Thursday, December 5, 2019

Hāpara: World Class

In 2010, when we piloted the idea of every child in the class having their own netbook and their own Google account, we did not factor in how much more content these engaged and enthusiastic young people would generate! Early estimates were that they were completing three times as much work.

There were two immediate consequences:

The teachers' Google Drives were flooded with documents, and they struggled to locate their own content, let alone sort out the students'.

Too much valuable teaching time was being spent on checking up on basic functions, "Have you shared your Doc with me?" "Do you know where you saved that Doc?"  "Do you remember what you called that Doc?"

Sharing this with a new friend who lived in our part of town, over dinner and red wine at La Vista, we discovered that Jan Zawadski was not only very clever with tech but was also a design thinking genius.  Some jottings and diagrams on a paper napkin (why did we never photograph that artefact?) led to many sessions gathered around whiteboards with groups of teachers and friends of Manaiakalani. And one momentous day Jan delivered a working model of the solution to our challenge - Teacher Dashboard.

Fortunately, I did have my phone handy when Teacher Dashboard went live in Toni Nua's year 7/8 classroom. You can see the record of that moment in the video.

Fast forward a decade, and in December 2019 representatives of the Global company Hāpara, operating in 64+ countries around the world, rocked up to honour us with a recognition for the part we played in the birth and development of Hāpara Teacher Dashboard.

I am deeply honoured to be designated a "Hapara World Class Educator" along with Russell Burt and Lenva Shearing.

Making Learning Visible

This is what spins my wheels :)

Friday, November 29, 2019

Off the Grid

Northland power outage: Major power cut to region
Recipe for chaos as Principals gather for a day of professional learning around implementing the new digital technologies curriculum and power is cut to the whole of the province.
See news article here

Or is it?

Ten years ago, maybe even five years ago.  But in 2019 the principals of the Te Hiku and Kaikohekohe clusters who had come together for a day of professional learning at Waitangi took it in stride.

The day started out with a buzz of energy as people enjoyed meeting up in the beautiful learning centre in the grounds of Waitangi.  A day of learning more about the Digital Technologies Curriculum that is required to be implemented by 2020 was in store, along with a session focusing on direction from the Manaiakalani Programme lead for the coming year.

With a bang it came to a abrupt end. All went still as aircons, bubbling coffee pots, data projector and other appliances lost power. And then the phones started ringing as schools called their principals asking 'what to do?'  Busses had been turned around, parents had gone to work and most of the principals had driven considerable distances to make it to Waitangi for this hui.

It was a treat observing the professionalism in the room as these principals calmly made decisions, empowering their 2ICs to make tough calls, and regrouped to focus on their own professional learning.

The decision was made to continue with the hui, but to reconvene outside as there was no benefit remaining in a room where the temperature was rapidly rising.

Having had the privilege of working with many of these principals for most of a decade it struck me how digitally competent they all are in 2019.  The programme documents and agendas were all online, so people tethered their phones to their laptops to restore the necessary documents. Then got down to the business of the day.

Kerry and Monica who had the task of leading us through the digital technologies curriculum regrouped and did a superb job in a situation where some may have abandoned this as an impossible ask.

It was a great reminder of the resilience and competence of our colleagues in the North. They all to often contend with weather-related and other disasters and continue to professionally deliver quality education to their communities. They support young people and whānau in communities facing significant challenges. And they do not get to enjoy the fabulous new school buildings and the reliable fast broadband that the majority of their colleagues in other parts of Aotearoa take for granted.

It is a privilege to work with you in Te Hiku and the Kaikohekohe Education Network.

From power and digital connectivity

To ingenuity and bird song