Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Week 32 - Changes in Practice and Future Plans

Image result for whakatauki for gratitude

Week 32
Changes in Practice and Future Plans

I found the main challenges during this study and connection with the Mind Lab program was the added work load. I had taken it on as I also took on two students who were keen to do Technology Scholarship. This was the first year I had taken this level of teaching on and as well as they went, I learnt an amazing amount. I learnt, what students go through, when we as teachers add layers of newness to learn and the frustrations with expected written formats. REFLECTION, REFLECTION and further questioning of why am I learning this> How will it inform my practice and what can I do to use this learning effectively. The best part was having a colleague also completing the post graduate course. I used many new techniques, links, resources of many kinds from the course to enrich my lessons delivered to students. Mainly with the year 9 and 10 students as they are very straight up and use many digital/social media and have curiosity to question the change of direction and newness I wanted to explore with them. I think the main reason for doing the course was developing a connection with other educators in different settings to explore and observe their learning journey also. My struggles were again, not my understanding or efforts but the WRITTEN format. I can verbalize my understanding much better than correctly manage formal writing...
This has always given me a better understanding with the ESOL students and dyslexic learners.
It was funny as the markers were also receptive in different ways towards this. Men who mark my work always seem to get more confused and frustrated by my tangents and off task sidetracking...story of my life!
The class contact was very interesting, some of the teachers were open, supportive and engaged and some guarded, fixed in mindset and challenged by the unknown...I love this as this is just what our students face everyday in the classroom.
At times I thought I would never finish and it was a world of constant reading and writing but the word seems to be the measuring stick of engagement and insight for reflection. 

So what?

DO I feel...
...more capable to engage with and teach others methods for digital learning, yes...
...my curiosity grown for new ways to connect with others...yes and this is what I loved the most...
that the knowledge I have gained and research with my practices now experienced have become strengthened within me.
My relationship with learning has at times been a struggle and it is when mis-interpretation of me and my ideas becomes the barrier, I shut down. Maybe this is why I have more empathy than some when some of our unique, culturally different and diverse learners come into my classroom. It makes me realise how important it is to know my learners and how they learn. As much as I struggle with structure, format and rubrics, I also feel empowered when I work with them. By the journey taken with the Mind lab course, the adult interaction and different tutors we were exposed to help me again reflect on; how a teacher/tutor can lay the canvas with their own style and rhythm to the lesson...

It makes me think, it is really important to know who I am and be able to hold a space for our learners that encourages interaction with each other for wider learning experiences.

Now what?

I keep learning and stay connected to other educators. Stop being scared of my potential and possibilities. If I can teach my students with total confidence in them with high expectations for their increasing steps of enriched learning development, then I must believe this for myself as a learner.
I still reflect on Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf education compared to the many changes that our previous limited assessment structures have taken. Thank goodness NCEA has developed a whole picture in many subjects. Not everyone benefits from memory testing (exams) and not all student grow from sitting and listening to instructions without experiencing the process themselves.
Image result for tell me and i forget benjamin franklin

I will not miss citations...nor will I miss the extra workload and this is only because my job is very demanding. However I will miss the guided and structured format of the course and all the richness of new discoveries and experiences I had. I will use many techniques and skills this year for my renewal of registration, my TAI and further areas of learning and teaching I wish to pursue. Also my students have all been very grateful for the new leanings I have shared.

Thank you to all I have shared this journey with.

“There are three
sides to every story:
your side, my side,
and the truth. And no
one is lying.”
Robert Evans

Week 30 Contemporary trends what is a trend in NZ

Week 30

Contemporary trends what is a trend in NZ


I am HOD of Design Technology and Food and Nutrition at a secondary school in Hawkes Bay with a little over 300 students. I teach in a single sex, female school and nearly half of our students are boarders. These students are not always exposed to local community issues let alone global issues and the bubble in which they (at times) live in is safe, supportive and at times misleading to how the outside world lives. All students and staff share a healthy lunch together each day and the grounds are beautiful, classes are small in all students are driven to various sport, cultural or extra curricular events.

Within the lessons issues are discussed at length, when learning cultural, ethical and sustainable practices and students use online research to gain better insight for ideas and topics being explored. However, I do not believe this is always enough.

The Health and Technology Curriculum allows me to teach a wide range of topics and provide many opportunities for students to engage with critical thinking, as development of designs are developed and outcome are produced. Students use this process to form opinions and understandings of why and how things happen. There are some key predictions for Technology learning and teaching, https://futurefive.co.nz/story/2017-trends-and-predictions-education-technology/. It is the section '4. Collaboration technology', that I want my students to be more adaptable and aware of. Future five Technology quote,'how they like to consume information so collaboration technology will be vital to being relevant to your students. '. This is a key element for my teaching practice and how the trend in collaboration for learning advancement make sense in my school and I believe, in particular the subject area I work in.
One of the key issues that we face when developing products is the 'waste', life expectancy and sustainability of the outcome. Climate change is real, farming practices are impacting resources and raw materials as community sustainability is threatened all over the world. Here in New Zealand we also share the struggles of poverty, poor diet, decline of manufacturing and the impact of FAST FASHION. A trend of self reflection and sustainability for our learners comes down to the core values. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/self-organized-learning-sugata-mitra
CORE's Ten Trends 2017

So what?
This year I have been chosen to attend the Seed to Self-2018 journey. This comprises six days of learning and self-discovery through the organic cotton regions of South India, and is designed as a professional development opportunity for teachers throughout New Zealand. This is for us to learn hands on the ‘impact of the current fashion paradigm, and more importantly, the way to move forward to a more holistic way’ of teaching and learning with our students. The Seed to Self-organisation (http://www.viva.co.nz/article/fashion/seedtoself/) believe the importance of this opportunity to follow the Indian cotton textile value chain from its source to its final destination, meeting organic farmers, artisans and other workers behind the scenes, is paramount for bringing to the forefront of our curriculum. Many NCEA assessments both internally and externally require insight into both sustainable and ethical understanding. Level 2 has been the target of this focus within the technology and DVC curriculum for many years now.

I believe that we are not supporting our land, employment in manufacturing and like India out Wool industry is declining when our sheep population is growing. Sustainable practices are now in demand and the trend for better practices is a global issue. that. My preferred approach to social change starts with sensing the tension between our values and vision for the future on the one hand, and our business reality (behavior) on the other.

This research I am venturing on is a very specialised investigation, focussing on raw material manufacturing and farming practices, and has been made available for teachers from both secondary and tertiary level. I will be with a group of educators to learn about cotton farming practices and fair trading within the fashion industry. This will be to bring back information, contacts and resources to our learners, with eyes wide open. This will be to strengthen students connections to the world that are living very differently to our students here. Globalization has disconnected causes and effects in supply chains, allowing us to hide behind complexity and a lack of information. I believe that using technology, globalization also creates the fractured reality that the world is smaller because of the ease for access at the tap of a button. Communication that I will have will initiate for students both while I am away and when I get back will show that access gained through online access is readily achievable. Making contact through globalization is just...more easily done and can open the eyes for students that only live in thier own little bubble. Today access on line for communication benefit students all over the world. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/self-organized-learning-sugata-mitra
This is not a conventional approach to transforming industry practices. However, times like these demand unconventional means. This organisation believes ‘the only way to make change sustainable is to have it rooted firmly in our changed worldview’. One of the organisers we meet is, Appachi Eco-Logic which help farmers to convert from genetically modified cotton to growing environmentally friendly Eco-Logic cotton, thereby eliminating harmful pesticides and insecticides. This helps to reverse the damage done to water resources and animal life in the region. The project also educates farmers in traditional and scientific methods of consistently growing sustainable and high-quality cotton. With over 65 years of cotton experience and expertise, Appachi Cotton is preserving the cotton legacy that’s three generations old. Appachi EcoLogic is truly a “Farm to Fashion” story that connects everyone in the value chain, from the farmer to the end consumer. To me, one of the major reasons to teach these values is for purposes of cultural relationships in both trading and industry understanding. Our students have an opportunity to continue this connection and their understanding of ethical trading and the manufacturing of two raw materials. We have many designers here in New Zealand who have made conscious decisions to be part of fair trade and sustainable practices in the development of their products. Many universities of industrial, product and fashion design are requiring experience and knowledge in these areas.

Hole in wall computer, India linking that community, https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves

Here at our small school, I want to help build these wider connections, by linking our students with people so they become less narrow minded and become more worldly and empathetic human beings.
Willing to make a difference and build more understanding of other females and their (not always chosen) life styles and the challenges that are being faced every day of their lives.
My journey is for encourage students to engage online, with a wider range of cultures, learning of unique styles, raw materials, eating patterns and health practices.

Now what?

Interactions between trends is like a roll on effect. As sustainable practices are being addressed in the Technology curriculum, so are the practices within the professional business sectors.
It is inevitable that class sizes, will grow. In fact schools all over New Zealand are growing today with a diversity that we don't really experience in our school. It will be through effective use of Technology that we can gain insight to these cultures, to understand the customs and background these people, to enable better understanding and support for each other. We already have so many options in the foods we cook and eat and this is because, with the ease of trading, internet access and travel, we can experience dishes from all around the world here in this New Zealand. Technology has become vast and has a huge opportunity that impact our learners.

As the production of textiles is the second most polluting industry in the world, we must consider the future and what we can do to reduce the pollution. What can we do to ensure our students develop a deeper understanding of design technology? This tour provides a rare chance for teachers, as representatives of NZ, to work with leading experts in the industry, from the field to the consumer. All of the teachers absorb the skills they learn and pass them on to the students and wider teaching communities when they return. What I think will be of particular benefit to the learning Community is the national and international contacts between not just India but the world of textiles. Contacts are paramount to be established for further planning and growth and development with trading. I believe raw materials are out taonga and must be taken seriously. Students must learn to look after resources and sustain practices that are considered for a healthy future in mind.

Seed to self ‘Our goal is to create conscious consumerism by offering transformational learning experiences and we want to create a profound systemic change that begins with consciousness as a foundation for sustainability. We aspire for our work in the textiles industry to act as a model for other industries to follow’.

National Intelligence Council. (2017). Global trends: The Paradox of Progress. National Intelligence Council: US. Retrieved from https://www.dni.gov/files/images/globalTrends/documents/GT-Main-Report.pdf

OECD. (2016) Trends Shaping Education 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/trends_edu-2016-en(this publication can be read online by following its DOI’s hyperlink)

Monday, 9 April 2018

Week 31 Indigenous knowledge and cultural responsiveness

Week 31

Indigenous knowledge and cultural responsiveness

The true passion for addressing fair learning spaces and ground breaking ideas in development for Maori and Pasifica students is a credit to Ann Milne (2013). She not only talks about white spaces but knows, as she is white herself, living in a community of Maori and Pasifica learners in south Auckland, and has been in education longer that I have lived, stands for knowing what needs to be done.

However, with her kaha, I had to sit and reflect on what it was that confused me...it was that I can only ever be me...and since in ref to the post colonial that many of us work in and how this does not meet the needs of our Maori and Pasifika learners...I realised I have not been exposed enough to know what teaching large percentages of Maori or Pasifica students require...My subject knowledge is strong and my willing to engage with my students is also positive, but I do not know what a large family is like to live in, nor do I know what true community is. Most of my learning is done independently and both family and friends are small groups also.

Milne has both family and community in large, within the Maori culture and what she experiences as normal, I do not.This lead me onto thinking how passion can be contagious and her passion for learning rights, focusing on issues that have been shadowed by indoctrinated teacher's who didn't know any other way. The Maori community of learners was within a village where knowledge was shared and the formal education as colonial ways were very different. The only way out is building a better model together, involving everyone in the chain.

I find now, I want to teach, as I never really enjoyed school, never felt valued at school, because we were talked at not talked with, I enjoy changing this in my classroom. Having open conversations, sharing ideas, beliefs and experiences. Listening with my learners and this has allowed my practice to be guided by my students. Milne suggested that the reason her students were doing well and learning effectively was because they were asked. Asked what they thought, given a platform to have a voice and share ideas, beliefs and not in just behind walls, but mixed learning spaces, mixed ages and questions were researched.

My preferred approach to social change starts with sensing the tension between our values and vision for the future on the one hand, and our business reality (behavior) on the other.

The cultural model in leadership requires understanding of beliefs, values and background,encouraging a sharing of traditions that enables schools to establish connectivity. When Maori or Pasifica students are no more than 8% of the school roll then this can be more challenging to have the required support network for all teachers to understand ways in which our indigenous cultures work best. No there is no excuse, just a unknown or lack of experience within the cultural practices. When the roll is 80% Maori and Pasifica then the community shows itself and all it's requirements, behaviour's and practices as a community.

Maybe the bridge is slowly being walked across, but big voices like Dr Milne will echo in our minds to question, are we lacking methods for all learners?

CORE Education.(2017, 17 October). Dr Ann Milne, Colouring in the white spaces: Reclaiming cultural identity in whitestream schools.[video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cTvi5qxqp4&feature=em-subs_digest


Week 29 - PRACTICE - Professional Online Social Networks

Week 29 - PRACTICE - Professional Online Social Networks

Social networking - Whats the purpose for me and whats the purpose for learning?

 Linda Finlay from the Open University (UK)

I love the quote that Finlay uses, from Smyth (1992) in regard to reflection and how it can mean 'different things to different people', like an 'umbrella'.

Reflective practice is yet a deeper and more progressive process, that will allow (if done with a growth mind set) more questions to be considered and researched than the expectation of answers. This means, critical reflection into the practice and seeking measuring of the bigger picture for diverse learners. Dewey reflected on teaching as an organic and forever changing process, that could be measured and calculated from the recording of experiences and encouraged teachers to realise" unless the initial connection was made between school activities and the life experiences of the child, genuine learning and growth would be impossible". This is crucial for a teacher, to truly learn who their learners are and where they come from. This also encourages empathy for another and a base to start engagement of the style in which a student learns. 

When the 'uncomfortable start' that all learners experience, from newness, created from the experience of new ideas explored or shared, surroundings or rhythms of the lessons, it is from here the experiences can be described as one who can then continue onto 'critical analysis' and after ongoing critical reflection, a person can then become to engage in the 'development of a new perspective', Atkins and Murphy (1993).
Image result for Atkins and Murphy 1993

I must say, during my time in teaching and back when I was a student it has always been challenging at times to be judged in my learning. I have always struggled with various forms of academic writing and specific rules the English language has at times limited my expression. In my practice I still go off on tangents when explaining areas of reflection from analysis of results and also evidence I need to provide. However, my students engagement for learning is enriched each year with the interactions we have together, verbally and the knowledge we share both in and out of class. We use social media for resource sharing, questioning and evidence found. We use practical methods to support our written work and the deep research we do by year 13, is independent and engages introspection during the process for scholarship technology prototype development. The 'reflection conversation' happens when evaluation takes place, both in the learner and as a teacher. 
“Maybe reflective practices offer us a way of trying to make sense of the uncertainty in our workplaces and the courage to work competently and ethically at the edge of order and chaos…” (Ghaye, 2000, p.7)

The professional practice of a teacher has become about reflection so much more than planning ahead and instead of piles of paper, online digital formats are developed to make it easier and ultimately safer to keep documentation, links to research and people who are appraising us, access to our portfolio of findings. 

Somehow I still find that, the word of reflection can only have effect and power if SMART goals are made and pathways are identified.

I truly believe that it is the process that is important and the life long learners that seek to improve their interaction with their learners and the development of communication in a safe and effective manner that is important. Digital platforms are like have a international library, design and creative gallery, with abundant access to other professionals in teaching who may have a solution to a problem or answer to a question that can be found so much more quicker that ever before. 

Twitter and google are two very basic but effective platforms to find support when 'stuck on an area"

To be connected to others and support others to learn, it is so important other wise, 'how do you know you are doing well?', Office of Ed Tech. (2013, Sep 18).

Week 28 - PRACTICE - Influence of Law & Ethics in Practice

Week 28 

Activity 4:Legal and ethical contexts in my digital practice

(What): Cyber bullying has become a very real and concerning issue within schools. Last year at the school I work at, there were some very nasty 'chat sites' being used by students, with one particular year group being the main cause of some very hurtful behavior. This particular year 10 group was very active online, using Instagram, messenger and mainly snap chat to develop communication between selected students. These various 'groups' started excluding chosen students from group chats and forming questions that were focused on judgmental and critical opinion of other students from the same year group and younger year groups. These questions were things like, 'who do you think is the most unattractive?', 'who is most likely to fail the math test? It then become more personal and targeting towards students who were not as 'popular' or 'cool'. We have a large proportion of students who are boarders and this communication became a playing field for judgmental, negative impact on others. This silent bulling also became unseen by the teacher's and unknown to the parents. It was at this time, as a school we were introducing a method to ask students about bulling. The ministry of education had employed ERO to structure a survey for schools to use and gave an outlet for these silent sufferers.
(So What): Today's challenges with bulling online has been a real issue. It has become so detrimental to the well-being of others that an Act has been made here in NZ in 2015, called the 'Harmful Digital Communications Act'. This is taken seriously and a fine of $50,000 can be placed onto the individual causing emotional distress, (https://www.bullyingfree.nz/about-bullying/cyberbullying/). Our school had many assembles that the SLT addressed the school and used both current YouTube videos and criminal data to show the impacts that cyber bulling has had on people. This began to start conversations between students and engaged questions and ideas for each person to reflect on their beliefs and ethics toward online chat sites. As a whole school we then took part in the focus of well-being and out DP spent time delivering this to all junior classes. http://www.ero.govt.nz/footer-upper/news/bullying-free-nz-week/. Students who were behaving badly online were having to face themselves and look at the choices they were making and question wither they could (in ten year time) look back and be proud of that type of online behavior. As a staff we developed outside games to have at lunchtime and set specific days of peer-support. 

(Now What): As a form teacher I was responsible to collect the data from the survey and analyse the outcomes with the other form teachers of both year 9 and year 10. We all had differences of opinions in what we thought was bulling and what was just poor choices of online behavior. Since we are an all girl school, it was very important to clear with the students the difference between bulling and what was teasing. As a teaching body we all needed to look at the whole picture and what consequences were needed to be made for those students who had advocated or been a part of this online nasty communication. Both those who put up the questions and those who accepted the chat groups to observe the nasty communication. As Ehrich suggests each person can bring thier own ethics, and we as teachers needed to be very clear what was serious and bring this attention to the Dean and the Senior Leadership Team. These 'forces' that Cranston, N., Ehrich, L. & Kimber, M. suggest, can impact and become very challenging to what the outcome will entail. Implications can be placed on one individual or even a whole community and that is why a whole picture is needed to be looked at and clear processes to take place for a bigger picture to be formed. The cyber bulling stopped, as the voices were heard in the ominousness surveys. Students were given opportunity to name the person who was making it difficult for them at school and this gave the management teams good reason to develop more positive methods of collaboration within school. The zero tolerance of the bulling, (Kia Kaha), meant some students were able to have a voice and be supported with their peer groups and chosen teaching staff members. Other students that were doing the bulling, or supported the online chats, were not able to have the same privileges with online access and devices were taken and history was looked at. This was all done with the support from our boarding staff, school Councillor and parent body. 
relationships and character – to identifying and resolving the dilemma at hand.Each of these individuals will bring their own personal ethics
– whether that be an emphasis on consequences, reference to rules, or a focus on
relationships and character – to identifying and resolving the dilemma at hand. Each of these individuals will bring their own personal ethics
– whether that be an emphasis on consequences, reference to rules, or a focus on
relationships and character – to identifying and resolving the dilemma at han

Ehrich, L. C. , Kimber M., Millwater, J. & Cranston, N. (2011). Ethical dilemmas: a model to understand teacher practice, Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 17:2, 173-185, DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2011.539794

Saturday, 16 December 2017

When we learn we engage, when we engage do we learn?

When we learn we engage, when we engage do we learn?

We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

Martin Luther King [2]

The development and launching of the countless amounts of social networking sites has made significant changes to how our world functions. When these networks began, they encouraged millions of people to participate in this new way of life and as evidence clearly showed, succeeded tremendously. Many can argue whether something has a positive or negative impact on our lives, both raising valid points. However, the difficulty is whether one will outweigh the other.
I was focused on social media and will be for my TAI next year, for learning and advancement of students interaction when designing and developing a prototype. I believe we as teachers need to support and encourage better ways for students to use social media as a tool. Social media is our modern day ‘discovery of fire.’ It has spread the globe at phenomenal speed and in many ways, we cannot imagine life without it. A common argument surrounding ‘social media and technology’ is “does it belong inside the classroom?” Journalist John Cloud wrote an article in TIME magazine in 2012 titled “Gadgets go to Class” which regarded the growing occurrence of introducing devices in schools. The concept “BOYT – bring your own technology” allows students to bring their devices not only into school but into classes as a way to interact with each other during lessons (Cloud, 2012). Many different contributors have argued effectively by both for and against this innovation.

Is our future for learning changing? Yes! I believe the style for students interaction must encourage community learning and the ... lovely African proverb: 'It takes a village to raise a child.' This can be said for today's learning and social media if used weel can provide broader connections for information with others.