Kathy Moy-Low and Janice Borsos share how they are using the e-Learning Planning Framework to guide strategic planning. Their goal is to improve learning and teaching at Holy Cross School through a series of teacher inquiries. They have looked across the framework to identify what they need to put in place to support improving learning and teaching using mobile devices.
Kathy Moy-Low – Past principal
Before we were introduced to the e-Learning Framework we were already on a journey with mobile devices as a staff we thought we were fantastic. We’d been given these ipads to learn as a learning tool in the classroom and we had started to trial two classrooms bringing their own mobile devices. When we saw the evidence of the surveys, which were outlined in the e-Learning Planning Framework we realised that we weren’t as far along as we thought we were. Rather than just building teacher capability we needed to look right across the framework and get all the legs of the stool in place. Working out how everything fitted together in our strategic plan and our e-learning plan was the next step for us. And so, then it was a matter of taking the e-learning framework and looking at what our steps were in our plan. And, for us, this year it has been to embed and increase the mobile device classrooms, which we’ve spread across two year 5–8, more teacher development, and embedded good teacher development based on inquiry. So, that fitted nicely within our strategic plan. And, from the trial in the year before, in 2012, we’ve realised that we thought we had what we thought was a good model for digital citizenship, but some of the interesting scenarios that we’ve had come out of the digital trial rooms showed us that it was really important to take the time with digital citizenship and embed it from our five year olds right across to our 13 year olds. As learners at Holy Cross we’ve really been looking at – how do we show accelerated learning with our students? We really wanted to get more of those ones that were just below the standard to above the standard and we’ve been really studying our, what progress they’d made over the last year. And so, when we’ve set our targeted groups we’ve wondered if we could base our inquiry on could learning tools, e-learning tools help us to accelerate the progress of our targeted students? We’ve engaged teaching staff in working towards the outcomes of our strategic plan and our annual plan for this year by several ways. First of all, as a leader I had to look at what syndicates we had, what teams we had this year and we had to place key teachers that we thought would be good models for e-learning practice in those syndicates so that was a key. I had to make sure that in our mobile device classrooms which now was expanded to six rooms from two, we had teachers who wanted to do that and were willing to give it a go. And then working with our e-learning lead teachers, we set in process the plan for the year around inquiry. And first of all that was to support the teachers in their teams with their syndicates so that even though they were doing a teacher inquiry they were doing it with their syndicate and as a syndicate so they didn’t feel out on a limb but they felt part of a group and they could do the circle of their inquiry. And that’s what we did in term one and we had a wonderful sharing. In term two it moved to a more individual teacher approach for their inquiry.
Janice Borsos – Principal
We used our national standards data at the end of 2012 to identify our Ministry target students and when we looked at teacher inquiry I asked the teachers to use these targeted students and to use them to shape their inquiry.
Can we move the progress of these students incrementally more than we would normally with an e-learning tool or an e-learning approach? And, that’s what we’ve started to do and I await the results, which are starting to come out now. One of the most important factors that’s lead to the success of our e-learning action plan this year has been that we’ve met regularly and evaluated the core teachers involved. So, we’ve got two e-learning leaders and myself and our e-learning advisor, Anna Harrison, and we’ve met at halfway points and end-points of each term and we’ve reviewed our framework and we’ve looked – have we met these goals? What do we need to do to support teachers further or to support students further? And, how do we need to reshape our plan? And so, it’s been, although the plan has been put down for the next two years, at each step we’ve refined it and changed it if we’ve needed to because the teachers and the students have directed the shape of it.