Monday, May 30, 2011

It's not the tools, it's the people.. Part 6

Why do we need technology in the classroom? Why learn these new tools?

It's not about the tools, it's about the people.

It's you. It's our students. It's our parents. And our staff and students should celebrate what we have accomplished so far.

How are we doing so far in implementing technology tools?

According to one advocate of Learning Management, Simon Finch, we are moving towards our goal.

He and the research on which he works indicate these components:
  • supporting organisation, 
  • management and practice, 
  • extending opportunities for collaboration, interaction and communication,
  • information and data management, 
  • approaches to learning, 
  • parental involvement 
  • supporting learning in and beyond school.
Note: This material has been developed from publications produced by Becta or its predecessor organisations which was made available under the Open Government Licence.
Our school improvement plan and technology plan include similar components, but it's the people who implement it and receive the benefits that matter.

In what phase are we? Aware? Developing? Adopting, Integrating? Transforming?

Students in grades 5-8 are at Step 4: Integrate  as shown by this benchmark in the above research:
"Learners routinely access the resources and complete tasks through the learning platform."
In our staff benchmarks, we have achieved, overall, the "Aware" phase:
"share the work they have done with their parents/carers by putting work into a personalised online learning space."
"take part in a variety of communicative and collaborative tasks on the learning platform."
"Some of the tools and resources on the learning platform are used to motivate and support independent learners"
" awareness of e-safety documentation and user resources."
In the following component areas, we also rate in the "Aware" phase:
In the Management Practice, 
Some staff use time effectively by logging on regularly to access information, for example calendars and notices.
Some staff are beginning to comment on how easily they can access core policies, planning and day-to-day notices."

For Collaborative learning, interaction, communication,

Staff contribute to school developments by viewing and contributing to discussions and responding to online surveys using the learning platform tools.
Groups take part in a variety of communicative and collaborative tasks on the learning platform.
Some begin to put work in their personal online learning space. They are able to share and talk to their parents/carers about the work.
 Staff adopt the learning platform for the secure storage of data on learners as a way of improving the sharing of information.
In the area of Learning Approaches,

Some can independently access motivational and engaging learning resources on the learning platform to extend and consolidate their learning for example web links, and digital games.
 Some staff begin to set up project areas on the platform with resources to support learners’ independent work and share their experience with others.
Some staff access resources and digital content within or through the learning platform that has been put in place/set up by colleagues.
Some use the tools and project resources on the platform to support independent working in class.
E-safety messages are reinforced as necessary
(NWEA )-- " From information displayed in the learning platform, early adopters/champions identify some learners who need additional help and support."
And for parents
Teachers begin to develop multimedia areas for the sharing of information, work and activities that are made available to parents.
Some begin to use the learning platform to share their work.
 Information about events and notices are put on the platform, in line with school policies and the digital safeguarding guidance for publishing images and resources.
Staff and learners will have contributed to the learning platform to engage parents.
Staff are all aware of the plans for parental engagement and some staff are taking the first steps in the process.
Did you realize how much we have accomplished?  Pat yourself on the back! Our people, our staff and students, are moving forward towards integrating technology tools into our daily learning. We are opening doors to families and the community with our online presence. Students are engaged collaborative and connective sharing through Google Apps.

How can you take a first step?  Just log in to your account.  You'll be ready then to access the links and documents that others want to share with you. Maybe you'ld like to set up a class website like this one or a class blog like our staff bloggers listed on the sidebar at right. Perhaps you just want to set up your calendar. Just log in, then email a request or question to one of the staff bloggers in the sidebar. If they can't answer your question, they'll know how to find help.

If we want to transform how we teach and learn at our school, then we are beginning the steps.

It's not about the tools, it's about the people. It's about you.

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

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Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.