Saturday, 31 May 2014

Know Your Learners

One of the themes that was recurrent during the recent DEANZ conference was the importance of getting to know your learners. Along with the call (aimed more at Higher Ed. delegates) to be ready because these connected, confident and digitally minded kids are coming to you next! I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to get to meet some of our learners over the last couple of days while tagging along to VPLD Hui in Auckland.
Orere students let me know before i arrived that after my visit 'I would never be the same again!' What has been experienced can never be unexperienced - it was great to get to meet you and help you move forward in your online learning :-)

Teaching online (without a camera) is like teaching in the dark, we don't see those visual cues, a puzzled look, a spark of understanding or even a yawn! It takes a lot longer to get to know our students, what their needs and interests are; particularly more so if they are shy and stand back from interactions. We are really looking forward to having the critical mass of bandwidth enabled schools to turn on the cameras soon.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Sole Charge & Rural Teaching Principals Conference

I have spent the last day at Sole Charge & Rural Teaching Principals Conference in Palmerston North, connecting with many of our VLN Primary principals and sharing our story.

It is great to have this time with Principals away from the busy distractions of daily school life and to talk about what matters for our students and how we can work together to make a difference to their learning.
Principals from the Rural/Remote Schools Project
Our conversations now are no longer so much about how does this online learning stuff work, and what can we learn together (although there is still some of this in introducing new schools). We know it works and we are aware of the potential there is to push the boundaries in learning opportunities for our students. Conversations are now beginning to move into how can we build this capability across our schools, and how can we improve what we are doing? What are our children achieving through their participation in their online classes and how is it making a tangible difference to their learning. What evidence have we got to support our understandings beyond anecdotal feedback & observations. Time to step things up another gear!


Thursday, 15 May 2014

There are some things you just can't say in 140 words!

Social Media has taken over my professional life and so BardWired has been parked for some time as other work blogs & social media streams take precedence in my time poor days.
In the beginning there was just, then came Flickr and wahoo i could put pictures in my blog posts. Now i post, for awhile and still sometimes at VPLD and Ethos, Google+, Facebook & Twitter. Maybe i am on the road to wrangling this web beast with HootSuite.
There are some things to write about that just don't fit anywhere else and that you just can't say in 140 words either. May this be a return to MY blog - I hope so, I've missed you BardWired.