Feedback and Communication

Decades of education research support the idea that by teaching less and providing more feedback we can produce greater learning. Grant Wiggins Educators have become increasingly conscious of the importance of feedback and communication in the teaching and learning process. This becomes even more important in a hybrid environment where learners/ākonga  and teachers may be physically separated for part of the experience. During the lockdown period many students reporting feeling isolated or left to deal with things on their own as a result of a lack of communication or feedback. Providing feedback means giving students an explanation of what they … Continue reading Feedback and Communication

Leveraging Digital

“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” R. Buckminster Fuller, Author & Inventor Speaking of the lessons learned from lockdown in their paper titled Activate Deep Learning and Lift from Loss, Quinn, Gardner, Drummy and Fullan, (2021) state: Our growth in digital competencies has significantly increased our ability to connect and communicate. Consider how parents have become more engaged at this time. Middle and secondary students have had improved email access to teacher support. … Continue reading Leveraging Digital

Partnerships

“Children are the priority. Change is the reality. Collaboration is the strategy.” Judith Billings, Washington State Superintendent. In the hybrid learning environment the walls of the classroom become far more permeable. The traditional boundaries between school and community are increasingly blurred and the reality that each learner is surrounded by a number of people who can and do support their learning is more evident. Many educators have spent a life-time working alone and independently in their classrooms. In the hybrid world this must change. Teaching must become a more collaborative activity, involving teaching teams and partnerships with parents/whānau and other … Continue reading Partnerships

Learning Activity

 ‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.’ Alvin Toffler Active learning can be thought of as any teaching strategy that involves actively engaging students through discussions, problem solving, case studies, role plays and other methods. Such approaches place a greater degree of responsibility on the learner than passive approaches such as lectures, but teacher guidance is still crucial in the active learning classroom. Active learning activities may range in length from a couple of minutes to whole class sessions or may take place over … Continue reading Learning Activity

Learning Content

“The students of the future will demand the learning support that is appropriate for their situation or context. Nothing more, nothing less. And they want it at the moment the need arises. Not sooner, not later.“ Dr. Marcus Specht, Open University of the Netherlands. Education has always involved the passing on of knowledge in some way or another. That knowledge has been represented in various forms, including textbooks and teachers who impart what they know in lectures etc. Such knowledge was regarded as authoritative and carefully curated. Today, however, what was once scarce is abundant. We’re drowning in information. There … Continue reading Learning Content

Engagement

All students need to be engaged in learning—not just the interested students, not just the ones who are obedient[1]. In our familiar in-person settings we are apt to confuse engagement with attendance – the very act of being present. But in remote settings this becomes a bigger challenge. The COVID research identified a number of factors leading to learners/ākonga  becoming disinterested or disaffected through the lockdown experience. The research points to… Lack of understanding the learner’s context Inability to address increased levels of disengagement Unrealistic workload based on expectations of educators Emphasis on “busy work” vs learning resulting in lack … Continue reading Engagement

Agency

Students have a sense of “agency” when they feel in control of things that happen around them; when they feel they can influence events. https://elearning.tki.org.nz/Teaching/Learner-agency The concept of learner agency has been a significant focus of attention in education over the past decade. It includes a range of pedagogical considerations including self-managed, self-regulated and self-directed learning – often facilitated through project or inquiry-based approaches in the classroom. Learner agency develops when learners/ākonga  are involved in the whole learning process – including decisions about the curriculum itself, involving learners/ākonga  a lot more in the choices about the what as well as the … Continue reading Agency

Inclusion

Children and young people learn best when they feel accepted, when they enjoy positive relationships with their fellow learners/ākonga  and teachers, and when they are able to be active, visible members of the learning community. https://inclusive.tki.org.nz/ An inclusive approach focuses on ensuring all learners/ākonga  are able to access and participate in all aspects of the learning. The aim is to bring students together and build a learning community where every child is valued and is able to reach their potential. This means: Shifting your focus from students identified as having “additional needs” to the learning of all students in the classroom. Rejecting … Continue reading Inclusion

Equity

“Equity: An equitable society is one in which all can participate and prosper. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow all to reach their full potential. In short, equity creates a path from hope to change.” (Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink) The concept of equity can hold different meaning for different people depending on the context but, at its core, the concept in educational settings involves giving everyone the opportunity, support and specific tools that they need to be successful. Promoting equity is about educators choosing to embrace rather than shy away from the unique backgrounds, identities, … Continue reading Equity

Codifying Teacher Practice

To codify is to arrange information in a logical order that others can follow. https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/codify An important starting point for implementing a hybrid approach to teaching and learning is to design learning experiences in the online world that capture the pedagogical aspirations that lie behind what we do in in-person environments. Further, we need to work collaboratively within our organisations to ensure a coherent approach is taken in order to create a ‘familiar’ experience for our learners (and their parents/whānau). A key issue here appears to be that while individual teachers are competent and proficient at what they do in in their … Continue reading Codifying Teacher Practice