Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
As learning is our core business we believed it was important to collectively define this as an essential piece of our educative purpose. We worked through a similar process with our entire staff to arrive on the third day with a definition we were all happy with.
The definition stands;
“Learning is a dynamic, fulfilling process of actively building on what we know; by questioning, thinking and connecting to make meaning, expand knowledge and deepen understandings.”
We look forward to reflecting on our definition in January where we continue our professional learning together and watch it evolve as we set forth on our exciting journey together.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The team enjoyed a reflective and provocative session with Jeremy Kedian today. The following core skills were deemed essential
*Ability to communicate – interpersonal skills
*Need to develop entrepreneurial skills
*Managing here and now and future. Know how to learn and be equipped with a process of learning
*Adaptability, attitudinal open mindedness
What are your thoughts? What should we be equipping our students with?
We were challenged by a colleague recently to think about the language that had started to emerge within the team to highlights what we stand for and believe in. Interesting as a team how often the words 'mindfulness' and 'learner centred' have bubbled up today. Fascinating observing this shared language emerge quite organically.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Interesting to reflect on the implications of these messages for the primary sector. What stood out for me is that education will be more social, open and real. What is very much on my mind currently is how do we design the school environment to allow for this? How do we design the environment so that it becomes the third teacher or enabler of learning.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
What is the ultimate outcome we are aiming for in education? Many educational visions have words such as Life long learning, success, achievement, making a difference etc. But why these words? What does achievement lead to? What about success? Achievement to earn lots of money? Dan Pinks book Drive would suggest quite the contrary. So what are we upon this earth for? The more I reflect on this rather large and philosophical answer is, that we aim to be happy! When happiness prevails one experiences an incredible sense of fulfillment. This has led me to then ask, what is one doing when feeling that sense of delight and happiness? I've tried asking this of myself of late. I am lost in time when I am involved in the things I am most happy doing - singing, dialoguing philosophically with colleagues, helping someone out, spending time with my nieces and nephews etc
How do we actively build a self awareness in our students around what makes them happy? If school is to be a place that harnesses and builds on each individuals sense of happiness and fulfillment then we can't leave it to chance.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I have been doing lots of wondering about how to best build confident, connected, life long learners. I believe there is a place to actively build a learners capacity to learn. This encompasses building self awareness and self efficacy in learners, it's about knowing when to persevere and when to stop. It's building mastery and competence in foundation areas to be able to access learning, problem solve and think critically across curriculum areas. Importantly I am coming to think that it is about seeking out and identifying learners strengths and talents and being quite deliberate at setting goals in these areas to self improve and achieve fulfillment, mastery, satisfaction and ultimately happiness. All too often we over emphasize setting goals in areas of need only. Mark Tredwell once said in a conversation some months back that the world is running out of experts. Are we schooling for generalists? Can it be too soon (primary years) to hone in on strengths. What do parents know about their child's strengths and character traits that we can learn from on enrolment in our schools. I am not sure that the parents voice and historic overview is valued as much as it might be. How might this be captured on enrolment?
I believe talents can be used to leverage success in areas that don't come to easily for learners.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
*Encourage social connection
*Create upward spirals of emotion
*Promote well being
*Can be developed
Here's a moving clip that Denise shared at the end of the session.
Monday, June 28, 2010
You couldn't have asked for a more stunning day to land in Queenstown. It's been 18 years since I last visited this picturesque piece of New Zealand. We landed on a run way laced with snow as the grand Remarkables saluted our decent.
This picture was taken by the edge of Lake Wakatipu, a gorgeous light for taking photos. Looking forward to visiting two schools tomorrow as the New Zealand Principal Federation (NZPF) conference begins. Looking forward to this weeks learning.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I set the 5 year old up on the mac to write his own book. Dragged a few movies and pictures of him into keynote and away he went. He was hooked for the next hour sounding out words and writing his own story and stopping to read it to anyone interested in listening.
Had a blast tonight when all 6 cousins came together at Nans for dinner. The music was turned up after dinner for all to reveal their best moves! Must admit we have some real groovers amongst us. Out came the iphone to capture the moment. The interesting thing was when I showed the 3 year old just how groovy she was she was mesmerized watching herself as the movie was played back. I wonder what she was really thinking?
Loving trying out how different technologies might be used on my nieces and nephews. One thing I am learning is it's in them, intuitive and you don't need to show them much before they start teaching you!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I asked the 7 year old how the sharing was going as one of the rules was that if there are problems with sharing I might have to have it back. With a big grin on his face he replied none. His Dad backed that up and said I haven't taught the boys anything. I can't believe what's starting to happen.
In summary the engagement increases - no interest is lost at this point. Will keep you posted.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
As they had e books read to them and touched individual words for the word to be repeated, I witnessed just how powerful this tool could be for learning both inside and outside the classroom.
I will continue to watch with interest over the next few weeks to see if this engagement sustains. How long will their interest in certain aps last? When will they be hungry for more or different? Will it develop interests otherwise not discovered?
A considerable amount of money can be spent on having the desired e learning tools, what amazes me that we continue to spend without researching the tools impact on student outcomes. There is a need to research and gather evidence to measure the impact such tools have on student learning. Interested to capture some during this wee trial with my nephews. What this space!
Friday, April 30, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
I experienced an incredibly powerful professional learning session today facilitated by John Edwards. He shared a new model he has been developing on Productive Feedback. The session was facilitated in such a way that there was considerable input (new information) however chunks of time were taken in between each input, to dialogue, question and role play to make meaning of what had been presented with colleagues.
The connections to the hub of the powerful learning model became obvious as I reflected about the day. I am convinced less in more and going deep through utilising the hub is paramount in cementing new learning.
A great day!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
This prompted me to give google docs a real go. For someone very comfortable in the use of Microsoft Office for a number of years I have been pleasantly surprised just how good it is. I can share the same document amongst many folders, share the document with whom I want and collaborate on documents when the need arises. It doesn't matter what platform or software I have as it all sits on the web. As long as the connection is good I can access my docs anytime, anywhere!
In thinking about IT solutions for Mt Wellington School it seems a very good option.
Anyone giving it a go in their schools?
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Activating Thinking using the Powerful Learning Process on PhotoPeach
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Shirley and I were lucky enough to be asked to go to Nelson to share Red Beach School's change story. What a privilege to come to such a beautiful part of New Zealand. From the moment we were greeted we were put on a fuss. In 24 hours we have experienced fabulous people, fine food, breathe taking scenery, marvelous markets and art works, live music. Tonight we are off to the famous Boat Shed for dinner to try out the delectable seafood. There is no doubt I will be back.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I was involved in a really valuable session this week with Mark Osbourne who ran a wikieducator taster session for a group of our senior leadership. I whole heartedly agree with the vision and principles behind wiki educator, where content is added with the intent of contributing to a wider educational audience and where sharing and collaboration is encouraged through individuals being able to add to, shape, remix and blend content so that it potentially continues to evolve.
Check out how Warrington School is using wikieducator
Thursday, March 11, 2010
During a visit to Point England School at the end of 2009 Dorothy Burt inspired some thinking around a planning process she had been using with teachers within her Manaiakalani Cluster. It showed how a child created digital learning object can often live months after it's creation when placed in a blog, google site or wiki where it has potential to be commented on.
We have been grappling with how best to plan for powerful learning for some time, this motivated me to think about whether we could create something similar around our own powerful learning process.
The plan above is our first go at planning to activate thinking and learning experiences at different stages of the process.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Image taken from Stephen Heppell's site
I was told recently that a trillion dollars is spent on education a year across OECD countries. The scary reality is there has been no significant change in educational outcomes for students in 60 years. This would suggest more of the same is not the answer. Thinking 'different' perhaps is! How do we maximise the evidence highlighted in John Hattie's recent Visible Learning meta analysis, about what works? What actually has an impact on student outcomes? How do we design learning to take into consideration opportunities where students self grade (1.4 effect size) and provide opportunities for rich feedback to be integrated into everyday learning.
With this in mind I am currently grappling with what impact does the traditional school design have on student outcomes if any. How do you flip the traditional on it's head and create the new, what might be possible? I am in a privileged position currently thinking about how one might design learning environments/spaces to ensure that learning experiences, opportunities and student autonomy is increased. Has the traditional classroom contributed to the no change in student outcomes?
More questions than answers as I sit and scribble how multiple learning zones and spaces might be organised/ furnished to maximise student ownership and autonomy and ultimately increased student outcomes.
The more I search the more innovation I find. Check out this cushion hub above that looks like it helps to make learning fun, comfortable and maybe maximises student outcomes!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I was privileged to sit in on a session that Anne Davies facilitated at the beginning of this year. Anne is an assessment guru residing in Canada. One of the comments she made has resonated with me ever since. She said that we need to get students to work harder than their teachers.
The more I have pondered this the more I have to agree. She shared the importance of learners being involved in assessing peers learning and building their own assessment literacy to make informed judgments about progress and high achievement.
Whilst sitting in classes recently I have been thinking about the traditional mental model we hold about teachers providing the right stretch and challenge for each learner to reach their potential. To get the learner working harder we need to flip that on it's head and teach learners how to give themselves the right kind of stretch. I am wondering how one might motivate and empower learners to build a habit of extending beyond what they can already do.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Rather than wondering and making assumptions we have set about to design an online survey that can continue to gather past students reality, ideas and feedback. I am excited about the potential such feedback has in creating a broader and more informed picture of our Schools impact on learners.
Watch this space!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Our team spent the next 3 hours asking lots of questions and exploring the learning areas, each unique in colour. The thought that so obviously must have gone into the design is to be applauded, multiple and flexible spaces open and close with ease.
A most enjoyable afternoon, certainly got ones creative juices flowing. Thanks Kathryn and Jill for your generosity in sharing the journey and your time.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I have been playing around with my iphone to see what it can do. I was on a road trip during the summer break and stopped at a few schools along the way. Here is a photo of Taihape School. I was impressed with the layout and the welcoming way in which you entered the school.
Go the iphone - am imagining what students could do with this technology - amazing!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Thanks for the participation and great questions.
Just having trouble uploading presentation to slide share will persevere and get it up asap