Sunday, June 16, 2013

Transition Years

The Manaiakalani Schools are in their 4th year of a programme designed to ensure all Year 5 to 13 students in the area own their own digital device, enabling them to participate in a digital learning environment. 

2010/11 were pilot years, and 2013 embedded this approach.

Now the focus has moved to the younger years with emphasis on preparing our students in the transition year (in most schools Year 4) to feel at home in the digital world when they first get to purchase their own device.

The leaders of the junior classes have been meeting together and in Term 1 they brainstormed this list of actions they would like to experiment with as they implement "Learn Create Share":

  • Start individual blogging younger
  • Use desktops and tablets more efficiently and effectively
  • Have an older Buddy class
  • Have a Chromebook pod available for Year 4 classes
  • Training/support to the Year 4 teachers, including release to observe in Chromebook classes
  • Observe the impact on younger siblings skill level as Chromebooks go home - meaning more digital access at home now
  • Typing/ keyboarding preparation

We met again last week (June 2013) and many reported back that they had been successfully working through the bullet points above.

Two schools, Tamaki Primary and Pt England, reported back on the positive difference it was making having a pod of five Chromebooks allocated to their classes for their children to share. They also have shared desktop computers and iPads as well as the teacher laptop and a data projector.  The teachers had ensured the children were confident at logging into their Google Apps accounts prior to introducing the Chromebooks and had access to Teacher Dashboard so they could monitor student progress and activity.

Kirsty Macfarlane from Room 10 at Tamaki Primary School has been sharing posts like this and this. These students clearly are enjoying their opportunities.

I took the photos (slideshow below) in the two Year 4 classes at Pt England School as Keri Barks and Lisa Walters were teaching their students.  I loved the blended approach with some children totally digital while others were having quality micro-teaching experiences in a small group with their teachers.

For anyone interested in exploring this further:
One of our MITA Fellows, Joy Paton, has chosen to investigate 'From Zero to Hero - how to implement a digital learning environment with students who have no prior digital experience" as her inquiry for the Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher Academy in 2013

A few snapshots from a quick walk through of Rooms 11 and 12 at Pt England School in June 2013.

These teachers each have a pod of 5 school-owned Chromebooks to supplement the Macs, iPads, teacher laptop and data projector. We are hoping to do an even better job of transitioning the Year 4 children in to Year 5 (2014) when they will own their own device and have a digital learning environment