ULearn16

ulearn

“Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future.”  Paulo Freire

ULEARN 2016

CORE Education’s annual professional learning and development conference for educators took place on 5 -7 October 2016 at Rotorua’s Energy Events Centre. Rotorua was a blaze of colour with the tulips out in all their glory. In addition the centre had beautiful nightlight displays.

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The three conference strands were:

The key themes permeating throughout the conference were

  • Connect by sharing knowledge and ideas
  • Collaborate by working together and developing relationships
  • Innovate through innovation and sustainability

I have taken each keynote speaker and made links with all the discussion based on the conference themes and then highlighted a key takeaway from each presentation.

The Keynote speakers were:

  • Keynote #1: Larry Rosenstock
    • ‘It’s Time to Change the Subject’
      • Collectivelearning not autonomous learning.
      • Collaborativelearning not isolated learning
      • Innovatelearning through the structure of their work.
  • Keynote #2: John Couch
    • ‘New Dimensions in Learning’
      • Connectour students.  Engagement is key.  If students engage then they will succeed. Technology aids engagement.
      • Collaborateby ensuring we  MAXIMISE the potential of technology to amplify schools and education.
      • Innovateby providing opportunities for our students  to make something that will change the world.

Many learning barriers  of today are not set by system but by teaching practices.

  • Keynote #3: Michael Fullan (Note: I missed this session #SadFace)
    • ‘Early lessons from implementing New Pedagogies for Deep Learning’
      • Connectusing New, meaning the new knowledge and relationships between the teacher, student and whānau
      • Collaborate using education as societal change agents
      • Innovate because we are wired to create
      • michael

Teachers as agents of change.

  • Keynote #4: Karen Spencer
    • ‘Beyond the echo chamber: The extraordinary possibilities of a networked profession’
      • Connectwith the past because future focused ‘solutions’ are just someone else’s good ideas.
      • Test lightly and collaborativelyand use our curriculum documents to guide us.
      • Innovatefrom an informed position

Our one job is to keep the fear out of school.

Now I could write a lot more about each session however you can already read a more detailed summary from http://www.events.core-ed.org/ulearn/keynote-speakers. In addition there are links to video clips shown.

I was extremely grateful to Core Education for the earlier presentation time slot because this allowed me to relax and enjoy the rest of the conference.

Sharing is caring — learning is giving back to the community
Presenter: Sonya Van Schaijik

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I gave a session which was partly narrative and partly a workshop. Here are my slides. I have already received Feedback for my next session. There were some constructive suggestions that are helpful for my learning so thanks to those of you who took the time to give me feedback.

Spotlight session: Leadership for online global collaboration: from pedagogy to cosmogogy

Presenter: Julie Lindsay

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I attended a session from one of the spotlight presenters and this was Julie Lindsay. Julie’s and my history go back quite a way and I joined her session partly to acknowledge the massive influence she has had on me personally as an educator especially in focussing on whanaungatanga in everything that I do. You can check out the link to her session here. What is a global leader?

The key message I took from her session was: ‘Leaders must demonstrate and model collaborative practices to support pedagogical change.’

Julie wrote a book titled ‘The Global Educator.‘ If you are looking for me I feature on page 100. (#JustSaying.) A lot of what she writes about me is the #EdBookNZ collaborative teachers’ book that happens each year as part of #CENZ month. If you want to know more, do check out her book and look out for this year’s team .

Research and inquiry Symposium: Play and creativity

Presenter: Christine Alford, Keryn Davis, Caroline Bush

The key takeaway I took from this session was: Collect the stories of our learners.

CoL round table: action planning

Presenter: Derek Wenmoth

I joined several round table discussions and used the opportunity to think about an action plan for implementing ideas in our ACCoS group. We were given an excellent readable document that highlighted areas for discussion for me to share with my CoL.

(Darn, @AionoManu I forgot our selfie when we were working together.)

Play is not fun

Presenter: Caroline Bush

Caro share a narrative of her journey as an efellow16

The key takeaway I took from Caro’s session was: Give the learners permission and freedom to leave. Focus on the progress. Bring in blocks during reading time.

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Building capability through future focused learning

Presenter: Marnel van der Spuy, Hancine Samvelyan

We took part in collaboration as a process.

The key message I took away was: Fear and passions come together for discussion. Experts and apprentices balance.

Here is the link to our collaborative document.

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So overall what have I learnt from attending and presenting at Ulearn this year?

Connections continue to drive what I do because I strongly believe that before you can collaborate you must make connections.

I formed deeper connections with two teachers who braved ULearn with me this year. I give them a shout out. They are @HannahDavey01 and @MissSMorrison1. They outdanced me on the dance floor and nearly out tweeted me. I loved the way they took the learning all on board and just got involved. They even featured on the Core Education Blog.

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I reconnected with heaps of tweeps both face to face and virtually using #ulearn16 and #notatulearn16. Out of all the exhibitors present I took great delight in visiting Stand 60 which was Essential Resources stand.

I stood back with pride at seeing my book with Pam Hook up there on the stand. (Just in case you are looking for a copy of SOLO Taxonomy and English Language Learners-here is the link.) Being true to my island heritage I had a quiet chuckle at how fabulously bright it was and wondered if we should have stuck a great big hibiscus on it as part of the background. Maybe we will do that for our next book.

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collaborated with many educators both new and seasoned using digital tools and hands on tools such as Padlet, Google Docs, Twitter, Periscope. I am just conscious of driving the collaboration to a deeper level and push past the coblaboration stage.

I took away some innovative ideas to trial with current CoLs that I work with. One tool is Arinui that I am keen to explore further. Another is the upcoming Flat Connection Project I am project leading under the guidance of Julie Lindsay. A further idea is using the SOLO Taxonomy vocabulary that I created with Pam Hook last year to structure Oral language with our English Language Learners at Newmarket School.

To finish with just a MASSIVE shout out to @newmarketschool and the Board of Trustees for supporting our professional learning with this trip to Ulearn16. Now to our teachers we are coming back with some ideas that we are keen to trial. However ULearn doesn’t change the world, the experience changes #NPSFab teachers and we have come back changed.

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I began this post with a quote from John Dewey and end with this whakatau from my session. svs_ulearn16

Let us forge a pathway to the future and acknowledge our journey.

10,000 is the magic number.

 

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http://dilbert.com/strip/2013-02-07 By Scott Adams 

I had been reading around  the 10,000 hour rule that was shared by Gladwell. You can read all about the research and also how and why it was recently criticised. 

At the same time I have been analysing our student data against national standards. At this time of the year I usually have a look at how we are doing and particularly how my ELL students are doing. I have written about this process before. 

I looked at our writing data and wondered about the hours that we put into daily writing. A 40 hour work week multiplied by 5 years equates to an estimated 10,000 hours.

Children should be having approximately 1/6 of that or about 6,000 hours worth of school learning by the time they leave primary school. I am taking into account the 40 week school year. So 25 weekly hours face to face multiplied by the 40 week year.

If we want to see a shift in our school’s writing data then we have to be targeting that number. However the realities of school life indicates that writing happens more like 200 hours per year. I thought about the usual class timetable that schedules an hour a day for writing. I haven’t carried out any research into this claim but am just putting it out there. In order to fulfil a daily writing schedule as educators we have to be focusing on writing across the curriculum. I have been working in the senior part of the school this term for an hour a day and have the fabulous opportunity of being part of an experiential timetable. One way I see around this dilemma of practice is encouraging students to write at home in the same way that we encourage them to keep a reading log. 

I wonder too if a 2P in writing equates to 600 hours worth of crafting. The article mentioned a direct statistical relationship between hours of practice and achievement. No shortcuts. No naturals. So I wonder too if we can fast forward a 2P to a 3B if that requires another two years years or another 200 hours of writing practice.

Personally I also believe that teachers too should be writing. They should be crafting their own work and working on their own skills. I believe it is not enough to teach writing but should be happening as part of teacher’s own learning.

One way of gaining motivation to undertake writing is to create a reflective journal. I read with interest some of the comments teachers on the New Zealand Primary School Teacher’s Facebook Page gave in regarding to keeping a digital portfolio. I believe that part of my portfolio includes me reflecting on what I do in a visible way and I do that by blogging. I wonder how these same teachers evidence their professional teacher criteria. Surely if you teach writing you should be working on your own skills.

If you want to find other New Zealand teachers who reflect in visible ways and who practice the craft of writing then look no further than

http://www.edblognz.blogspot.com

I wonder what are your thoughts on educators teaching writing. Is it enough to teach writing or do you also believe that teacher writing and teaching writing go hand in hand?

I look forward to the dialogue.

 

Teachers as Visible Learners

What a day.

Today we had our school assembly and this time it was led by our senior school students who are known as Te Ako Kahikatea. In the New Zealand native forest Kahikatea is the giant of the forest and with the status of being named after the giants of the forest there is also the expectation that our senior students will step up as Kaitiaki and spread their branches and leaves to lead and protect all the other seedlings growing beneath.

I was there in assembly as usual. I was excited and proud for our Travelwise team because today our principal Dr Wendy Kofoed was presenting us with our school’s silver Travelwise status from Auckland Transport. I am the teacher who works with the Travelwise team. This year the team have really stepped up activities and efforts for our school.

I sat in assembly and spotted my big sister and was feeling worried because I care for my aging parents and wondered if all was ok at my house. Assembly began and I focused back on the what was happening.

First Te Ako Kahikatea shared their learning and explained the process of their discovery Friday. As usual I thought I need to be recording this but have been trying to step back and let the team leaders take up more responsibility of sharing their team and their students learning via their team blogs and sites. The rest of assembly unfolded and we listened to achievements and notices.

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Then it was time for our certificate to be presented and we all went up on stage. One of my Travelwise students had written a short explanation of why we were awarded our certificate.  We received our certificate.

Next Te Ako Kahikatea received their principal’s award. I love this part of the assembly because its like mini celebrations of learning for students from the teams.

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IMG_2516After that the  assembly came to a conclusion but before then our lead student commentators said they wanted to call up an amazing teacher who deserved the honour of a mention for all that they do for our school. They played a video and it was me. Many children from the team that I taught, teach and work with shared little snippets about why they thought I deserved this recognition. This part was totally not part of our usual assembly.

I sat right up the front in shock and felt overwhelmed by emotions such as incredible pride at hearing them speak so clearly. Some of my bilingual IMG_2547students spoke and  I wiped away tears of joy and was called up to receive a massive bunch of flowers and presented with a red pandanus necklace known as an ula fala which I associate with our Samoan leaders or matai. I was also given a leadership badge and gift that the students work towards and my Travelwsie team had created an amazing card for me.

IMG_2539I stood there listening as some of our teachers spoke too about how I have guided and supported them in their practice. Some from my Travelwise team led our school song and I joined them.

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Finally I thanked everyone for the honour bestowed on me, made mention of my big sister and took the opportunity of highlighting our Samoan language week that is celebrated next week.

I believe it is important to be transparent as a teacher, thinker and learner so that children can see your progress. I thought about my Samoan culture and what my grandmother Matalaoa used to say to me, ‘E iloa le tagata i ana tu ma aga’ which means people know you by your actions. I am often asked what is my role at Newmarket School and I often reply jokingly, ‘You do not see what I do but if I was not here the school would fall down.’ At the same time I know that if I was not there and the school did fall down then I have not achieved my ongoing goal of growing others as teacher leaders.

So if you are visiting my reflective blog and were involved in today, thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t wait to share the children’s video because it shows how awesome their collaborative skills are developing. I can’t believe how they were able to keep it such a secret from me.

Where to next, like Kahikatea we all need mentors and leaders who guide us. We all need feedback about what we do to help with the running of our schools. We must continue to take time to acknowledge each other whether its via words and actions or words on a blog post or tweet.

Faafetai tele lava mo lenei aso matagofie.


Update: my #WELS15 friend Jon wrote this fabulous piece and I have added the link here because he writes with clarity and has included references  I have added his twitter here too. @jca_1975.

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Defining TeachMeetNZ

TMNZ key word image (1)TeachMeetNZ is a professional learning community and environment that provides asynchronous and synchronous opportunities for New Zealand teachers to connect, collaborate, create and celebrate with other educational professionals beyond their own school communities.

First teachers build professional relationships by making connections with each other on twitter and google +.

Then they collaborate together as they learn from and with each other on how to use Google Presentation, Google Hangout, Slideshare and other online presentation tools for sharing their work.

Next they create a nano presentation and share an education story, a critical inquiry or an idea that has impacted on personal practice. This presentation is shared with a current cohort where critical feedback is given and received. The practise sessions are recorded using Google Hangout for personal viewing to help with identifying areas of self improvement.

After that teachers celebrate the learning process in a three minute ‘nano’ presentations that TeachMeetNZ curates allowing teachers to leave a learning legacy for the benefit of other educators globally.

Finally a critical reflection including links to professional literature is written and shared with the education community via a blog where again feedback is given and received.

Overall TeachMeetNZ supports teachers professional learning and builds capabilities. Ultimately I  believe that a visibly learning teacher benefits students learning and student achievement. ‘Every child deserves a teacher that never stops learning.’ Something amazing happens when a group of educators connect, collaborate, create and celebrate together. That is TeachMeetNZ.

Goundhog Day at Newmarket School

In 1877, Newmarket School in Auckland New Zealand was established on the site where 277 is today.
On the weekend I was excited to have our current principal Dr Wendy Kofoed take part in an online discussion about learning with educators from around New Zealand.
This discussion will continue throughout October as part of #CENZ14.
After the discussion I put a call out to Pam Hook to read what we have so far accomplished as I wanted to ensure that the project is framed by SOLO Taxonomy. 
Pam flicked me a link to a sceptics log she and a team of creators had made in 2006 and the discussion was the same. In addition she linked me up to Chris Bigum who had been part of that original discussion and he started feeding me readings and video links via twitter.
The outcome of all that weekend learning is this reflection.
One particular idea that I had read about and awoke with was groundhog day. 
We are such an old school. I thought of our first school leader, Captain Charles Ross Cholmondely Smith.
in his single classroom with his room full of children.
The stories I have read about how the children learnt is hilarious. 
But if we revisit those early days of education, we know that the teacher was basically a coach.
They used the older children to teach the younger children who in turn taught the younger ones than themselves. In addition he would have had a team of children leaders who took care of various activities to help with the running of the school, kind of like our student leadership programme.
If a child needed extra help they would know who to ask for support.
They would only go to the teacher when absolutely necessary because he ruled his classroom in true military style of the time. 
Newmarket School on current 277 site of today
As the years passed and the school grew and new teachers came in, the process continued with teachers using each other as support. There was no professional development in those days only personal learning.
They relied totally on the community for everything because there was no local $2.00 shops to stock up or colour photocopying for the walls. They used local resources in their programme kind of like the glocalisation concept. (No, not a spelling mistake.)
The children would have continued to support each other and most had a job to do to help keep the school clean and tidy because there would have been no school cleaners in those days. This is like how we structure our enviro programme.
I was thinking about our current situation with the discussion centred around learning and thought we are moving back to those times not because of circumstances but because it just worked.
Teachers are reminded about the pool of learning amongst their peers. Our current head teacher continues to lead by example in her own learning. She in turn guides and coaches her team in their learning, who guide and coach the teachers in their teams with their learning who guide and coach the children in their classes and between classes as we move back to ”it takes a whole school to teach a child,’ and we move back to the notion of a single building on the site where there are no walls and we learn with and from each other. 
We have a variety of interesting developments happening in our school and this is raising teachers to the surface with their learning. Even more exciting is that they are sharing their learning with each other and several have begun the journey of reflecting in a visible way for our global school community via  a blog that you can read on the right hand side. If I have missed anyone, please do send me your link.
So in our old grounds, in our old buildings that are being demolished and rebuilt I can hear our head teacher, teachers and children ancestors giggling and watching from the ruins saying, here we go again. And you know what, so what. This teacher with 30 years experience finds it exciting to watch the cycle of education life go around again. Just like I love watching our 100 year old tree go through its cycle of life on a yearly basis, change and grow bigger and better, Just like I love talking with teachers and hearing their learning stories and sharing their learning stories. Even more exciting is the change happening. 
Children ancestors of Newmarket School

Connected Educator



The Connected Educator at Newmarket School.
Very soon Dr Wendy Kofoed and myself are presenting at Ulearn14. Our presentation centres around our teachers. The title of our presentation is ‘Before collaboration teachers need to make connections.’ Do join us at Ulearn. We are Breakout Four A on 09 Oct 2014 at 13.45-14.15. This post has developed as part of my teacher inquiry around ‘Connected Educators at Newmarket School.’
In our school’s revised strategic plan, one of our guiding principles is Whangaungatanga or connectedness. As Wendy and staff have been working at crafting our strategic plan I have been revisiting my own understanding of whangaungatanga. For me as an efellow that is about my understanding of hyperconnectivity which is all about the relationships we build and how we build them. The Samoan word for connectedness is Va Fealofani and in Maori it is Whanaungatanga.
So some of my own questions include:
·                What does a Connected Educator at Newmarket School look like?
·                What tools do they use and why?
·                How do they share what they are learning?
As I have been thinking and reflecting on connectedness Wendy has been looking at the big picture. Her own inquiry centres around ‘Challenging Learning Design.’ I look forward to her sharing her own inquiry.
At Newmarket one concept we have is whakatauki which is sharing our stories. On our boundaries and dotted within our school we have Harakeke growing. In the springtime when the Harakeke flowers we have Tui come and drink the nectar. So I begin my post with the following proverb and have changed the word kōmako for Tui because we do not have bellbirds.
Hutia te rito o te harakeke
Kei whea te Tui e kō?
Kī mai ki ahau;
He aha te mea nui o te Ao?
Māku e kī atu
he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
If the heart of the harakeke was removed,
Where would the Tui sing?
If I was asked,
What is the most important thing in the world”?
I would say
It is people, it is people, it is people
If I frame this post around the current three school values I am already confident about our presentation focus. Our three values are whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga.
I use these concepts and their definition to frame my current thinking around Connected Educators.
What is a Connected Educator at Newmarket School?
Whanaungatanga – Connectedness
Being connected requires learners to develop a secure sense of their own identity and agency to think and work towards where their potential might lie.
Newmarket School is already a strong learning community that collaboratively constructs knowledge to form a foundation for learning. In order to achieve this we aim for all our teachers to be connected educators. A Connected educator at Newmarket School understands the concept of whanaungatanga. They are someone who focuses on building relationships with each other, our community and our children.
A connected educator at Newmarket School knows how to use the managed online tools to find people and how to connect with them. They think carefully about the dynamics of interactions. They actively use Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google+, LinkedIn, and other media tools to make connections and to build their own personal learning network. Because we are in New Zealand a connected educator at Newmarket School’s learning kete includes some New Zealand managed tools such as Pond, Virtual Learning Network, Myportfolio and the School Google+ community to find other New Zealand educators and to actively connect with them and build learning relationships.

What tools do they use and why?
Manaakitanga  – Generosity of spirit
Developing the ability to walk in others’ shoes which includes seeing issues from others’ perspectives and thinking carefully about the dynamics of interactions.
A connected educator at Newmarket school knows how to use and take the tools from their kete to move their practice forward. They know how to get the learning needed to improve the craft of teaching. A connected educator at Newmarket School knows how to use Google Apps for Education to crowdsource and share ideas. They are participants in online learning communities that can be found on the Virtual Learning Network and via Google Apps for Education. They take part in twitter chats such as #edchatnz to connect nationally with other New Zealand educators. They know which chats connect them with educators globally. They use a wiki, blog and or google sites as a sandbox to test their learning with online tools and show what has been learnt. They attend online New Zealand webinar such as the Virtual Learning Network monthly sessions. They curate their own learning using Pond and make connections with other New Zealand educators to share what has been found and learnt online. They know how to bring back what they have found and learnt online and share it with their school community via a reflective educator blog. Personal learning is transparent, visible and accessible by all.

How do they share what they are learning?

Kaitiakitanga – Guardianship
Ensuring sensitivity and thoughtfulness of actions in environments both local and distant.
A connected educator at Newmarket school knows how to build their community of practise that has active participants like guest speakers and where everyone co constructs knowledge. A great example of this is #TeachMeetNZ that takes place each term.  They know how to reflects on what they have learnt and make this available for all via a blog, Google Doc, wiki and or a site.  

I began this post with a whakatauki and I end with a whakatauki.
·                Ka rongo, ka wareware
·                Ka kite, ka mahara
·                Engari, mā te mahi ka mōhio.
·                I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, but through doing, I know.
Overall a connected educator at Newmarket School knows how to grow as a professional and to empower each other and their students to build their own personal learning networks to learn using the technologies that are available. Much is learnt from each other, with each other, and with the children that they teach.

As an update, a few hours after writing this, I revisited some of the education terms that have been popular in recent times. I realised that I have been doing the same thing and that is highlighting a key education term. What the originators have done is take a key word and added a descriptor to it to make it sound different. However the key word it self is fine if we view it through an extended abstract lens. Those of you who are SOLO Taxonomy educators will know what I am talking about. I created a visual to better describe what I mean.
So returning to Connected Educator and the whole point of this blog post, I finish with ‘ A Connected Educator at Newmarket School is a Newmarket School Educator.’ 

(When I write I create a rubric from Pam Hook’s site using the SOLO Taxonomy Rubric Creator. 
I use SOLO Taxonomy to frame my thinking and clarify the direction of my inquiry by asking clearer questions. Here is my Connected Educator rubric.)




Travelwise

Today was our  Travelwise Lead Teacher day held at the Trust Stadium in Henderson.
One of the most important aspects of these days is the opportunity to network with other Lead teachers from around Auckland and curate ideas that we can use back at Newmarket School.

A real highlight for me was seeing Christine Allen and Veronica Verschuur from Marist School. I worked with them many years ago.

Russell French designed the introductory session so that the information was front loaded using a QR code activity. We moved around the room scanning QR codes in order to locate correct information of facts asked. We could have also googled this information but the opportunity to try a digital activity was fun. Russell then shared with us the rest of the information via his presentation.
He then continued and introduced us to the work of Robert Cialdini and how to link this to our days learning.
Cialdini’s 6x principles of persuasion and apply it to Travelwise

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Commitment (and Consistency)
  3. Social Proof
  4. Liking
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

We moved around the stations of activities set up by the CTCs and we covered a lot of information in a variety of ways. 


    WOW www.atwowcalendar.co.nz . I was interested in seeing the WOW calendar set up as a way of children taking responsibility for data entry using the new online system.
    The day was fabulous as it reminded me of what I still need to do at our school.
    So here are my goals until the end of the year.
    • Complete our time zone map and photograph hazards.
    • Revisit our Walking School bus idea. Particularly as we are going through a rebuild and we don’t just have a hazard at the gate we have a Tsunami.
    • Set up a Travelwise display board. At this stage I have no idea where to place it as we are going through a rebuild. Maybe I will create a digital display and resurrect our Travelwise pages on our school Enviro wiki and revamp that.
    • I really liked the idea about surveying our parents and identify where they drop our children off so will create a google form for that.

    After lunch, I presented our school’s trial with the Tracksafe resource framed using SOLO Taxonomy. My pechakucha ended up being presented eight times so by the end of the afternoon I was hoarse. However I was excited as I could see where Virginia Kung and I need to improve on for our Ulearn presentation when we share how we have used the resource at Newmarket School.