Friday, 21 June 2019

Creating a tool to support 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.

My Inquiry Challenge (updated): Children living in a digital world, where interpersonal skills and critical thinking are essential, require ubiquitous access to cybersmart scaffolds and resources which are not currently available.

I have begun creating a site which will house a bank of cybersmart clips created by a group of year 5 children. These clips will have the potential to be used in a variety of places around our community to support other children in what it looks like to be cybersmart online. I think it is really important that these messages comes from the children themselves who can be role models to other children. 

An example of one of these short clips can be seen here, on Adriana and Aye Myat's blogs. This is the concept I want to achieve, except with more drama and more selective videography. The length of this clip is exactly what I was hoping for and the enthusiasm that the girls show is fantastic!

The image above shows the 10 different areas which have been selected through the research which I believe incorporates both interpersonal skills and critical thinking. I will begin working through these as part of cybersmart from the beginning of term 3.

The process will need to include a thoughtful plan of my explicit teaching in the area of cybersmart we are looking at. It will include the children participating in activities which explicitly teach the cybersmart concept and then time for the children to work in their groups on their video to show their thinking. I will begin adding these plans onto the site over the next couple of weeks. Once these are added, I'll publish the site so it can be viewed by others as the children begin producing their creative cybersmart clips.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Summarising the Research

Below, I have summarised research and articles in relation to my inquiry.

According to research compiled by the Education Hub, there are are range of soft skills that can be taught when social media is utilised in the classroom. Although our children are too young to use social media, our children are fortunate to have their own individual blogs which is a way they can interact and share their learning online.

These skills listed in the Education Hub's summary of research are:

- collaboration
- communication
- digital literacy
- citizenship
- creativity
- productivity


- deep thinking
- reflection
- conversation
- thinking critically

The Education hub explains that " is essential that [teachers] continue to scaffold students’ critical thinking skills in order to help them learn how to evaluate the information that is accessed through social media for accuracy and objectivity."

This links really well with my inquiry which focuses on making a connection between critical thinking and interpersonal skills when working in a digital environment. Early on through my initial data, I also recognised the importance of being explicit with cybersmart teaching in the classroom - something that fits well with the final quote above.

This research is all about "developing cognitive and social skills in digital environment." The three "21st century skills" they focused on were "cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal." This study also explained why it is important to teach these skills and the benefits of of having these skills to their successful futures.

This links really well with my inquiry which focuses on critical thinking (which could fall under a cognitive skill) and interpersonal skills. What I need to do now is find out what the interpersonal skills are that were seen as important through the Developing in Digital Worlds study, and use these to help plan my digital took for this inquiry.
Interpersonal skills (as used in Developing in Digital Worlds):

- Peer help
- Showing concern
- Perspective taking
- Collaboration
- Empathy (cognitive & emotional)
- Pro-social skills - relationship with others

This article from the Victoria State Government begins in a positive way however when you read the listed suggestions for learning to be covered, they are mostly written quite negatively. My thought is how these sorts of scenarios can be turned around into a positive scenarios for explicit teaching to match with our kaupapa .

One of the 'behaviours' which they believe is essential to teach is critical thinking. This matches with the above pieces of research as well.

My inquiry and teaching of cybersmart lends itself well to flexible grouping (Christine Rubie-Davis). What this looks like could change from week to week.

In this blog post, Fiona Grant emphasises the importance of focusing on the positive.

This article lists the following interpersonal skills which could also be seen as important when working in a digital environment:

- listening
- questioning
- team work
- Persuasion
- Problem solving

Critical thinking includes:

- Researching
- Asking questions
- Making judgements
- Challenging ideas
- Planning
- Reasoning
- Finding information from a range of sources
- Thinking about how others feel - implications of actions
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Reflecting

Critical thinking includes:
- Problem solving
- Making comparisons
- Drawing conclusions
- Efficiency and effectiveness

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Causal chain: Theory of Action

Click on the image to enlarge

In our CoL meeting last week, we were encouraged to re-assess the hypotheses by looking at our inquiry in terms of a causal chain. That is, we might have a hypotheses that we have said links to an outcome yet which may not appear linked. It is important to think through the details of what is actually happening in the background to cause this connection or relationship between the "input" and "output."

Above, I have planned out these "details" between my hypothesis (blue square at the beginning and end).


CT: Critical thinking
IS: Interpersonal skills
Blue: Hypothesis
Pink: First explicit act of teaching and assessment of critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
Red:  Second explicit act of teaching and assessment of critical thinking and interpersonal skills.