Literature suggests we need to be future-oriented and adaptable, adopting a more complex view of knowledge, that incorporates knowing, doing, and being. Alongside this we need to rethink our ideas about how our learning systems are organised, resourced, and supported.
The future-focused principle
“The curriculum encourages students to look to the future by exploring such significant future-focused issues as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, and globalisation.”
Dr David Parsons, Associate Professor Massey University, explains the need to teach higher level thinking skills and develop key competencies using technology to prepare students for the 21st century.
A future focused, personalised approach in the classroom allows akonga/students to take control of their own learning. Each akonga is unique and learns in different ways.
"In deep expressions of practice, students' learning activities and the curriculum/knowledge content they engage with are shaped in ways that reflect the input and interests of students, as well as what teachers know to be important knowledge."
Bolstad, R & Gilbert J, et al. (2012)2
Ministry of Education - statement of intent 2012–2017 (PDF 890KB)
Key elements of how the Ministry will contribute to the delivery of Government’s priorities for education.
Bolstad R., (2011). Taking a "future focus" in education – what does it mean? SET
Bolstad, R & Gilbert J, et al., (2012).Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching – a New Zealand perspective
Teachers can use learning technologies and social media connections to collaborate with people and groups outside of the classroom. This provides access to specific kinds of expertise, knowledge, or learning opportunities.
At Newmarket School, a teacher inquiry framed by students’ interest in science led to connections being made with active scientists. The use of social media tools such as Twitter and Skype enabled the students to contextualise science in the real world.
The use of technology and social media allows parents to participate more in their children's learning.
Parents of Leamington School students talk about how technology allows them to be involved in their children's learning through the use of Facebook and blogs. Students in 1:1 classes can share their learning with parents and whānau when they take their iPads home.
Creating an equitable learning environment, where all students have access to digital technologies for learning is a focus for school leaders, teachers, and the Board of Trustees (BoT). Leamington School has worked to ensure that all students have the opportunities to develop digital fluency, not just those in a position to bring their own device.
To build the environment, school leaders, teachers, and the BoT have focused on:
fostering community involvement and teacher capability to think differently about learning
creating flexible learning spaces and a robust infrastructure
developing a device strategy considering equity, ease of use, portability, platform.
Leamington School has explored community grants and lease-to-buy options to provide alternative ways for families to procure devices for the BYOD classes.
This ThingLink with information, videos, and links to learn more about Leamington School's journey are an example of using technologies to share information with parents and the community. To view the information, hover your mouse over the dots on the thinglink diagram.
Parents and whānau at Leamington School have been consulted with about using digital technologies for learning. Parents are encouraged to attend evenings about the use of iPads so that learning can continue at home.
Future-oriented school leaders need support to develop a more complex skill set in order to become strategic systems thinkers, change facilitators, and learning leaders who can support and sustain a culture of continuous professional learning.
Key factors for successful professional learning and development (PLD) at Leamington School include:
The school has setup focus groups, which are tasked with growing areas of strategic importance to the school. This ensures: teacher ownership of solutions for improving practice that are linked to strategic goals. Teachers are encouraged to join PLD focus groups that relate to the professional interests. This video looks at the iPad PLD focus group and their process trialling iPads with a focus on students rather than the technology.
A culture of continuous professional learning can be built by encouraging teacher inquiries that are focused on identified student needs.
Newmarket School principal, Dr Wendy Kofoed, describes teacher inquiry as a mindset. The flexibility of this mindset encourages Newmarket teachers to pursue broad ranging inquiries that focus on learner talents and motivation, address genuine problems of practice, and lead to increased teacher capability. Teachers are encouraged to consider the use of learning with digital technologies within their inquiries.
Teacher, Anna Speir's inquiry focused on using digital technologies with a small group of boys. Her inquiry resulted in enhanced engagement in writing and it increased her capability with the technologies. The positive impact on student outcomes was the evidence needed to make a strategic decision to implement 1:1 devices with that class.
Teaching as inquiry – A collection of resources which includes clarification of inquiry concepts.
Teaching as inquiry – Support for adding an e-learning lens to teacher inquiry.
Educational professionals need to collaboratively co-construct new approaches to meet changing needs. This requires an attitude of openness and intellectual curiosity and a willingness to see things in new ways.
TeachMeetNZ allowed teachers to make online connections outside of their own schools so they could collaborate and broaden their professional networks and knowledge.
Sonya van Schaijik, Newmarket School, explains how TeachMeet works, how she introduced it into New Zealand, and the benefits it provides for teachers to connect and share their practice.
Once a term, teachers came together in a Google Hangout to share what they are doing in their classrooms. Sessions were live-streamed via YouTube allowing a global viewing audience. Participants can use Google Hangout’s question and answer tool and Twitter to interact. Presentations are archived so that they can be viewed at any time.
Digital technologies support future focused teaching and learning by offering new ways for students to:
They provide students with greater capacity to:
Thinking is about using creative, critical, and metacognitive processes to make sense of information, experiences, and ideas. These processes can be applied to purposes such as developing understanding, making decisions, shaping actions, or constructing knowledge. Intellectual curiosity is at the heart of this competency.
Students who are competent thinkers and problem-solvers actively seek, use, and create knowledge. They reflect on their own learning, draw on personal knowledge and intuitions, ask questions, and challenge the basis of assumptions and perceptions.
The real learning process
International education consultant, Lane Clark talks about teaching children how to learn using thinking tools in this video on EDtalks. "It's not just teaching them how to learn, it's actually about the tools associated with the learning job so that they can do great thinking and great learning. Some of those tools are new technologies and some are old technologies. What's important is the kids can select the best tool and justify that thinking."
"The provision of a tool isn’t enough, if people don’t know what it’s for or how to use it, but having them available can precipitate more effective learning relationships."
OECD, 2005 cited in e-Learning and implications for New Zealand schools: a literature review , July 2010
Digital technologies contribute to a rich and flexible learner-centred environment in which students can experiment and take risks when developing new understanding. Digital technologies that facilitate visual thinking allow ideas and information to be easily drafted, filtered, reorganised, refined, and systematically assessed in order to make meaning for students.
By selecting and using appropriate technologies, techniques, and procedures, students learn to:
Students can use digital technologies to:
Personalising learning calls for the system to be built around the learner, rather than the learner being required to fit with the system. This challenges us to think about how to deploy the resources for learning (teachers, time, spaces, technology) more flexibly to meet learners’ needs.
Twenty-first century ideas about knowledge and learning demand shifts in the traditional roles of teachers and students.
Teachers need to focus on recognising and working with students’ strengths, and thinking about how to support the development of every student's potential.
Leamington School teachers design learning tasks using digital technologies to create new learning opportunities for their students. Learning tasks are designed with all students' needs in mind from the outset, using the 6Cs – creativity, collaboration, communication, curiosity, connections, and consumers. Students collaborate and actively learn from each other. As a result, teachers have found improvements in the quality of students' work and the depth of their thinking. In particular, significant shifts in boys' engagement and writing.
A University of Waikato study led by Dr Garry Falloon provides the school with valuable data about the impact of iPads on learning:
The 6Cs are a focus across the whole school community.
The Knowledge Age literature argues that reproducing existing knowledge can no longer be education’s core goal, because:
(a) it is no longer possible to determine exactly which knowledge people will need to store up in order to use it in their lives after school, and
(b) the “storing up for future use” model of knowledge is no longer useful or sufficient for thinking about how knowledge is developed and used in the 21st century.
Leamington School has developed the "Leamington Learner concept", that focuses on the dispositions needed to be an effective learner. This is the school's strategic focus and is represented by a set of inter-related "cogs" and virtues. The dispositions of each cog described in Leamington's 6Cs for being technologically capable – communicate, collaborate, create, connect, consume, and curiosity. The concept is owned by the entire school community. Understanding what it means to be technologically capable is integral to being a Leamington Learner.
Leamington School principal, Mike Malcolm explains how they incorporated the principles of Tātaiako: cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners into the school virtues for teachers of Māori learners.
School stories that show how you can use technologies to provide future focused learning experiences across the curriculum.
Students from Ruawai Primary School and their teacher talk about how they are developing key competencies through writing collaborations.
The principal of Ruawai Primary School, explains how Google Apps are used to develop digital literacies, creative thinking, and communication skills in a collaborative environment.
Students developing technological capabilities has changed learning and teaching at Leamington School.
Leamington School parents talk about how technology allows them to be involved in their child’s learning through the use of Facebook and blogs.
Leamington School principal, Mike Malcolm explains the school virtues and how they include manaakitanga and whanaungatanga.
Teacher at Newmarket School, Reubina Irshad, talks about her inquiry to enhance student engagement using an iPad as a creative tool. Reubina explains how she ran the inquiry and what the outcomes were.
Teacher at Newmarket school explains the process she uses for selecting apps to use in her classroom.
Teacher at Newmarket school, Virginia Kung, talks about how they have made connections with people across the world through Twitter and Skype.
Teacher, Virginia Kung talks about how she applied SOLO taxonomy to her science lessons.
Teacher inquiries at Newmarket School build on learner motivation and interests as a way of improving student outcomes. They focus on genuine problems of practice and aim to develop teacher capability.
Sonya van Schaijik, Newmarket School, explains how TeachMeet works and the benefits it provides for teachers to connect and share their practice.
Teacher, Virginia Kung, explains why she chose to teach her students about the science of bread and how they got the community involved.
The Leamington Learner concept, or dispositions, is the school’s strategic focus and foundation for enhanced achievement. Owned by the school community, technological capability is an integral component.
Students explain about how they learnt about electricity.
A teacher inquiry which utilised digital technologies for science.
Teachers at Pakuranga College explain their process for introducing virtual reality (VR) and how they are encouraging students to be comfortable with new technologies.
Newmarket School teacher, Reubina Irshad talks about how they connected with whānau during their Matariki celebrations.
Senior secondary students reflect on how their learning has changed at Fraser High School through curriculum integration and the use of authentic contexts as they produced the first issue of Passionfruit magazine.
Students from Pakuranga College describe the VR game they created as a collaborative project, and the skills they developed through the process.
Parents of students at Leamington School explain how the school prepared parents and the wider community for BYOD implementation.
Teachers, Sara and Emma, talk about the biggest changes they have seen in their teaching since they started using flipped learning. “I think for me the biggest changes that it’s had are it’s more individually centred and it’s changed my position within the classroom.”
Teacher, Emma, talks about the independence children gain and how she gets more one-on-one time with students by using the flipped approach. One student shares how she uses the class site to share work with her parents.
A teacher and her students talk about the the benefits they have noticed from using flipped learning in their classroom and the flexibility that it allows.
Teachers Sara Lambert and Emma Jensen explain how the flipped model allows them to tailor the learning to students' individual needs.
Ashhurst School Principal, Heath Chittenden, speaks about the flipped learning global standards project and how they have created a standard so that flipped learning looks the same no matter where in the world you are based.
Staff from Ashhurst School talk about where they have seen achievement levels rise in their school and how they think flipped learning has attributed to that.
Frankley School students design apps that work to solve problems in the community.
David Fox, software developer, talks about his mentoring role with Frankley School.
Students work with an industry mentor to plan their app design at Frankley School.
Brendon Anderson explains how Frankley School students bring real-world business roles into their classroom.
Hereora leaders share how their cluster wide future-focused inquiry is providing students with opportunities to have agency over decisions around learning.
Sally McDougall and her students explain their process for writing book reviews and creating QR codes to share them with the wider community.
Dr David Parsons, Associate Professor Massey University, explains the need to teach higher level thinking skills and develop key competencies using technology to prepare students for the 21st century.
Year 13 student Daniel Cowpertwait describes a "mod" he has developed for an online game Portal.
Southern Cross Campus student Shona Unasa takes economics via video conference.
Nigel Mitchell, HOD English at Tawa College, and students in his class talk about the benefits of using Prezi to collaborate and take control of their own learning
Dr. David Parsons, Associate Professor Information Technology at Massey University explains the digital divide is not only about access but about how devices are used.
Principal, Helen Pearson and students discuss how they have used Mahurangi Christian School TV (MCS TV) to enhance literacy in their classroom.
Treetops TV is Leamington School's television driven by the students. Technologically capable learners put the school's learner dispositions into action.
Teachers at Pakuranga College talk about how they have introduced VR into their school and the equipment they use.
Ashhurst School teachers, Sara and Emma, explain how they plan their lessons for a flipped classroom including how they make their instructional videos.
Frankley School students share their enthusiasm for coding.
Teacher, Reubina Irshad explains how they create home school partnerships by helping parents to support their child’s learning at home.
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This report from Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye's 21st Century Learning Reference Group aims to help inform government planning around 21st century skills and digital competencies. It suggests ten strategic priorities, including the creation of modern learning environments that are vibrant and safe, investment in high-quality content and systems, and development of collaborative networks for teachers and leaders to share ideas. The report covers potential device policies and further professional development for teachers.
Michael Fullan: Technology, the new pedagogy and flipped teaching
Michael Fullan talks about how digital technologies give immediate access to information anytime, anywhere in this YouTube clip (2014). Whether it deepens the quality of learning depends on the teaching. One approach to integrating digital technologies is the "flipped classroom" where students engage with instructional content at home. This might be watching a video, a PowerPoint, or reading information. Followup activities are completed in class. In this way teachers become activators or change agents, students become partners in learning, and technologies fuel communication and collaboration.
Twenty first century learning
Professor Stephen Heppell talks about learning in the 21st century in this YouTube video. He explains learners need to be collaborative and seem themselves as global citizens in this "learning age". How can we be agile enough to keep up with new technologies and new ways of learning?
Ka Hikitia – Kā Hapaitia
Ka Hikitia – Kā Hapaitia is a cross-agency strategy for the education sector. It sets out how The Ministry of Education will work with education services to achieve system shifts in education and support Māori learners and their whānau, hapū and iwi to achieve excellent and equitable outcomes and provides an organising framework for actions.
The Action Plan maps the Government’s commitment to transforming outcomes for Pacific learners and families and signals how early learning services, schools, and tertiary providers can achieve change for Pacific learners and their families. The Action Plan has resources and guidance including planning templates.
Tātaiako: Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners
The competencies teachers need to develop to support Māori learners achieve educationally as Māori, explained. A guide to the development of cultural competence for teachers themselves, for their employers, and for Initial Teacher Education providers and providers of on-going teacher professional development.
Ministry of Education: Statement of intent 2012–2017 (PDF 890KB)
Key elements of how they Ministry will contribute to the delivery of Government’s priorities for education. A PDF of the Statement is available for download from this page on the Ministry of Education website.
Success for all – every school, every child
The Government’s vision and work programme to achieve a fully inclusive education system. This page on the Ministry of Education website has downloadable PDFs Success for all fact sheet and Success for all Q and A sheet .
Information about funding, services, support, and initiatives for children with special education needs.
Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching – a New Zealand perspective
Findings from new data and more than 10 years of research on current practice and futures-thinking in education. The report discusses some emerging principles for future learning, how these are currently expressed in New Zealand educational thinking and practice, and what they could look like in future practice.
Accelerating the progress of priority learners in primary schools (May 2013)
The findings of ERO’s evaluation of the extent to which primary schools are using effective strategies to improve outcomes for priority groups of learners.
Future-focused learning in connected communities
This report focuses on transforming teaching and learning, enabled by technologies that are widespread in our society. It suggests ten strategic priorities for 21st century skills and digital competencies. Written by Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye's 21st Century Learning Reference Group, May 2014.
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