At our school we are really consciously giving students more agency. I have found that this flexible, student centric approach optimises productivity for many students. Giving choice often promotes ownership. Surely you’ve got to own the work if you chose to do it?
But what about the teachers? Where is our agency? Are we freed up to make choices about how we work, and what we focus on?
With that in mind I led the Wednesday PD session in our English department. Instead of telling them what to work on, or sharing what I was feeling passionate about, we looked at a range of activities they could get busy with.
The activities ranged from getting to grips with Google+ and joining the various groups, to blog categories and reducing the 12 practicing teacher categories down to six. There was time for some cross year level collaboration, and some good old NCEA pre-standard discussions .
What I personally was most keen to get started on was the Mindlab Digital Passport
This Digital Passport is designed to help both teachers and parents understand the NZ Digital Curriculum more fully It is an online course and offers videos, a very brief quiz at the end of each workshop, and additional resources or learning modules. What they do is define much of the terminology and jargon associated with the digital curriculum. They define simple algorithms and computational thinking for Years 1-3, right through to how to create apps for years 8-10. There is not enough time to learn the skills behind the concepts. Rather it is to give teachers and parents an overview of what students from years 1 through to 10 would be expected to cover. And If you like getting certificates, you can get one at the end of each of the four workshops.
In the words of the @NZDigiPassport on Twitter this is “your ticket to navigate the new digital technologies curriculum.”