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The phases of the e-Learning Planning Framework

What is the difference between the phases?  | Examples of the phases in action  l References

What is the difference between the phases?

The phases – from Emerging through to Empowering – have been aligned with a number of international frameworks that describe how technology is adopted and integrated into teaching and learning.

A key point to note is that the phases not only describe development in technology integration but also describe pedagogical development, from teacher-directed to collaborative, co-constructed learning.



Key characteristics of the phases

  • Pre-emerging: There may be little awareness of what e-learning is or the role it can play in teaching and learning. No deliberate actions may yet have been taken to explore e-learning. The use of technologies may be ad hoc, and there may be no reference to technologies in the school’s strategic planning.

investigating, raising awareness, and planning

  • Emerging: Your school may be focusing on investigating, raising awareness, and planning for ways to integrate technologies in your school's vision and curriculum. You may be finding out about particular technologies and their use across the dimensions. In the classroom, you may see technologies added on to teacher-directed tasks possibly as a substitute for non-digital approaches.

trialing and establishing

  • Engaging: Your school may be focusing on establishing and connecting planning across the school as well as trialing ways to use technologies appropriately to meet staff, community, and students’ needs. In the classroom, you may begin to see technologies used as part of higher-order (deep), collaborative teaching, and learning. The technologies begin to improve aspects of the learning experience.

effectively aligned processes and practices

  • Extending: Your school may have effectively aligned processes and practices across the school and community. The use of technologies is appropriate and allows significant adaptation of learning experiences to meet all learners' needs. In the classroom, teachers and students may work together to use technologies as part of authentic, higher order, co-constructed learning.

technologies make new ways of learning possible

  • Empowering: Your school and community regularly plan, review, and evaluate in partnership. Technology use is "anytime, anywhere", virtual, open, and equitable. It enhances needs-based, co-constructed learning within and beyond the school community. In the classroom, technologies make new ways of learning possible. It is collaborative, personalised, higher-order, and embedded in the real world.

Examples of the phases in action

Scenario 1: Pre-emerging to emerging

"We haven’t ever really had a plan for the the use of ICTs in school, although we do have a computer suite and one or two desktop computers in each classroom. I’m not sure we really know what’s possible these days. We feel a bit out of touch but are keen to find out more so we don’t get left behind."

Possible next steps
  • Raise awareness of what e-learning is and what might be possible across the staff and community - connect with and visit other schools, explore stories in the Enabling e-Learning media gallery.
  • Set up small-scale pilots or investigations in teams or syndicates to feedback.
  • Identify strengths across your staff and community. Look at the data on students' needs to identify priority areas.
  • Explore effective pedagogy such as examples of collaborative learning in action or the use of SOLO taxonomy.

Scenario 2: Emerging to engaging

"One of our DPs and a small group who are interested in ICTs have been doing some research this year. One of them went to a large conference and brought lots of ideas back. Using Enabling e-Learning resources, we have started to explore the different dimensions in the the e-Learning Planning Framework. We have a number of trials in place across the teaching staff based on what the data tells us about our learners' needs."

Possible next steps
  • Clarify a shared vision and strategic direction.
  • Establish priority areas and design, conduct, and review trials. For example, a syndicate or team might explore the use of collaborative technology in writing for a term, focusing on their Māori learners.
  • As a staff, explore and begin to trial ways of designing activities that model effective pedagogy, integrating technology.

Scenario 3: Engaging to Extending

"I have just been given a set of iPads for my classroom which is very exciting but also a bit daunting. e-Learning is in our school's strategic plan and I have some support for my professional development (PD) from a facilitator. I’m also getting advice from people in the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) groups. We have had a bit of a play with the iPads but I intend to trial their use quite deliberately - I am establishing students’ learning needs, selecting apps and their use according to those needs, and monitoring a small group quite closely to evaluate the impact of this."

Possible next steps
  • The intention is to move from pockets of strength to growing a shared understanding across the staff, whānau, and community. Explore ways to mentor staff based on their learning needs.
  • Ensure leadership is learning-focused and driven by the curriculum vision, graduate profile, and strategy.
  • Provide time for staff to grow understanding of effective learning design, both curriculum, and pedagogical knowledge so they can adapt and transform learning with increasing confidence.
  • Consider ways to create shared learning spaces so whānau, staff, and students begin to work as a learning community. For example, explore the use of e-portfolios, learning management systems, and social media.

Scenario 4: Extending to Empowering

"Our school has been exploring the way we use technologies for some time. e-Learning is integral to our annual strategic planning and we have a dedicated professional learning programme of inquiry. The infrastructure is reliable and supports the way we are using technologies with all learners. The community - family and whānau -  are increasingly involved in the conversations about how and why we use technologies. A focus for our teachers now is exploring ways to use technologies to personalise and differentiate the curriculum to suit all our students' needs. This is an on-going inquiry for all of us."

Possible next steps
  • Moving towards sustainable growth - Establish systems that allow for regular review, planning an evaluation of e-learning, based on evidence, including student data.
  • Engagement with whānau and students should become routine.
  • Explore ways to connect your staff and community to wider networks for learning, authentic tasks, and sharing knowledge.
  • Focus on sharpening understanding of designing for all learners to succeed. Grow understanding of personalised learning, Universal Design for Learning , and the way technologies can enhance this.


International frameworks

Hall & Hord. (1987). The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A Model for Change in Individuals. [Electronic version http://www.nas.edu/rise/backg4a.htm ]

Mishra & Koehler. (2006) Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). [Electronic version http://www.tpack.org/ ]

Timperley et al. (2007). Teacher professional learning and development: Best evidence synthesis iteration (BES). [Electronic version http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/series/2515 ]