I have this urge to share with educators rad things they can learn about and use to improve their own learning and teaching. We celebrate when learning opportunities become personalised and at point of need for students, we get excited when they get to move beyond their classrooms and into others. Yet as teachers we sometimes forget that we can grow and learn in a similar way. So this prompted me to start thinking about how I could deliver PD to my colleagues so that it suited them - when they wanted to know it and across a variety of platforms. And the best thing about it? Hearing the conversations staff were having not only about what they were learning, but also about how they were learning it and why they could apply the ideas to their classes - epic PD!
Curating cybersafety resources using Learni.st - After our first parent information session it became apparent we needed to look at making cyber safety a focus in our teaching as many parents had justifiable concerns surrounding this from Years 3 - 6. The challenge based learning moment for me was how to share ideas and resources with our staff without dictating what they should do, yet still supporting them to address cyber safety in the classroom. So I created free learni.st account - you can too here - and generated a board of resources, mapped to all students and then specific Year levels for staff to tap into. When staff are ready and in a headspace to explore these resources are ready for them. This worked well for resources I had not created - there is so much out there already for Australian Primary aged students so why not curate it for my staff to explore? Check out the board here
Walk & Gawk then grow - I was discussing with a colleague the concept of Learning Walks recently. In my experience when I had participated in Learning Walks previously and I was that teacher who meticulously planned my lessons, structured them so the class looked awesome and generally had little to fear. Then I moved to a primary school context where I had little idea what I was doing. The thought of someone being in my classroom was terrifying. I was not so cocky anymore! Not only did I feel I did not know enough to show anyone else what was going on, I felt like I should have known better after the number of years I had been teaching in a secondary context. Give me a class of 25 teenagers and I've got it sorted. 24 little people is a whole new ball game. OMG ball games with 10 year olds, that's a whole new skill set...
My colleague suggested why not use this trepidation and reluctance as my starting data - get someone to come in and have a look and to see what I was doing well and what I could grow in. That way I could identify things I am already doing and find ways to do them differently. Then I had a lightbulb moment. This is what it feels like for many teachers when it comes to ICT and eLearning. So I developed a framework around the shared purpose of an eWalk & Gawk as shown below.
TO BE CONTINUED
I really liked this model as it meant I could work with staff starting at the level they were starting at - be it beginner through to high end user and through empowering them with 2 - 3 new skills they could then use these and model them for their peers - thus having wider impact and a longer impression. Rather than me just showcasing how my classroom works using eLearning I was empowering others to become eLearning mini experts in fields they wanted to explore starting at a place they knew with high relevance.