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Showing posts from 2017

Future Focused Assessment - imagine if schools did no high stakes assessment?

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Today I was lucky enough to attend the Ministry of Education Cross Sector Forum where they were launching the Digital Technologies curriculum draft (check it out here and provide your feedback). 
It was an excellent event. The Lynfield College Robotics group kicked off the event, charming the room with their articulate argument for technology across and within the curriculum. Then our new Minister of Education, the Honourable Nikki Kaye, provided an excellent insight into her vision for education, I got the sense that the Minister is well positioned to prepare the sector for the exponential change that is closer than we think. Her vision for digital transformation was bold (the need for which was excellently articulated by Frances Valintine's keynote) and her message was clear - we need to act and we need act now! It was also clear that the Minister understands that there are very real issues with teacher wellbeing and workload and intends to address this head on as well. Good mo…

It's not about our students not being school ready, it's about our schools not being 21st Century child ready

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In one of the many fantastic staffroom chats I get to have every week at HPSS there is one that keeps coming back to me. Last week I was chatting to my lovely colleague Heemi McDonald (make sure you read his blog) about the growing regularity of school leader meetings I seem to be sitting in on where educators are voicing concerns about increasing numbers of students coming in with more learning needs than before. Principals now more than ever are struggling with meeting the diverse needs of young children and young adults with increasingly complex needs. I myself have engaged in discussion where we have tried to find the source of these "issues". Is it the development in medicine that has seen more premature babies survive who may have experienced all kinds of complications? Is the increased screen time? Is it the sugar and processed food? The increasing amount of time toddlers spend in daycare?? The reasons, and ultimately the excuses, for children not being "ready&q…

Claire Victoria Amos: NZ Educators casualties of flawed opinion piece

At the end of last week, Bernadine Oliver-Kerby published an "opinion piece". It has prompted me to pen a letter (sorry it ain't handwritten...).

Dear Bernadine,
Your article started, innocently enough, by voicing a very valid concern, that I am sure would be shared by many parents - "I was simply asking why the children at school were practising handwriting while lying sprawled on the floor." Hey, I believe parents and educators absolutely should be encouraged to question what is going on in the classroom. I applaud your positioning of yourself as nothing more than inquisitive caring parent. If you had genuinely asked this question and then explored and investigated what is actually going on in Modern Learning Environments, I would be here cheering you on. But unfortunately you did not do that. Instead you followed up a seemingly caring and rational question with a whole raft of assumptions and generalisations that quite frankly do more damage than good.
I too…

Amplifying best practice with BYOD and Google Classroom (or any online platform)

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Video - Google Classrooms, Learner Agency & Universal Design for Learning
In this day and age it blows me away that there are still high schools debating whether to introduce Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and then it frustrates me further than when they do go BYOD and they choose to make it optional or drip feed it in level by level.

Those yet to introduce BYOD are doing their students a massive disservice, potentially widening the gap between the "haves and have-nots". Young people need these skills, and considering your school probably has something in the vision or mission statement about preparing young people, you're really not delivering the goods.

And as for those who are doing the slowly, slowly drip feed of BYOD, bravo for taking the first step, but you need to recognise that you are increasing your teacher's workload, not reducing it, and the chances are you are not getting anywhere near the benefits that a one to one BYOD programme can offer.

Yeah, yea…