Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Longevity of The Essay

This very short video of Professor Welby Ings from the AUT University was shared with me by my family members. It is entitled, "In 15 years: Death of the essay?"
He is talking about the death of the essay as we traditionally know it, and a sound bite relating to the discussion above caught my attention:
 "Sometimes moving academic conventions is like trying to move a cemetery".

In the teaching and learning space his comment that, "Schools will have to move beyond limited ideas of reading and writing as literacy" will resonate with most of our teachers who are fully immersed in digital environments.

The 3rd-party Add-ons for Google Docs will play into this significantly. We already were seeing the affordances that the simple Research Tool was creating for writers. Direct integration of this range of apps and media into any given document has now exploded the range of possibilities for those of us engaging in every kind of writing. 

It will be interesting (and probably frustrating) to see if the Universities are able to make any moves towards acknowledging this.

With our MDTA programme well underway and the academic workload mounting for the 30+ Manaiakalani Teachers who are either working towards an Honours or a Masters degree, some interesting conversations are emerging.  

Of interest at the moment is, "What constitutes academic literature?" when writing a Lit Review. This is particularly significant to the many of our teachers who are exploring highly innovative research areas and much of the 'literature' is in videos, podcasts, blogs and other online material.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

So what ARE we doing?

The Manaiakalani Programme has entered it's seventh year and for those of us who have been there from the beginning it is amazing to see what has come from those initial dreams.    We have been surprised by and grateful for the interest that people outside of our cluster have shown in our programme and our learners.  In recent times the media have also picked up on the name Manaiakalani and we have sometimes been disappointed by the 'easy soundbites' that have been inaccurately used to described the Manaiakalani Education Programme. 

So we made this slide to include in some of our presentations to be very clear about what we are NOT!

For the second year in a row the research report from the Woolf Fisher Team (University of Auckland) has noted in detail that one of the strengths of the Manaiakalani programme is the coherence seen around the goals and aims.

Check out here what we are about!