Friday, October 8, 2010

uLearn10 - Breakout 6 - Trevor Bond - Inquiry Learning vs. Good Learning

Inquiry learning or good learning?

Inquiry learning. This phrase carries a lot of baggage and misconception with it. Perhaps it is time to just focus on learning, what good learning is and how we can support our students to be better learners. It is time to stop walking in circles with inquiry learning, its time to focus on what good learning is and revise our teaching practice to fit that picture. This will raise challenges for schools.What are the challenges and how can we address them.

Trying to define inquiry learning is like trying to grab a bar of soap in the bath!

It's the "thing" that everyone is "doing" but it's not just a matter of choosing a model and doing it.

A lot of schools are going in circles because their focus is inquiry when it should be learning. We should be equipping our students to be better learners.

Q1. What is good learning? (not what is good inquiry?) Need to define learning as a school then dfine good/effective learning.

Trevor Bond's definition: Learning is change to one or more of these things - knowledge - understanding - world view - beliefs - opinions (weaken or strengthen) - values - attitudes - behaviours - skills - that is retained, able to be applied and able to be transferred.

NZC page 37. Curriculum is designed and interpreted in a three-stage process: as the national curriculum, the school curriculum, and the classroom curriculum. The national curriculum provides the framework and common direction for schools, regardless of type, size, or location. It gives schools the scope, flexibility, and authority they need to design and shape their curriculum so that teaching and learning is meaningful and beneficial to their particular communities of students. In turn, the design of each school’s curriculum should allow teachers the scope to make interpretations in response to the particular needs, interests, and talents of individuals and groups of students in their classes.

Q2. What are our learning goals? What are you trying to achieve through inquiry? This goal is surely about developing skills and attitudes... to be better learners. What is your school "graduate profile"? How will you know you've done a good job when your Year 6's leave? Build the curriculum to make your graduate profile happen.

Need to be focusing on developing competencies, should be using progress in competencies to assess effectiveness of programmes.

Curriculum coverage statements have been removed from NZC and NAG's.

What are your primary skill goals that will enable your students as connected engaged learners? What are your attitudinal goalsthat will enable your students as connected engaged learners? Establish success criteria associated with these questions.

Cross competency focus = cross competency attitude, cross competency skill - focus on growing skills and attitudes in students.

4 attitudes of life long learners = curiosity, open-mindesness, persistence, empathy.

6 skills of life long learners = ability to:

identify need or problem

identify, understand and use contextual vocabulary appropriately

ability to create and use relevant questions to guide thinking and gain information

acquire, validate and apply relevant information

create and critique information, argument, belief or theory

make informed decisions with due consideration of possible options, consequences and the impact on others.

Focus should be on core elements of learning i.e. taking students and moving them on.

Q3. What are the elements of good learning?

Start point for learning - question, task or concept? so schools should have a concept based curriculum or a task based curriculum or a question based curriculum.

Track "exposure" to the strands.

Q4. What is a good inquiry model?

Q5. What is good inquiry? An approach that delivers your goals SO what is your goal?

Good learning is a process of developing independence (not independence in terms of working alone but independently engaging with others to develop understandings) SO good inquiry is a process of developing independence.

Understandings are developed in the spaces between people.

Good learning = where a student moves towards independence on a growing foundation of literacy - learning is literacy in action.

If kids are not engaged = educational malpractice - so kill it! Teachers must be engaged - if not kill it!

When students are in learning to read stage major resources should be image based not text based.

Reading to learn is inquiry (but must be engaged), exploring learning through reading.

Scaffolding allows children access to learning - provides safety for learners as they build their understanding of learning process and as they develop their learning skills.

Q6. What are the in school barriers? Tie appraisal to schoolcurriculum being implemented well. If model is not delivering what you want then review it - continual reflection. Model needs to become part of school induction process.

What is measured gets done - measure literacy, numeracy, skills/attitudes.

STOP talking about inquiry, START talking about learning. Learning model NOT inquiry model - should work in any context.

Key message: Focus on good learning not inquiry.

Trevor Bond's website

Trevor Bond's NZC wiki

Trevor Bond's questioning wiki

uLearn10 - Breakout 5A - helping to present - eek!

Helping a colleague present her action research via Skype from Scotland - hope it all goes well!! Notes to follow...

Workshop Abstract: Digikidz: Children as experts - gaining eLearning skills and self confidence, inspiring and supporting the same in others.

I believe in igniting interest, scaffolding and helping children gain skills for learning to learn. In the last 6 months I have been fortunate to pursue action research. My inquiry focused on Digikidz: children who are willing to and capable of supporting their peers and teachers. I targeted core programs and technologies to encourage the children to become confident to share their learning with others. Throughout the process I gathered evidence of the impact of the Digikidz in a variety of ways. This initiative could be adapted to suit individual classrooms, year levels or as a whole school approach.

Despite a few technical difficulties (even though we had a perfect high speed Skype line) this workshop went really well. A bit pushed for time in the end but a quick glance at the feedback sheets showed lots of enthusiasm for the concept of Digikidz and an appreciation of Victoria’s passion for the purposeful use of ICT. Big ups to the awesome technical support we received from Dave and his cool, calm and practical advice and support in the face of adversity!

You can check out Victoria's wiki about her action research here.

uLearn10 - Breakout 4 - Mark Treadwell – Concept Curriculum Scaffold for NZC

Last paradigm shift in education was in the 1400’s – paradigm shifts in education are very rare – moved from aural to text based system, now moving from text to internet/web based system = new paradigm shift.

3 learning processes
- rote learning – very weak process, only evolved in last 500 years due to the need to learn to read and write
- forming concepts – highly adaptable, concepts become automated e.g. sitting down in a chair (you don’t think about it), concepts allow you to predict what’s going to happen so you don’t need to think about it, brains can access endless astrocytes to create new concepts
- brainwaves – creativity

So which system should we base our A/O’s around? Concepts.

NZC – very content driven e.g. maths, must rote count to..., very inconsistent A/O’s, front section fantastic as allows self design BUT framework only – no scaffold! Impossible for schools to build a scaffold independently.

Creating understanding needs a number of contexts to be explored.

Creativity can be used for good or ill – where character and principles come in (values, attitudes, ethics, personal qualities).

Learning today is based on oral language and visual language (Anne Tolley hasn’t got this!), multimedia is missing from English curriculum.

Junior teachers should be worrying about competencies and literacies. Competencies should be being explicitly taught.

Primary school world should be a world of wonderment and awe – AHA moments should be happening all the time.

What do students need to understand? Not... What do they need to learn?

Test a concept by giving them a different context to see if they can apply the concept.

Takes about 8 months in a primary school to build concept scaffold.

Inquiry should be inquiring why something happens.

Young children don’t ‘get’ the concept of editing their writing. Make 1 thing a focus for the next piece of writing following conferencing (e.g. capital letters at the start of sentences). Students hate having to rework/change a piece of existing writing which leads to them hating writing (really they hate having to edit!!) This way you are instead suggesting a review for next time.

Literacy Learning Progressions are spot on EXCEPT for editing.

Key message: create understanding through the process of forming concepts (explored through different contexts).

uLearn10 - Breakout 3 - Nick Rate – ePortfolios discussion group

A portfolio is... what is produced when persons collect, select, reflectively interpret and/or present their own evidence to support their assertions about what they have learned, know and can or should do.

About pedagogy NOT technology.
Include goals and reflections.
Integral to process of learning. Not additional to class programme.
Purpose is development of independent learners.
So important to identify and establish the purpose.
3+ year process – moving towards embedded practice.
Ownership? – belongs to child.
Important to consider platform you are going to use.
Are your parents and teachers ready?

Teachers MUST have pedagogy embedded first – must be practicing goal setting and reflection “traditionally” in classroom. Must be able to see purpose and benefits.

ePortfolios... should contain reflection/self assessment and goals (next steps in learning)... should reflect/demonstrate the learning process and product... need contribution from all the stakeholders (3 way – teacher, pupil, parents)... must fit with school vision and philosophy... require access to fully functioning ICT tools.

Key message: pedagogy must be strongly embedded in school first.

Although I didn't attend Nick's pre-conference on eportfolios, the presentation contains the same messages in more detail. Some very powerful food for thought in here...

uLearn10 - Keynote 3 - Lane Clark – Learning to Learn – It’s bigger than Inquiry

"Many of our schools are now valuing the importance of teaching their students how to learn. Inquiry learning is no longer ‘new.’ It has become an instructional approach, advocated at the Department level, and realised in many classrooms, internationally. Recognising and celebrating this advance in pedagogy...inquiry is merely a part of a much bigger whole.

If it‘s our goal to see an increase in student levels of engagement; an increase in levels of high school retention; an improvement in student performance standards; and learners skilled and ready to contribute to their world, we need to re-think what we are doing, and how we are doing what we are doing, in schools. We need to teach our kids how to think and how to learn through a comprehensive learning process that mirrors the way in which learning occurs in the outside world. We need to ensure that intellectual rigor, depth of knowledge and understanding, authentic, relevant and purposeful curriculum, our priorities We need to change the way learning is planned, designed, implemented, assessed and evaluated.

What does it mean to learn?
Is there a difference between knowing and learning?
What is authentic learning?
What is integrated learning?
Is there a difference between theme and authentic integration?
What does real learning look like?
What are the similarities and differences between ‘real life’ learning and ‘in school learning’?" Lane Clark

Loved listening to Lane speaking - what a thought provoking educationalist. She made some very important points about real world learning. Definite theme emerging through all the keynote speakers. The question is how to marry this up with school policy, national standards, time constraints...

The ability to learn how to learn – everyone should be cultivating this, it’s not what you know but how you learn that’s important as what you know will soon be obsolete.

How we learn is more important than how much we learn.

So you know it – so what? Can you do something with what you have learned?

Inquiry is where thinking and learning meet.

What does it mean to learn? Is there a difference between knowing and learning? What is authentic learning? What is integrated learning? What does real world learning look like? How does it compare to ‘in school’ learning? Is there a difference between theme and authentic integration?

Teaching should be mirroring what kids will move in to with no teacher there e.g. how often do adults graph eye colour or do animal projects?! Not real world learning.

How can you have a question about something you don’t know? You don’t know what you don’t know! Inquiry is bigger than interest, it’s RELEVANCE.

Colour code questions students ask/form throughout inquiry e.g. week 1 red, week 2 blue, week 3 green. The questions will become more sophisticated as knowledge and new learning is added.

Purposeful and strategic questions come from a genuine need to know something.

A test is one way to learn (find out) what you know.

Inquiry stages

Immersion – immerse children in centres based around the learning/concept/idea, e.g. fairytales – video/TV centre, websites, books of lots of different types (soft cover, hard cover, stapled, bound, library, embellished...), audio tapes, drama centre – lots of diverse mediums to engage learners. Each centre has a taskcard (purpose) and each student has organisers (process). Purpose of centre is to access data, purpose of organiser is to process data. Organisers can be recorded on using words, drawings, sound (audio overlays), using ICT tools – kids don’t have to write to record. Come up with the ‘so what’ during the immersion stage. Important to deconstruct at this stage to generate new ideas later on in the process.

Brainstorm and Inquire – what do we need to know? E.g. fairytales – need to know how fairytales are written, characteristics, book writing process, different forms books can take, audience analysis...

Planning – decide on tools to be used, action planner – self directed learning (teacher modelled and driven moving towards student driven).

Investigation – made up of “petite” inquiries, teachers job to minimise inaccurate access to information.

Stop and Think – Now I Know... include a must do task (real world).

Ideate – putting ‘so what’ idea into action, e.g. want to make a poster, go and deconstruct and investigate posters.

Innovate and celebrate – finding out if you have really made a difference, showcasing.

Evaluation – evaluating learning process – students track their thinking, identify thinking tools used throughout the journey, need to identify tools used to consolidate and encourage future use; set goals in all areas – learning process, thinking tools, oral language skills...

Children need to own, understand and have control of their own thinking.
Achieve differentiation in smarts (multiple intelligences) through tools.

Teachers job is to ensure kids whole brain is engaged.

We should be using same processes in school that they are going to use in life.

“Tell me what your learning job is this second” – kids should be able to answer without hesitation.

Change comes from looking at your weaknesses – they become your opportunities.

Questions to think about:

What are you doing in education?

What do you want to create for kids?

Where are you in your journey?

Where do you want to be?

Key message: Focus should be on learning how to learn.

Blog post by Susie Vesper on Lane's keynote

Link to Lane's PDF handout

Thursday, October 7, 2010

uLearn10 - Keynote 2 - Steve Wheeler – Transformation and inspiration through social media: meeting the needs of the 21st Century Learner

"Education needs transformation. Why? Because a lot of what currently goes on in schools has been designed to meet the needs of an industrial society that no longer exists. Today’s society is a rapidly changing, demanding and technology rich world in which employees are expected to adapt quickly, work creatively and think critically.

In this presentation I will argue that teachers have the almost impossible task of trying to prepare students for a world of work they cannot clearly describe. When students leave school, the world they enter will be dramatically different to that of today. So how do teachers prepare learners for a world that doesn’t yet exist, in which knowledge and skills can be quickly outdated? The answer is to transform the educational experience so that students learn how to learn." Steve Wheeler

Transformation - school is where transformation will happen before anywhere else.

“For the first time we are preparing students for a future we cannot clearly describe”. David Warlick

Change – there will be casualties – teachers should be leading change not reacting to it.

Disruptive technologies change the way you interact with the world e.g. cellphones, 97% of students now use text messages as their main form of communication.

Teachable moments – we should look for these, should use the right tools at the right times in the right contexts.

Teachers have an incredible amount of power to make things good or bad.

Digital Natives? What does this generation of learners want?
- access anytime
- access anyplace
- personalisation
- intuitive devices

What does this generation of learners need?
- digital literacies e.g. skills to check the accuracy of digital info
- to be engaged through fun
- personalised learning
- filtering of web tools – right tool for the job i.e. digital wisdom
- e-safety – to be taught how to avoid internet dangers

Key message: We need to transform the way we teach to meet the NEEDS of the digital generation.

Blog post by Suzie Vesper on Steve's keynote

uLearn10 - Breakout 2 - Digistore Learning Pathways

Logins are school based at the moment, individual teacher logins coming very soon.

Can copy existing learning pathways, create learning pathways using existing digital learning objects, add external links and embed objects e.g. a YouTube clip.

Searching options on digistore
- using search box to type key word/s
- by A to Z if you have a particular keyword in mind
- by learning area (Browse Topic)
- nzmaths has a digistore tab with objects relating to specific skills already identified

Use ‘view details’ to see if object aligns with learning intentions/outcomes – quick sifting and sorting.

Once learning pathway is established, students are given the URL to the learning pathway e.g. shared via KnowledgeNET. Each object also has a unique URL so individual objects can be shared with students. Students will not need to login to access the specific learning pathway you have shared with them.

Learning pathways need to be used as part of learning experiences with clear links to learning intentions to have impact on learning.

Guiding questions:
- how does the selection of the digital content reflect the needs and interests of my students?
- how will digital content be embedded into the planned programme of learning?
- how will the integration be supported by relevant offline experiences before and after use?
- what opportunities are there for my students to work cooperatively?
- can the digital content be combined with other relevant digital content and learning experiences?
- how and at what stages of the learning will you reflect on the selection and use of digital content and the impact on learning?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

uLearn 10 - Breakout 1 - Julia Atkin - Reconceptualising 21st Century Learning

Reconceptualising 21C curriculum: From segregated subjects, ad hoc themes, and "covering content" to holistic, integrated learning

The New Zealand Curriculum provides a coherent macro framework for a 21C curriculum. Working with this curriculum framework requires considerable curriculum design work in your school. Key questions are: For our students, what is it essential that they learn? What is desirable? How do we ensure powerful learning? How do we map our curriculum in a way that ensures depth and breadth?
This interactive workshop will engage you in developing understandings, processes and strategies for developing your school's curriculum.

Very thought provoking speaker, heard her speak at the Pecha Kucha and was definitely keen to hear more so glad I was booked for this breakout, ideas and pedagogies fit really nicely alongside SOLO curriculum work our school has begun...

Shift towards concepts. Essence of learning area – why would we want to teach that? Getting away from “topics”. What does each subject contribute to each concept?
Need to teach students to conceptualise rather than just process information.
New curriculum is inviting us to DESIGN before we plan.
Need to be using ICT in a rich and powerful way.
Teachers need to own their educative beliefs.

School Review Tool
Mission – Why School? What is your educative purpose? What do we want our students journey to be?
Curriculum – What should students learn? What is essential? What is desireable? What is it powerful to learn?
Learning Charter – How do students learn? Principles of Effective Learning. What is powerful learning? Only powerful to learn something if you learn it in a powerful way.

John Holt’s model of the world we live in
World 1 – inner world, psychological, integration of all your experiences, emotions etc. holistic, expressed through the arts really well
World 2 – direct experience, lived, things done, people met, places visited
World 1 + World 2 = my “knowing” of the world
World 3 – world you know about, have read or heard about, don’t know it directly
World 4 – world of infinite possibilities, what we don’t know, world that I don’t know that I don’t know!
Transformative learning is when all the worlds grow together.
Inner love for something (World 1) drives learning and desire to try the unknown.
Link stuff that is known about (World 3) to direct experience (World 2).

Natural human learning is: personally meaningful, integrated, coherent, transformative, transferable.

Factors which promote meaningful, transformative learning: intrinsic motivation (learner purpose not teacher purpose, relevance/interest, challenge, curiosity), direct experience, crisis/catastrophe, teacher/mentor passion, metacognition.

Key message: Students need to be learning through concepts.

ULearn10 - Keynote 1 - Lee Crockett - Understanding the Digital Generation

"Today’s world is not the world we grew up in, and today’s world is certainly not the world our children will live in. Because of the dramatic changes our world has undergone, this digital generation’s children are not the students our schools were designed for and are not the students today’s teachers were trained to teach.

This presentation examines the effects that digital bombardment, from constant exposure to electronic media, has on kids in the new digital landscape and considers the profound implications this holds for the future of education. What does the latest neuroscientific and psychological research tell us about the role of intense and frequent experiences on the brain, particularly the young and impressionable brain?

Based on the research, what inferences can we make about kids’ digital experiences and how these experiences are re-wiring and re-shaping their cognitive processes? More important, what are the implications for teaching, learning, and assessment in the new digital landscape? How can we reconcile these new developments with current instructional practices, particularly in a climate of standards and accountability driven by high-stakes testing for all? What strategies can we use to appeal to the learning preferences and communication needs of digital learners while, at the same time honoring our traditional assumptions and practices related to teaching, learning, and assessment?" Lee Crockett

Such a funny guy! Awesome keynote presentation about Understanding the Digital Generation - lots of implications for curriculum vs. National Standards vs. what my little digital natives need to learn...and the best way/s to teach them...

There is a Paradigm Paralysis in education – teachers have embedded assumptions and beliefs about teaching based on their schooling experiences.

We are living in the age of infowhelm – knowledge base is becoming digitised at a phenomenal rate, e.g. 120 years of YouTube videos are uploaded annually, google has indexed 1 trillion web pages, digital books are outselling paper books.

ipad marks a new paradigm in computing – mouse and keyboard will soon be obsolete.

What skills will students need to process overwhelming amounts of digital information? How will they be able to judge authenticity of information? Bias?

Our students see screens as a place to project their identity on to.

We, as teachers, face a different kind of student. The brains of the “digital generation” are developing differently because of the digital culture. Brains are changing physically and chemically, our students now have “hyperlinked” minds, their brains are neuroplastic (plastic and malleable). Challenging what we previously thought about brain development.

Digital natives eyes process photos 60,000 times faster than text, scan text in a different pattern (F shape), don’t like black text on white background (currently prefer red, pink or green on black or blue background). Has implications for reading texts.

Digital Generation learning profile:
- prefer to receive information quickly from multiple digital sources
- prefer parallel processing and multi-tasking
- prefer processing pictures, sounds, colour and video before text
- prefer random access to hyper-linked multimedia information
- prefer to network simultaneously with others
- prefer to learn “just in time” (standardised testing and curriculum “just in case”!)
- prefer instant gratification and instant rewards as well as delayed gratification and delayed rewards
- prefer learning to be relevant, active, instantly useful and fun

Digital multi-tasking is a fact of life now.

To students, text is there to provide clarity about an image/video. 90% recall rate of 2500 photos after 72 hours (photos seen for 10 seconds each), 63% recall rate after 1 year. No image = 10% content recall, rises to 65% if image added.

Digital generation are constantly exposed to spectacular graphics and multi-sensory experiences... so images and video are powerful enough for them to get the message – they are visually literate with highly developed visual spatial skills.

Digital generation have internalised digital tools for use – they need to be taught critical thinking to analyse these tools to find appropriate tools for appropriate purposes.

Key message: Digital generation need different skills to thrive and survive in the digital age.

21st Century Fluencies = solution fluency, information fluency, collaboration fluency, media fluency, creativity fluency.

Teachers need to be able to understand the digital generation to be able to teach the digital generation.

Blog post by Suzie Vesper on Lee's keynote.