Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A day @ Ringwood - Primary and Secondary College

A day in the life...  so many thoughts in my head and it's hard to think about how to write them in a 'readable' manner.  Today is going to be very note like as I copy and paste and I hope to come back and edit and add as my brain becomes clearer.  The team from Kia Ata Mai have blogged collaboratively and it's well worth jumping from here to there for a very concise story of the day.

Our morning began @ Ringwood North Primary School where we soaked in information shared by both Teachers and Students around their culture of challenge based learning and how e-Learning supported this.

 A little about the School
  • Mac School
  • Mix of BYOD and school owned
  • e-Learning has been part of the school culture since 2010
  • 1-1 Grades 4 to 8
  • Prep to Grade 4 - approx 6 iPads per class
  • iPad apps - whole school apps as well as individual grade apps/specialist apps
  • Huge focus on challenge based learning
  • Well developed junior genius crew - students who have a leadership role in helping others, teachers able to book times with them where students can co-teach the class
  • Acknowledge the importance of professional development for teaching team, devoted time for this, it is ongoing and built into performance review processes.  
  • Awesome process of providing PD through challenge based learning for teachers, role modelling what could/should happen in the classroom
  • Actively encourage teachers/students to be risk takers and flexible thinkers and build the culture of 'challenging ourselves'
  • Acknowledge the importance of being honest and open 
  • Focus on TRANSFORMATION
  • LOVED the stories around how the students and teachers have created a positive digital culture at Ringwood North and have published a book in iBooks Author - A guide to Digital Safety
Students from Grade 2 and Grade 5/6 came to share their stories of challenge based learning with us. We heard about the process of what their 'big idea' was and the learning that had happened along the way.  Students were able to clearly articulate their stories of success with confidence.  It was fabulous to see how the teachers 'pitched' the 'big idea' to students through small movies and then provided the structure through 'guiding questions and 'guiding activities'. 

I have taken some great photos of this process and will share when stronger internet allows:-)

Next stop @ Ringwood Secondary College where we had the opportunity to see a history, english and math class in action.  A highlight for me was seeing how the teachers were using iTunesU to provide self-paced learning opportunities for students.

A little about the School

  • Year 7/8 iPads
  • Year 9-12 Macbooks
  • Loan iPads available but huge percentage of students have their own device
  • Again, the value of PD for teaching team and the vital importance of 'sandpit time' for teachers
  • The use of challenge based learning for teachers and students - great example of creating a 'DREAM HOLIDAY' and utilising 10 apps to do this in different ways
  • Valued growing own staff, building capacity and giving teacher time to create resources
  • Opportunities to attend PD on regular basis eg PD week where sessions offered by other teachers and students 
  • School have invested hugely in infrastructure - parents investment is in the device
  • e-Learning coach works to support early adopters and realises the importance of praising and valuing the work that they are doing - this in turn creates a ripple effect of others keen to learn and explore further
  • Integral to their journey has been leadership - top down modelling, an example of this is the Principal participating in PD
  • Focus on the SAMR model in their thinking 
  • Loved their thinking around providing a tool set, a skill set and changing 'mindsets' - it's all about being continually innovative and open to change
What an opportunity, valuable time was spent observing students as well as having the School Principal and e-Learning Coach share their schools journey from the Pilot in 2010 till now - the good, the lessons learned, the interesting and most importantly the student comments.

Looking forward to spending time checking out whats happening @ Ringwood Secondary College through iTunesU when I get home.




1 comment:

Tara Fagan said...

WOW, sounds like some amazing learning and experiences. Am off now to check out the iTunes U catalog to learn more about Ringwood.