Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Quiet - but not idle

I have had a busy month or so since my return home.  Working with both my own school and my daughter's school I have been exploring where to next.

I have worked with a teacher at my daughter's school as we explore the possibilities of and learn how to use MyPortfolio.  I shared the way I had seen it used at Ormiston Senior College and we have both begun to work on our own portfolio pages - she discovering some things, while I have found others.

Google Apps in Education has been applied for through my own school with the aim that my class and the digital class I work with, plus any interested staff may be able to explore the possibilities lying there next Term.

I have worked to build a change for Inquiry practice in my class next Term.  Involving a set outcome students are going to need to access the people resources available to them, Skype and question local families in order to produce a picture book or pamphlet comparing cultures to help International students visiting two of the secondary schools we contribute to.

I have been reading more around planning and assessment techniques in a digital world, finding out about ways to manage our data once we head into the Cloud and whether we are limited to just Google or are we able to develop some way for users to have more control over whether they work and create in the way they are most comfortable with.  How our BYOD will look could well come from these investigations.

My next task is to investigate how best to encourage our students to be wise with the digital footprint they create.  This will involve creating the procedures and teaching points we wish to reinforce through the BeL committee we have had operating.

Alongside this I have also completed the final two sections of our draft school IT strategic plan covering the next three years with the aim of having us strive for the Empowering level within the e-Learning Planning Framework

The best news has been that we are finally seeing movement on the long awaited School Network Upgrade (SNUP).  With this completed we will be able to 'do an Oracle' and surge over the start line into the next stage of developing the way we use digital technology as, not only will our switches be upgraded, but this will allow us connection to Ultra Fast Broadband. 

One definite next step will be to have our teachers see the huge impact this, along with the BYOD likely to be implemented around the same time, is going to have upon the facilitation of learning.  We have need of an online learning circle for the teachers to be developed more fully through our VLN group which, at present, is sitting somewhat idle.

The background for our next steps forward are complete.  It now remains to develop the network that will allow the tools discovered to be used as that through developing confidence in their use.