middle

Through the work of Michael Fullan we understand the importance of leading from the middle and that great ideas about education come from all levels and not just at the top. We are currently unpacking the need to work collaboratively and not in isolation. However within our CoL we are still unpacking what this looks like. Pockets of collaboration are happening at teacher level as some professional Innovation surface.

Data2.jpg

Adapted from My NingBo Principals Presentation

 

Where to next?

  • How do we instill the Importance of service and giving back as a driving sense of purpose?
  • How do we develop the In School Leaders (ISL)  that we work with to develop their own sense of purpose?
  • How do we engage all educators within our CoL?
  • Ultimately how do we get our teachers and students working together across our schools?

 

I believe that we can do this through the use of technology to connect, collaborate and cocreate. Face to face connections are a beginning but I believe are not enough. I think we need to push the idea of connections and collaboration  further to include blended connections and blended collaborations through using blended learning spaces.

 

Some ideas for further discussion

Within our school I can see variance between levels. For example our year 3 students have individual google accounts and use these to access their learning. When I look at our junior school there appears to be little preparation for them to move straight into using individual chromes. They use iPads generally as a tool to access apps and the internet. I see little evidence of creating with the apps. Some teachers are beginning to use SeeSaw to share learning and we are in the stage of bringing this into a school account.

When I look at our middle school, I see children using their google accounts for school work but see very little digital collaboration between children. I also do not see much sharing with the outside except via wechat and this is teacher and parent driven. As I look to their future at our school I can see little preparation of what happens at year 5 & 6 where children are expected to plan their day using google calendars. Or when our seniors carry our their critical friends evaluations.

Therefore even within our school transitioning between levels is a huge step up.

Our own ISL have organised our teachers to observe writing at a level above and below of what they teach so that hopefully this begins to address some of the transition gaps. This process has raised some interesting discussion. But as a digitally fluent teacher I wonder why not enough use is made of the technology for learners to see each others work or for them to work together in a visible way. I also wonder why many of our teachers do not show the children their planning via sites.

Sometimes as an observer who sometimes works in class, it is easier to be critical but at the same time as the elearner leader at our school I have worked hard to ensure that all equipment is maintained and working, learning apps are added to iPads that are requested within reason, online learning spaces are available such as Reading Eggs, Edmodo and Wevideo to help with student collaboration, Flat Connections have been used to help raise teacher learning in the use of collaborative learning tools but still there is the usual way of learning that I have observed 5 years and more ago happening. So as a strong digital teacher, if I cannot get our own teachers to move faster how can I get our CoL moving to work across. What I have done is look for my own tribe and that is where twitter has been invaluable. So on twitter I can do heaps more collaboration and co-creation than I can within my own school or across schools.

When I look at the collaboration chart above, I believe that we can move to level 4 where students are working with students across schools with teacher support using the technology. I was asked how did I know that across school collaboration is not already happening. I responded with, ‘If I cannot see evidence of across school collaboration, then it does not exist.’

I know how to get us there but I might loose a few people in the process.  

Show me what you do

  • Can I see your reflections?
  • Can I see your videos?
  • Can I see you chatting with colleagues in a visible way?

Surely by now our own learning portfolios are live and not sitting in a paper folder.

 

#iNZpirED

Today we celebrated #iNZpirED with a difference.

#INZpirED began as a 3 nation collaboration India, Nepal & New Zealand. The main objective is to invite our PLN to chat on various topics.

This week we had four of us work together to create the format for todays session which was live streamed via youtube.

Theme: Wrapping a cloak of support around educators was inspired by the work of Dr Welby Ings. Welby talks about putting an arm around our disobedient thinkers.

Audience participation took place via 

  1. Twitter #iNZpirED share some highlights of where/when  you have felt supported with the NZ Team.
  2. Google Draw- map where you are in the world- Viv

  3. Padlet: upload a photo of a view from your window- Ritu

  4. FlipGrids with -Kerri

    • FlipGrid Disobedient Learning-
    • FlipGrid – Collective Teacher Efficacy

    • Flipgrid – are schools too preoccupied with routine?

Participants were encouraged to comment on each others contribution.

Inzpired

I used https://www.timeanddate.com to identify times for other zones.

I also used CIA Factbook for the different flags. I created this presentation with greetings of languages we have at our school and place them on display. If you want a copy, please help yourself and let me know how you use it.

Initially Ritu approached me to host a session and of course I said yes and we discussed a variety of ideas. The idea of live streaming came up and so we brought in a team to work with us. We prepared for the session by communicating via direct group messaging on twitter. I set up a variety of docs and slides. When we got together for a practice run through, each idea was discussed and modified and that is where Padlet and Flipgrid came in. Because we were broadcasting from New Zealand we thought that it was important to highlight what makes us unique in the world and for us kiwi educators it is our connections with our Te Reo and our environment.
On the morning of the session we were still tweaking and adapting. Ritu accidentally tweeted that we would sing a waiata and so I did a mad scramble to relearn how to play the ukulele because I could not find my guitar. Unfortunately I only know a couple of chords and so I could not transpose the song down. Therefore it was a little on the high side.
Highlights
The exciting part of pulling an event like this together is the learning that we all do. I loved the use of Padlet to make connections and the use FlipGrid to capture thinking. I also really liked the mapping idea and using images to jazz it up a bit.
Breadcrumbs
When we have virtual learning we have the chance to capture digitally what we have done. From the work I have carried out with Julie Lindsay I know the importance of capturing the digital breadcrumbs so that there is a resource for the education community.
Reflecting
From my learning with Pam Hook and SOLO Taxonomy I know the importance of documenting the process and identifying what went well, what was the learning and what needs to happen next time.
The event itself was fabulous and even more so because of the people involved. That Ritu is truly an iNZpirED_udator. Viv brought her facilitator hat to the discussion and helped with the conversation. As for Kerri I really liked the way she kept opening up feeds within the FlipGrid to drive our learning deeper.
The twitter feed was exceptional and we remembered how difficult it is to do both a hangout and tweet at the same time. I give a shoutout to all the tweeps who took part and apologies for not being able to multi task and respond immediately.  I know I did not get to twitter until after the hangout.
When I rewinded the clip, I realised that I had not switched on my camera when sharing the screen so must remember that for next time.
Creating a Hangout is not that difficult. Below are two links on presentation that you might find useful in case you are interested in trying something like this.
Where to next
Soon I will start training any interested teachers in Kahui Ako who would like to take part in a  TeachMeetNZ/ ACCoS session.
Finally
Thanks to all educators who took part today in any of the activities and a special shout out to Dr Welby Ings. Ritu I am holding you to that Flash Mob ukulele idea.

Matariki

 

matariki

Titiro Whakamuri. Kokiri whakamua.

Look back and reflect so that you can move forward.

Every year I try and learn something new about Matariki and this year was no different. I also noted the fog that rolled in several times in June so can now add this to the signs around Newmarket of Matariki. Next year I hope to climb Maungawhau early enough in June to catch a sight of the seven sisters just before dawn.

Last year I was surprised to see that I was not using as much Reo as I thought I was. So I made it a goal to include it wherever I could. For example I included a whakatauki every time I presented. 

This week at school as part of celebrating Matariki we had TuRongo collective for our students lead by Matua Karena, Matua Puriri and Whaea Millie.

They shared with us Pakiaka, Mau rakau and haka and spiritual learnings within waiata.

​Puriri led the students in Pakiaki where they learnt games such as Poutahi, Pourua and Poutoru. I heard expressions such as step into the spaces with feet like a horse not a bunny. Side step like a crab.

We then rotated to Mau rakau with Karena where our students learnt about Maui and Matau or left and right. They had fun learning how to trust their friends with the Mau rakau.

Finally the students learnt about spiritual learnings within waiata. I liked the analogies that whaea Millie used with the Tuatara and the birds. The way she explained about wiri and pukana. How she incorporated stories in the learning. Finally the students learnt the Matariki song that told about the sisters and again she painted a picture using words so that the children could see the song.

What I liked about the sessions was the simplicity of delivery yet the learning was deep.

 

We finished celebrating Matariki at our school with our annual Matariki disco. To borrow a quote from Katie, one of my student writers. “Overall I think the Matariki disco is important because it was the Maori new year and a chance for everyone to get together.”

 

Tūrangawaewae

turangawaewae

In January 2016, I chose Whānaungatanga as my #oneword2016. I wrote a blog post setting 5 goals around Whānaungatanga, family, community, learning Mandarin, health and well being.

When I reflect on my 2016 year my goals have been nailed  and I feel content that I have developed growing understanding around my goals. My own understanding of Whānaungatanga has deepened and I thank Nathaniel  @nlouwrens for setting the challenges last year to help with #EdBlogNZ.

This year my #oneword2017 is Tūrangawaewae.

I have chosen this word because I believe that if you know who you are and where you come from then you are more in control of who you want to be and in choosing the paths to take to get there. I am actually at a stage of life where I feel contentment. I am happy in my work and with my home life. I give enough service to the education community to fulfil who I am. My sons are grown and I am proud of who they have turned out to be. My health is good but there is always room for improvement. By focussing of Tūrangawaewae. I want to identify and reflect on the spaces and people who help shape me. I have written about Tūrangawaewae previously and knew straight away that I have identified my oneword for 2017.

Mandarin

This year I will continue with Mandarin and take it into a second year. Yes I have passed HSK level 1 but if you throw a formulaic expression at me, I still feel tongue tied so want to move into basic proficiency communication.

Aging Parents

I want to continue taking care of my aging parents and acknowledge that is this really a family commitment and not just my decision so will continue the dialogue with my sisters. This year my dad will be 90 and I would like to complete his story with photos in preparation for this massive event and then start mums one.

Personal Health

My fitness levels have definitely improved this year and now to work on making healthier food choices. I love my bread by really must recognise the damage that this is having on my health.

ACCoS

This year as an Across School Leader for the ACCoS community I am aiming to grow the online community into a vibrant place for sharing and discussion.

Blogging and Presenting

I would like to aim for a weekly blog reflection post. I am just about there but maybe if I consciously put it out there then I will do it. I gave many presentations in 2016 and for this year I will consciously focus on co- presenting and even co-blogging.

Google

I have missed running TeachMeetNZ using Google+ Hangout and would like to run another session sometime this year with teachers from our school or in the ACCoS group. I am aiming to sit my level one Google Certification, something long overdue.

Travel

I am also really keen to travel more and will need my sisters support for this one as someone needs to be with mum and dad while I am gone.

Loss

Just on a sad note, I will be attending a funeral for a young man who died tragically. He was a friend of my younger son and oh so young having just turned 21 years old. As a teacher our students can touch our lives in many ways. I was his first teacher in that I relieved in his class the day his teacher was away.  He came right out and said who are you? I explained the circumstances of why I was in his class for the day and after that if I was out on duty he would come looking for me. As the years passed he became part of our family and would call all my sisters as aunties and my parents as Grandma and Grandad. But would still call me Mrs Van Schaijik and I never corrected him to using my first name. Events like this can remind us the importance of family and friendship. I watch my own son devastated by the event and know that this is one Christmas he will never forget and will be a marker for him for the rest of his live.

Tiritirimatangi

Just to finish with, if you are looking for an amazing place to spend a day then visit Tiritirimatangi. It is a small island in the Hauraki Gulf. Soon we will visit this incredible space for our Teacher Only Day. I haven’t quite convinced staff to come and stay there with me. For me Tiritirimatangi is one place that I feel incredibly connected to and that is what Tūrangawaewae istiri