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Showing posts from June, 2013

What's in a name? That which we call a library by any other name would smell as sweet.

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Forsooth, once more I am plagued by an internal argument of a circular nature.

Is 'library' still the right name for a library?

Consider this definition.

li·brar·y
/ˈlīˌbrerē/


Noun
A building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or...
A collection of books and periodicals held in such a building or room.


Synonyms
bookcase - athenaeum


Is that still correct?

What actually comes to mind when you hear the word 'Library'? Is it a place of innovation, a place for making, a place for playing, a place for inquiring, reading, talking, eating? Is it a place that leads Digital Citizenship development, a learning common, a social place a space for wrestling with knowledge and technology? If this isn't what comes to mind, then what does? A silent space, a place for study and silent reading. A place where books go to die...if so, is that a problem? Me thinks, yes.

One of my areas of responsibility is lead…

Creating a school - Moving forward whilst going around in ever decreasing circles

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I always knew being part of a team creating a school was going to being awesome. I also knew that being part of a team creating a new school was going to be challenging. What I didn't know was what exactly about the process was going to be the source of either that pleasure or pain. And let's be honest I wont actually fully appreciate anything until I have the clarity that only hindsight can provide.

Luckily I have never been one to let ignorance or a blurry in-the-moment perspective stand in the way of my sharing my thoughts. What follows is a kind of mid-year reflection of what I have learnt so far from being lucky enough to be one of team of four (plus various other board folk and builders) entrusted with the task of setting up a brand new secondary school. 
My reflections focus on both the experience as a whole and some discoveries made about myself and in the areas of my responsibility (which at present include e-learning across the curriculum, library and teacher develop…

To LMS or not to LMS...that is the question

Interestingly, when I started out at HPSS I was completely convinced that we would not need a formal LMS (Learning Management System). I believed the time of Moodle, KnowledgeNet and UltraNet was behind us. I believed that students should manage themselves and teachers and students should have free choice. I believed that providing one LMS as our main online space was simply no longer needed. Then, as time passed, I reconsidered, I started to look back on Moodle with increasingly rose tinted glasses. I remembered the structure, the untapped potential of all those activities, all those plugins. Before I knew it I was making a steady u-turn. I began thinking, yes, we do need a LMS, we need that Moodle - even if only as a front door, a front door that allowed us to mash up Google Apps, Gmail, KAMAR student portal, MyPortfolio and links to eTV and our Library Management System. Moodle, Google and MyPortfolio supported by SSO (single sign-on) became the vision once more. 
With this thinking…

ICT and eLearning at HPSS Vision and Strategic Planning

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In the spirit of openness and sharing, here is my first draft (of many I am sure) of our ICT and e-learning strategic plan which is born out of school values and vision.
Our Vision, Values and ICTsOur VisionTo create a stimulating, inclusive learning environment which empowers learners to contribute confidently and responsibly in our changing world Our MissionInnovate, Engage, Inspire Our GoalInnovate through personalising learning. Engage through powerful partnerships. Inspire learners to be empowered. Our ValuesEmpowered Learners who are resilient, responsive, resourceful Personalised learning which develops curiosity, passion, excellence Powerful Partnerships which enables learners to connect, collaborate and contribute Our Values, ICTs and eLearningWe inspire to develop empowered learners who are:



This means:



What this looks like:

Thinking about strategic planning for ICTs

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Here is a piece I originally wrote for Interface magazine which serves as a preface for my next post which looks at some of our thinking around ICTs and e-learning at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.


Wondering where to start with strategic planning for ICTs? Here are a few thoughts to get you started. Start with the end in mind Before you even worry about anything technical, you need to think about THE most important factor - the student. Begin by clarifying your school's vision around what you actually want for your students and their learning. What does their learning like now? What would you like it to look like in 2-3 years time? How will you ensure you don’t limit that vision to your own level of confidence, comfort and expertise around ICTs? This vision, more than anything else, will guide your strategic planning. So how might you do this? It might be useful to ask a few questions to clarify thinking, such as: What does your student want and/or need? How do you know t…