4 August 2015

Learning Pathways in a Digital Environment

I've been looking at the inception of Learn, Create Share as a Manaiakalani teaching and learning pedagogy. Dorothy Burt has a series of wonderful videos explaining this, and the different parts of this process on the Manaiakalani blog.
I was one of the Lead teachers who set up a learning cycles to make learning more visible.

This is from 2009 and used the digital affordances we had available to us then - 6 class imac computers.

 The hook that Learn Create Share using technology, provided for our students, was so successful that we wanted every child to have access to their own device. Thus today we are a one to one school and technology isn't just integrated, it is just the default for learning. In the development of this new digital pedagogy many of the integration scaffolds such as this learning cycle were passed over.

But just recently I was considering whether a cycle of learning like this still has value in our classes.

This learning pathway assumes that there is a limit to how you proceed, such as the teacher's next worksheet, your turn on the computer, your conference with the teacher in writing time or the guided reading text the teacher provided your group. Now however students aren't limited by timing or resources. Through the use of the internet and a class site they can access their learning tasks, scaffolds, texts, rubrics and publishing options any time of the day or night. Instead of a linear path controlled by the teacher, learning looks more like a fountain.

This is the El Alamein Memorial Fountain in Sydney. I thought is showed quite nicely the idea of multiple learning paths.

Teachers Staying Up To Date with Research

     These got pushed around my plate quite a lot as a kid.                                                                                                
Brussels sprout

Then as I grew older  I learnt how good they were for me.
Did you know that 1 cup of brussel sprouts give you 130% of your daily recommended vitamin C? They are also high in fibre, low in calories, help the DNA repair of your white blood cells that fight off infection, are anti carcinogenic, give you 250% of your daily vitamin K that help give you strong bones...... the list goes on. In short they are good for you!

Then I started experimenting with how they could be cooked. Have you tried roasted with a little chilli oil and slivered almonds? What about pan fried with garlic butter or sauteed with bacon? It's all in the presentation (and avoidance of over cooking).

I think that staying up to date with research and recent publications and guidelines can be like this for our staff. If the purpose is clear, and readings are palatable, they can spark lively discussion and either add to or challenge teachers' understanding.

We looked at  Helen Timperley's teacher Professional Learning and Development: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration (BES) and how it related to our Teaching as Inquiry  model. Different key passages were shown and after some time to think, teachers talked with those sitting near them about what this meant and how it related to our practice. We then shared as a group what the passages meant, and meant for us.

Here are the quotes we discussed.

These were only very short passages from the booklet but formed the basis of some good discussion and hopefully built a shared understanding about our inquiry process.