Thursday, 21 March 2019

What are New Zealand's educational views around cybersmart?

Kāhui Ako Achievement Challenge 5: Improve the achievement of students with additional needs in the learning areas of English/ key competency using symbols, languages and texts.

My Inquiry Problem/ Challenge: Children living in a digital world, where key competencies are essential, require ubiquitous access to scaffolds and resources which are not currently available.

Research:
There is a New Zealand Ministry of Education digital citizenship document available online. According to this document, these are the essential skills which should come about by teaching digital citizenship:

- Being confident
- Digitally capable
- Critical thinking skills
- Being "literate in the languages, symbols and texts of digital technologies"
- Positive and meaningful relationships
- Honesty
- Integrity
- Ethical
- Respect of privacy
- Respect of freedom of speech
- A role model of these values
- Communication
- Collaboration
- Creative
- Connections
- Integration (online with offline)
- Participation
- Achieving goals

This large list emphasises the importance of teaching digital citizenship in the classroom. Being cybersmart is just one aspect of this larger model of digital citizenship:

Digital citizenship venn diagram [CC BY-NC-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/legalcode)] from netsafe.org.nz

Monday, 18 March 2019

Challenge of student learning

Kāhui Ako Achievement Challenge 5: Improve the achievement of students with additional needs in the learning areas of English/ key competency using symbols, languages and texts.

Summarising the challenge of student learning I plan to focus on in this inquiry

Initial Challenge I posed:

There is already a wide collection of Manaiakalani Cybersmart resources which teachers can repurpose for their own classrooms, some of which I have used and repurposed over the last couple of years. These can be found on our team learning site. It is also important that there are cybersmart resources which allow children to be empowered in their learning. We now need a wider range of cybersmart resources which can be used by children, independent of the teacher, as supportive tools whilst learning across the curriculum. 

Having a number of visible, child-friendly cybersmart resources in one place would support learners to be more confident in making smart decisions whilst accessing a wider range of language, symbols and texts online. Here is an example of one I have created.

Updated challenge:

To better empower children in their learning by giving them the skills, tools and knowledge to act in a cybersmart way. Through this, we will better support our learners so they grow to understand the purpose and importance of making smart decisions when learning and/or working in a digital environment.

REFINED & REDEFINED CHALLENGE:

Children living in a digital world, where key competencies are essential, require ubiquitous access to scaffolds and resources which are not currently available.


Evidence I have to date:

I know this is a challenge based on observations of the children when teaching cybersmart in the classroom. There is a variation in what children are capable of online and of what they think is acceptable online. 

Some things stand out for me when exploring cybersmart resources which are being used in our various schools:

1. Classes with learning sites mostly have visible cybersmart resources available directly on their site OR have a place on the site ready to be populated with cybersmart resources.
2. Most of the cybersmart resources which I have seen are teacher-led tasks and often have originated from the Manaiakalani cybersmart curriculum.
3. More eye-capturing and engaging resources would be useful to make cybersmart learning ENGAGING & ENJOYABLE!

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Within school CoL: Intro to Inquiry

This year, I am going to be modelling the teaching as inquiry process as part of my role as a within school CoL teacher for Pt England School and Manaiakalani. I am fortunate to be part of MIT19 this year as well, which means I will be able to focus in on my chosen inquiry topic through two different roles. I have already attended a MIT19 two-day hui where we worked on refining our inquiry problems and began creating a prototype for a tool which we will use as part of our inquiry.

Here is the Manaiakalani Teaching as Inquiry Framework which we follow.


Over the last 5 weeks, my inquiry has been sitting in the LEARN section of the framework. As I begin creating a prototype and my idea of a tool begins to grown, I will be moving my thinking into the CREATE aspect of the framework. 

To begin thinking about my inquiry, I have looked at a number of inquiries from previous CoL teachers. This was a challenge due to the nature of my inquiry which I am undertaking this year. Below, I have posed my inquiry challenge and have followed this with several relevant links to previous CoL teacher inquiries:

Kāhui Ako Achievement Challenge 5: Improve the achievement of students with additional needs in the learning areas of English/ key competency using symbols, languages and texts.

My Inquiry Problem/ Challenge: Children living in a digital world, where key competencies are essential, require ubiquitous access to scaffolds and resources which are not currently available.

Relevant previous CoL teacher inquiries:

Anita Unka (Stonefields School): Anita has explored the importance of creating a culture to empower learners to take ownership for their learning through student agency. This is relevant to my inquiry topic, where I want to be empowering children to be cybersmart citizens through use of child-friendly and rewindable resources. 

Clarelle Carruthers (Pt England School): Clarelle is looking at how to make teaching and learning more visible and rewindable. This is relevant to my inquiry topic, where I want to be giving children resources which can be accessed anywhere and at any time.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

2019 Inquiry Proposal

Manaiakalani Kāhui Ako (Community of Learning) Achievement Challenge 5: To improve the achievement of students with additional needs in the learning areas of English/ Key Competency using language, symbols and texts.

My MIT19 Inquiry Problem: Children living in a digital world, where key competencies are essential, require ubiquitous access to scaffolds and resources which are not currently available.

The following slides explain the beginning of my inquiry for 2019. This is a working document which has already been updated over the last couple of weeks. Slides 3-5 are updates to my inquiry problem as I have problem solved and taken part in discussions with my MIT19 colleagues.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Children using anchor points in their blog posts

Anchor points are hyperlinks that take you to a particular section of a site page. As a team, we have always found anchor points useful on google sites to create buttons which link directly to a particular task on a site page. However, when we began using new sites, anchor points no longer existed which meant we had to change the way we linked children to tasks. Part way through this year, I noticed that anchor points had returned AND in a much more user-friendly way! We decided to teach anchor points to the children during a cybersmart lesson on creating higher quality and more meaningful blog posts.

It was really positive to see how the children responded to this lesson and took on board the learning. Watch the screencast below to learn how children can use anchor points in their blog posts.



Below are some examples of children using anchor point hyperlinks in their blog posts:

Nina (maths)
Nina (writing)
Zoe (literacy)
Simon (reading)

Monday, 22 October 2018

DMIC - formative assessments

This year has been about learning how to do maths the DMIC way! As a result, we have found it challenging to know how best to assess learners. Angela and I discussed this and thought about whether we could do pre/post tests for new topics in DMIC. We could pre test on a Friday morning (or start of a week) and then post test once we have been teaching for several weeks on a particular topic.

We are currently in the process of trialling this. We started term 4 by doing a pre-test, which many of the children really enjoyed!! This was a straight forward test which was simply numbers! There were no word problems and this was purposeful. We see the children having to decipher word problems and then find the maths embedded in it every day when we do DMIC maths so we wanted to see what maths the children could do without having to first decipher a story. We know that for some of our strong mathematicians in the class, having to read and understand a story adds to the difficulty. Removing the story would allow these children to focus on the maths.

We got some fantastic data from this test which told us a lot about what the children in our class can actually do. We had children who we thought could only add 1 or 2 digit numbers attempting and, in some cases, being able to solve simple decimal problems just by applying their knowledge of place value. This ability to apply their mathematical knowledge confidently suggested that many of the children in our class are willing to take risks in their maths learning. It was also very clear from this test which children were able to share their thinking step by step.

When exploring the responses of the children who are challenged to share their thinking in a group setting, we still saw some fantastic mathematical knowledge in the way they responded to the questions in the pre-test.

At the end of this week, we will re-test the children using the same test and then compare the results to see if there is a difference in how the children solve the problems.

Monday, 24 September 2018

DMIC - teaching smarter in maths

In our space, we have been thinking about how we can better support our learners in maths. Currently in maths, we are seeing each child twice a week with two DMIC maths problems. I will see 30 children while Angela will see the other 30 children. One idea that came to us was that we could be seeing all 60 children once per week by each of us doing one DMIC maths problem per week. Therefore, all the children would continue to have two problems a week, however they would see Angela for one of the problems and me for the other problem. This idea has both pros and cons:

Pros:
- Children are exposed to two different teachers which could support some learners to make connections with one teacher which they may not make with the other teacher.
- Teachers would be teaching the same lesson 4x a week which would give them the opportunity to refine their practice and make changes to make the lesson better to better support the children.

Cons:
- Children may require consistency - 1 teacher twice a week would support these children.
- Teachers would need to make detailed written reflections on individual children so that the next teacher could focus in on individual children's challenges and support them in their next steps. Note: next steps could be missed.