Saturday, October 31, 2009

Asking Why Are We Headed in This Direction?

Have been thinking about the way we might convincingly justify the WHY behind where we are headed in education to meet 21st century learners desires and needs.
What resources have you found to be useful in shifting traditional views or old mental models?
Did you know V4 is out now - that is always a good starting point.

Blog Action 09

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Red Beach School Conference - Great Buzz

What a thrill to share with delegates yesterday from near and far. We had over 100 attendees who asked great questions, talked to our students and heard about the journey we have been on since the beginning of 2005. As we shared in the initial address we by no means believe we have all the answers, rather we saw the day as an opportunity to share in the highs and lows of our own journey. We too feel privileged to have talked and visited many colleagues and shared in others journeys too. We felt it was our turn to give back and contribute to the greater good of education and continue the dialogue and debate.

For any conference participants - this link takes you to the
Powerful Learning Presentation
Teacher Effectiveness Presentation

Look forward to continuing the dialogue.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

John Hattie - Encouraging us to ask ...

Yesterday at an Auckland University leadership seminar day John Hattie advocated for leaders in schools to grow a disposition of asking. He posed the following questions.
A disposition to asking ...

How do I know this is working?
How can I compare this with that?
What is the magnitude of the effect?
Do I share a common conception of progress?
What evidence would convince you that you are wrong?
What is the merit and worth of this influence on learning?
Where have you seen this practice installed so that it produces effective results?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Change - It's a Constant!

I have been taking some time to reflect on why the need to change. We are aware that times are certainly changing. Is it another bandwagon or good reason for real change. What are the real benefits of e learning? technology? How will they benefit our next generation of learners.
Pleased I stumbled upon this in youtube

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Red Beach School Conference

Thrilled to hear this evening as I left school that 61 people are booked in to attend our first conference. Shirley is doing a stunning job of coordinating and organising this event. It shows just how much we are willing to learn from one another across the education sector.
Have been thinking about how we could use a similar model with sharing what we are doing with our parent community. Wouldn't it be great to present to our community why we are headed in the direction we are headed in and then provide parents with a variety of breakouts where they could select areas of interest. Holding a conference during school hours has the added bonus of talking about what we do and then getting parents into classes to see it in action.
Like many schools we are always thinking about ways of informing parents about what we are doing. The reality is, it is different to how we were educated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weighing Up Competency vs Content

It's that time of year when we are looking for teachers to fill positions for 2010. The whole process has got me thinking.
Firstly what questions do you ask to reveal an individuals beliefs, competencies and skills in a 30 minute interview?
Secondly what sort of responses are you wanting to hear? Are we seeking individuals who have broad content knowledge or are we looking for the individuals who exemplify dispositions of being a learner, who are positive, risk takers and clearly passionate.
If it was an either or scenario who would you pick? Why?
My third wondering is do you pick people who fit the culture or those that may not because they may bring something that rubs a bit and adds a new dimension and value add.
All good thoughts, it's important the right choices are made.

Friday, October 9, 2009

RBS Vision Live and Well?

I really enjoyed presenting with Shirley this morning. We had an enthusiastic group of educators, who smiled, participated and asked great questions. We value the opportunity to articulate the school change process and journey because it causes much thought. As we look back on the journey we are reminded of how much we have learnt along the way. Having to say it out loud certainly makes us take stock. There are things we would do differently if we started the process again. I feel heartened that collaboration is on the increase in education. There is much more sharing of ideas, strategies and processes that enable change . We are all in the game to make a difference to kids!
Browse the right hand navigation bar if you are wanting to view the presentation.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert - Ted Talks

Was thrilled to stumble upon this Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert the author of "Eat, pray, love" Thoroughly enjoyed her book - Laughed, cried and reflected!

Mark Tredwell - Presentation Ulearn

Developing understanding is a precursor to creativity. Marks diagram illustrates this really well. It makes me reflect on what are the necessary environmental factors that ensure students are free to be curious and imaginative to create and innovate? A culture of learning where not knowing is ok is a pre-requisite to ensuring students learn powerfully.

Mark talks about developing a learners Capability, Competency, Creativity, Personality and Potential.
Mark spent some time sharing the latest brain research. Mind boggling!
Hopped onto google docs to take some more notes
"Why are passionate teachers always good teachers - get a hormonal response which is the optimal response for learning".

Click on the link to view other presentations he is currently presenting on. Mark presented to our EHSAS cluster recently was a fantastic session.
Thanks Mark - once again.

David Merrill demos Shiftables - Awesome

Derek Wenmoth's Keynote Ulearn

Derek shared some amazing ways Technologies are being used. Have linked a few up.

8 Ways cloud computer will change schools - See Derek's Blog. Derek's blog is always worth a read.
Skoolaborate - ways schools are collaborating and learning together
NEN Evaluation Project
Cooliris great presentation tool - free download
WikiEducator - Teachers share and collaborate. Open Education.

Great to have ones eyes open to examples of how technology is being used creatively locally and more globally. Thanks Derek
As Derek's presentation title stated "The future is not what it used to be!"

Yummy Breakfast - The Crumpet Club

Big thanks to Jenny T who this morning took us on a tour to find a winning cafe. We hiked some distance, it was well worth it. We arrived at 'The Crumpet Club', nice ambiance, fine service and delicious food. Certainly recommend to anyone visiting Christchurch.
Andrea, Chris and Lucy enjoying their breakfast.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Managing Change: Herding Cats is Easier

Here is Cheryl Doig's Presentation - Great session
Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Leading Change - Cheryl Doig Ulearn

Cheryl's Website - Think Beyond
Herding Cats is Easier!
Rata Teachers Support Cheryl shared about her experience in South Africa. She shared how she had to take a good look at herself. The photos said it all - These people lived in harsh conditions.
Managing change is about the attitude we bring with us. It starts by knowing oneself. What are the Hidden Areas, Unknown Areas, 'Blind Spots'. Cheryl commented on the key way of knowing self better is to get feedback. Importantly she asked who do we actively seek feedback in our own organisation, from family, friends etc.
Shirley made me laugh - she is sitting next to me and stated a good way is have a glass of wine with Sarah!

Change Enablers Some of Cheryl's messages
Mobilizing people
If Learners are to Thrive - Why are you trying to herd cats? How are you allowing teachers to thrive, create, innovate from the floor, find the joy.
Can you change others? - think of it as working with the people to change the practice.
If we think there are things we need to change in others first we should look at ourselves.
Build a culture where people can raise issues, Building Leadership Capacity
Thinking about - What is it like in the shoes of the other people. This rang true with the recent experiences I have had being present in classes and office spaces to get a sense of different peoples realities.
How do we encourage others to take informed risks? Again another great question that made one think about What do we specifically do in our organisation to encourage this?
Building Team - Trust, Fear of Conflict, Lack of Commitment, Avoidance of accountability, Inattention to results. Patrick Lencioni, 2002
Using Evidence - Here's what, So what?, Now What?
Asking what is essential to preserve and what is expendable?

A thoroughly enjoyable session - many thanks Cheryl

Did You Know V4

Great to have a look at the latest Did you Know movie on You Tube and look at the updated statistics and future predictions.
What does this mean for us in educating our students?

DK talking about MEDIASNACKERS

Loved this image DK shared with us - he said replace the word business with schools!
How Social Media has Changed the Game!
It's all the funky stuff you can do online that you couldn't do before - web 2.0 etc.
One of the biggest barriers is the fear out there about it all. It's not inherently bad - it's what you do with it, you are in control. Whenever, Where ever, Whatever
"The world has changed and it's not turning back!"
What's the learning outcome now if it's not knowledge due to the birth of wikipedia etc?
Our 19 years olds don't live without blogger, flicker, skype, twitter, social networking etc.
DK shared 'Kids are tooled for involvement - have the phone, MP3 player, Internet' Let's get them out and use them.
Using the tools to show rather than tell people - use of mobile phones to capture images, narrate and publish.
What are people doing online? Are they Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, Inactives?
The web makes me feel ...
Fascinating to view how kids responded to this question - check out the summary on the website link.
The unfinished Swan - take a look at this creative play on gaming.

David Anderson & Mel Stoppard - PLOT Education

A couple of memorable quotes from the session on Facilitation skills were
"Your content is not nearly as important as (learners) interaction with the content" Garnston
'Are you listening to speak or learn?'
We spent the session working in various groups prioritising attribute cards to highlight our leadership qualities/dispositions in different situations.
The exercise certainly highlighted how leadership is so often situational. How you respond or what qualities are required in crisis, challenging situations or big picture thinking are different. It made one think and reflect about personal leadership strengths and weaknesses.
Mel and David were well worth listening too and facilitated a great session. You can find out more about them and PLOT by clicking on the link.

Gary Stager - Ulearn Keynote

Gary's Blog
Gary's Website
'Less us, more them'. Putting the students at the centre

The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas that Make Computers Work - Daniel Hillis
Computer enables self expression, we can make things that we haven't been able to make before because of the availability of construction material online.
'Software determines what you do and what you do determines what you learn'
'To understand is to invent' Piaget
10 Things to do with a Laptop
Write a novel - write more, write better, write differently, writing for different media - podcasting, Research.
Share your Knowledge - The changing nature of memory - no need to remember when you can google it. Wikipedia - distributed nature of expertise, breaking news, passion = accuracy, talk to authors & other experts, publish to authentic audience, access to 'current' info. Schools have created the 'I'm done' attitude in students. How do schools reinforce the importance of comparing info from different sources.
Answer Tough Questions, Access to Primary Resources. Use the movie clips, photos etc. Guess the key is if the learning is purposeful and authentic, students engage.
Make sense of Data, google earth, plotting data, looking at trends.
Design a Video Game, not just consume them. In designing students are involved in animation, narration, number, space, etc.
Build a Killer Robot, building something and refining it, problem solving having a hypothesis and trying it out then tinkering some more. Allow for Computationally-rich learning
Lose Weight, ipod technology students set up virtual running clubs.
Direct a Block Buster, 'your video should be shorter', it should be edited at least one more time', mirrors the writing process.
Compose a Symphony, authentic problems, real construction materials
Change the World - Be a mathematician, a scientist, anything is possible.

Technology Matters - Allows kids to engage with a broader range and depth of problem solving. It allows intellectual stimulation and opportunity.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ulearn - The Hype is Building

Our team lined up at the registration desks this afternoon to get our conference packs and information. Bumped into lots of colleagues, everyone enthusiastic and looking forward to the next 3 days. It it heartening to see many teachers gathering (predicted 1800)in their holiday break to further develop themselves professionally. Looking forward to reflecting through this blog on the keynotes presentations.
Will keep you posted.
Ulearn 09

Monday, October 5, 2009

Effective Teacher

Here is the presentation Shirley Cope and myself are presenting at Ulearn. Looking forward to it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What really spins your wheels?

If there were no obstacles what would you do with your life? I have been pondering many such questions over the last wee while. My brother often giggles as he asks 'What do you want to do when you grow up Sarah?'
I feel fortunate in that I loose time doing what I do. I get great satisfaction out of inspiring others and innovating. I guess in life's journey you discover more of the things you loose time doing as it unfolds. Was neat to pull out a few paint brushes and even paint the pictures I have been saying I will get onto!
Feel privileged to have had a few days break over the holiday period to take stock and have a good reflect. Have enjoyed having some time to catch up with dear friends.
Getting ready to head to Ulearn in Christchurch really looking forward to soaking up some more learning and catching up with Colleagues.
A more interesting blog entry next time.