Monday, August 12, 2013

To LMS...and beyond!

A couple of months ago I was pondering the BIG question - to LMS or not to LMS? For those of you who are not down with the edu lingo, LMS stands for learning management system, which is a term for an online environment or platform that is used as a means for managing learning online...funny that.

Well, ponder I did, and still do, asking myself if we are actually in a post-LMS world. Part of me was convinced we are, that the concept of a LMS was singular and restrictive and quite frankly a bit 'yesterday'. But then, mid-ponder it struck me. I was asking the wrong question. It was not a question of 'To LMS or not to LMS?' It should have actually been the question - 'How do you we evolve the LMS to best meet the changing needs of schools and learners? It was not a matter of 'throwing the baby out with the bath water', it was more about teaching that baby to swim!

So how is the LMS evolving (or does it need to evolve)? The evolution for me is that it is no longer about a single solution. It is no longer about Moodle, or Moodle and Google or even Moodle, Google and MyPortfolio. It is about using one LMS (such as Moodle) to provide an architecture or framework for bringing together any number of LMSs and platforms. It is about someone or a team of educators curating and gathering a number of platforms and bringing them together and creating a mashed up whole, integrated seamlessly into a single experience through single sign-on. Many may argue this isn't necessary, but I do. A school is a community, a learning hub. So a school needs an online community, an online learning hub that can support and enhance a blended learning environment, blurring lines and connecting school, home, local, global communities to create a learning community that is tangible and easy to identify and connect with.

This of course is nothing new, and many of you are already mashing up and using a whole raft of LMSs and learning platforms. I guess what I needed to do is just shift my focus - from 'Do we need a LMS?' to 'How are we going to manipulate and mash up all of the environments we want to use?'. More importantly, how are we going to make this online space dynamic and engaging? 

In case you are wondering, we are going to use Moodle - but not just any old Moodle. For one, it will look good! Moodle will provide a front door and and will become the virtual home of our online learning hub - 'HobsOnline'. Moodle with be the place where students login to their single sign on environment that will give them easy access to Moodle, Google, MyPortfolio, the library LMS, eTV, Kamar student portal and hopefully N4L. Staff and students will be encouraged to use 'core platforms' as much as possible, but not limit themselves, as everyone (students and teachers) will be encouraged to constantly inquire and to use the best tool for the job or learning outcome. The challenge will be in establishing a range of common core platforms and practices that are used enough, that a genuine online community is established and common practices are shared and valued...but that everyone also feels free to explore and be creative in their online practice. 

So I guess the answer to the original question is - 'to LMS'. No question.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Looking for the Library Leader of the future!

Hobsonville Point Secondary School are looking for an innovative Library Leader for our future-focused school - sound like you or someone you know?? This will be an amazing opportunity for someone to develop their dream library for our school in state-of-the-art facilities and with a fabulous team of educators. 

Are you:
      passionate about future-focused pedagogy
      committed to supporting student and teacher inquiry

Role Description                                                             
We seek a librarian who is confident using many modern learning tools and has a clear vision of how a future-focused library can support and foster the use of e-learning across all subject areas. A library qualification is preferable, with experience in library systems and an interest in working with teenagers. Personal qualities we seek include being approachable and people-focused with an interest in supporting teachers to access a wide range of relevant and useful resources and information and to develop their use of e-learning to provide authentic learning experiences. You will also have the skills and enthusiasm to initiate new ideas, establish a vision for the library and lead a small team.

Position Profile                                                                     
We are looking for a Library Leader with the dispositions which display that they have:
      A clear understanding of a future-focused pedagogy in a Modern Learning Environment and the role that a library has within it
      A commitment to leading Digital Citizenship throughout the school
      An optimistic and agentic mindset
      The skills and desire to work collaboratively to strengthen practice
      A mindset for innovative thinking about library practice

Job Goals
      To ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information
      To empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information
      To instill a love of learning in all students and ensure equitable access to information
      To collaborate with teachers to design specialised learning modules, and support project learning
      To provide the leadership and expertise necessary to ensure that the school library is aligned with the mission, goals, and values of the school and wider community, and is an integral component of the teaching and learning programme.

      Describes the importance of the link to the community in terms of maximising the educational experience for students
      Possesses a global view of education that is not confined to ‘four walls’
      Sees the importance of learning that is authentic and across curriculum areas

      Is a supportive, challenging and collaborative colleague
      Expects excellence of self and others
      Displays passion, enthusiasm and a desire to see all of our learners succeed
      Has a sense of humour
      Sees listening as an essential component of being a good communicator
      Can create and sustain a new learning culture
      Is committed to the principles of restorative practice
      Develops a climate of high relational trust

Work Experience
      Displays a strength in student-centred teaching and learning
      Is able to contribute to significant projects

      Participates in professional learning communities to strengthen teaching practices
      Develops students to become independent and lifelong learners
      Is a reflective practitioner who actively seeks out professional learning and promotes sustainable change
      Is open to taking risks and is committed to overcoming challenges and difficulties
      Creates strong, positive relationships with all learners (staff and students)
      Engages in culturally responsive practices

Interested? Send me an email and I can send you an information pack and application form.