Friday, 17 July 2015

Planning for Learning as part of ReTooling Schools

Now, back to unpacking that elusive 'Planning for Learning' element we were beginning to examine, prior to supplying a couple of bits of ReTooling history!

Having digitised learning at Pt England using 1:1 iPads in the junior school and 1:1 ChromeBooks from Y4 up, and having made that learning as visible and accessible to learners and their families as is currently possible and appropriate, we see the lens of 'Planning for Learning' as an imperative for bringing practice change in respect of the practice items that bring about accelerated learning opportunities.

To get consistent acceleration in the ‘3 R’s’ in Primary School and  NCEA at Secondary School in the Learn, Create, Share digital paradigm we need to change teacher practice in respect of some defined learning @ teaching activities. 
Simply put, unless teachers plan for practice change in their mid - short term planning the change will not occur and will certainly not be sustainably embedded.

If we're planning to apply the affordances of new technologies to gaining shift in reading, keeping in mind elements of the new paradigm we wish to see present in the delivery or learning experience, we will need to see very deliberate and 'visible' planning for the items listed in the bullet points above.
If we hope for the practices to be embedded and sustained they will need to be collaborative as this significantly reduces the risk of teachers receiving professional development and then going back to class, shutting the door and doing what they always did.

I'm indebted to Juanita Garden, one of the gifted Associate Principals I work with for her representation of what this planning for learning dilemma looks like in chart form.
It seemed that as we digitised the delivery of learning and made the long term and weekly planning & leading of learning visible and available to learners and their families, that we lost clarity around the piece in the middle that may currently need to be available only to the teaching faculty as it will be explicit around the needs of an individual learner or a group of learners. We believe the 'piece in the middle looks something like this:

The discussion that then ensued, was around how to optimise this, in a cloud based environment so that our learners received the most informed and specific direct instruction and related individual or collaborative learning experiences that we could possibly deliver. -All this, without the teacher going crazy!

We came up with level specific models which the school faculty navigate to, from the class or group learning page so that its easy for teachers to focus the learning in real time using the same environment that is being used to publicly lead the learning for the learners in that class or group. 
I would certainly invite you to visit any of the Pt England Class Pages that lead learning at this school, but if you would like to visit one logic chain of visible planning through visible learning to visible share-point via public blog, this site is a good one to visit.

One of the great challenges in NZ education is that unless teachers can effectively integrate, something that must be thoughtfully planned for if it is going to be carried out successfully, they will not actually be able to deliver the whole of the curriculum requirement. The NZ Curriculum is designed to be integrated and whole areas will be missed unless it is. The integration requirement for Term 3, 2015 at Pt England School looks something like this. Where the window is our Learn, Create, Share inquiry theme and the items in the window are everything that must be integrated.

If we return to our Practice Change bullet points from earlier in this post;
  • planning for learning and the leading of learning
  • deliberate acts of teaching or direct instruction
  • independent learning activities
  • reflective feedback loops
  • collaborative practice
You can see that successfully planning and integrating the items above and having high quality direct instruction, independent learning activities and powerful reflective feedback loops, would be terribly difficult and even impossible for young teachers unless this is all part of collaborative practice.

In this quest for practice change that applies the affordances of a digital learning environment to enhance accelerated acquisition of the '3R's' we expect to match the public or visible leading of learning with 'private to teacher' specific queue's, with the learner's actual work and finally their published product.
I'm indebted to another of my amazing staff (Matt Goodwin) for this great example of what this could  look like:

Public Leading of Learning for Children & Families

Teacher Notes to guide Direct Instruction

Observation of Direct Instruction

 Items of learner's work visible via the Teacher Dashboard

Actual item of work

Items of work visible to families via the parent portal

Progressional Information available to families

Published work on Learner's Blog

And the desired outcome of all this?
Instead of this........
We get this....

4 Pou (Posts) that support ReTooling

One of the artifacts  I've been particularly asked to supply as part of this discussion of what supports the business of ReTooling School, is this Screen Record that represents a 'summary of learnings' from the Schooling Improvement years.

I promise you this one is much briefer than the last, (only 3 mins v 30 mins) and supplies some key information about the foundations ReTooling actually rests on.

Foundations for ReTooling

First off, apologies to all who have bothered to read my work thus far, for the long hiatus in posting. -Very slack, I know!

As I consider what I've written thus far, I'm challenged by the fact that although I provided a 'Back-Grounder' as context for the work of ReTooling, I then launched right in from where we're up to right now and didn't provide much foundation or many of the antecedents that support this work.

There are obviously people who would like access to some of this prior work that supports our history of clustering for 'schooling enhancement' as I've been receiving requests to make a few of these artifacts and bits of content available. I'm hoping this Screen Record might help make some of the meaning behind the story.

The Manaiakalani Story; -my perspective