No teachers mentioned VLN - students at this school have not had success in the past - mainly due to a mix of the following -mismatch of subject and student, lack of self management skills, VC teacher competence.1 student currently taking a subject through VC. I teacher teaching a VC sub. Reading by Gerbic (2011) - the research identified 4 conceptions of blended learning - practice so far at RAS mainly reflects “ Providing students with information ” no connection between the learning outcomes and the media - role of teacher still emphasised. At this stage existing practice may be replicated online - the literature reviewed by Gerbic cites lack of time and professional support reason for the potential of the technology and reality.
Paul Bacsich - monolithic organisations like Te Kura are left alone in other countries - not networked with
Paul Bacsich states that blended learning is needed as a foundation to make virtual learning work. As the younger students take part in online learning, communication and collaboration most will feel at home in this environment.It is interesting to note that most teaching staff and management feel that only students who have self management skills are able to succeed in distance learning courses. Bolstad and Lin(2010) states that this is not the case and found that online distance teachers need to be proactive and engage their students by ensuring that they show the students that they care about them as learners. Also the home school needs to actively support the students.
Bolstad (2010) states that all students have the potential to be online learners.
The author of Karamea Area school ’ s review concluded that slow paced professional development was needed. This is true for all three schools. Blended teaching and learning must be based on pedagogy. Teachers need to be given time to explore web tools, and their use, to assist them to deliver the curriculum. Hardware is an issue in all three schools. Reefton Area school has found that laptop pods do not stand up to multi users. A small number of students are bring their own laptops as they are at Westland High School. This is working at the moment as numbers are small. However, as the number brought in grows other issues will need to be addressed - how will the network be adapted to cope? What procedures need to be put in place?
Students may be the only one taking the course in their home school, an online community developed around the subject would help alleviate a student ’ s isolation. Te Kura teachers emphasised the need for a regular supervisor at the home school to guide the student that needs help. Te Kura have developed a 2010 - 2012 E learning Strategic and Action Plan that is in the early stages of implementation. The document describes the need for personalised learning that engages students. It was interesting that some home schools do not cooperate fully with Te Kura, for example, students have difficulty printing work or may not have access to the technology needed to complete work. As already mentioned by this author above, Paul Bacsich stated in Christchurch this year, in other countries monolithic education organisations like Te Kura are left alone. This is counter to the research by Bolstad and Lin (2010) that states it is crucial to support online learners in the home school. However, it is not to say the teachers at home schools do not support Te Kura students - it may be a school ’ s bureaucracy.
WESTeastA review of Reefton Area School as part of a wider review of 4 west coast schools and their link with Te Kura
MethodRevisit Institutional Review (2010) What has changed?Survey teaching staff - practice, beliefs in relation to blended/networked learningInterview key staff - management, VC/Distance learning teacher - networks - existing and possibilitiesInterview a number of senior students - perceptions of blended/networkedlearningCollaborate with Karamea, Westland and Greymouth tocompare/contrast
Method contd. Connections with Te Kura - current situation Analysis of current networks Future directions in relation to networked schooling
2010 review revisited Key changes since 2010Some senior students bring their own device to schoolipods in the two junior classesStaff have an understanding of blended teaching/learning and haveparticipated in professional developmentMany students are able to access materials/communicate in an onlineenvironmentThe school’s strategic plan contains goals and expectations about onlinecommunication outside of the school day
Teaching Staff Key points from survey and general discussion on networked learning/schools Current Networks Use of lap tops, desktops is Te Kura Sport Canterbury daily in most classes Westnet National Library/NorthWest Careers NZ Google used at a basic level Trades Academy Gateway/employers email, phone, LMS Power point still used most - at basic level Assistance needed time Web tools/LMS used BYOD for online resources/communicationhardware not meeting Wiki needs so flipped Edublog Moodleclassroom might be the Google site answer Schoolzone Technology wish list Edmodo You Tube ipods, reliable lap tops, adobe connect, BYOD integration
Teaching Staff Key points from survey and general discussion on networked learning/schools Benefits of networking witheducational agencies/schools Barriers of networking with educational agencies/schools Overcomes isolation Sharing skills Time Sharing information Distance Sharing expertise Hardware not effective Shared planning System problems Moderating Size of schools - better if they are Access to resources May not be reciprocal Maximise expertise Communication can be difficult - used as Shared planning an excuse by some students Sports Support Te Kura Obvious networking partnersCollegial and collaborative TOSI networkEssential for Distance Learning support Need inspiration who ever we network withNot always up to date to reflect ict/blended learningpractices
Management Perspectives Networked schooling Established procedures for Westnet Issues raised VLNOnline relationships need to be worked on Te KuraStudents need to develop self managing PorseTeachers need to build students competencies Open Polytechnicthrough building their own Tai Poutini PolytechOpen teachers eyes to the possibilities Fairview MotorsFlexible time table needs to be developed Waikato University TOSI area schools might be an obvious network to build further
Students Distance Learning Positives All of the students interviewed mentioned that the most positive aspect of distance learning was the ability to choose when to work. They all Currently there are acknowledged, some with prompting, that 4 students enrolled with Telford (Agriculture)distance learning courses offered more variety and 16 students enrolled with Te Kura allowed them to take courses not offered at the 4 students enrolled with PORSE (ECE) school. 8 students enrolled with Fairview(automotive) Negatives 1 student enrolled with HITO (Hairdressing) Most students 7 students enrolled with Tourism course mentioned the lack 1 student enrolled with Waikato University Skills Needed of 1 student enrolled in VLN course through All of the students interviewed immediate Westnet stated that self management feedback if they skills are important as it was had a problem. easy to be distracted from completing work on time. Networking All of the students stated that they got most support from teachers on site. One student was not aware they could at contact their tutor or course controller. Contact is by email. Most students had not contacted their distance tutor to all, relying on onsite support. So, the information shows that the students are not using any on-line networks support their learning other than completing the course materials. Also, they are not networking with other students completing the same course at a distance.
Distance learning coordinators On Te Kura... On Westnet... Internal systems seem to need revising - One student at Reefton Area School isthere seems to be a lack of communication taking a VLN course. The interviewee between personnel. teaches a class through the VLN.Individual teacher records do not seem to Westnet provides PD for the ecoordinators be very good from each member school- online OTLE learning management system is a meetings, ehui once a year. Marlborough positive step - needs to be extended to all has just joined Westnet. The courses courses and expanded so that all offered are quite diverse amongst the assignments etc can be uploaded. This members of this network. This would give coordinators an oversight to interviewee has branched out to a wider assist students to manage workload network - Cantanet - as,professional development wise, needs are no longer met by the smaller network. Students’networks There are networks available for students taking distance courses. Currently, the students do not make use of them. Most rely on the on site teachers for support - this is not often the best support as the on site teachers may not be experts in the online subjects. Education needed to make students aware of the necessity of using these support networks to increase their chances of being successful in their chosen fields. One aspect that may help future students in collaboration and communication is the use of blended learning teaching and learning strategies throughout their schooling from an early age.
How does Reefton Area School compare to two otherwest coast schools...Four west coast schools were reviewed under the broad headings. This page describes aspects of a review of two of the schools and where thefindings can be compared to Reefton Area School. The findings which relate specifically to Te Kura will be discussed on the following slide The review described a similar process to Reefton The review found that there is a demand for Area School for directing senior students into suitable Information Technology in classes and that BYOD was online courses meeting this need in some way. There is a need for 6 students are enrolled at Te Kura, 2 students are Professional Development to develop a pedagogical taking a course through the VLN and 2 students are basis around research - to counter the current reliance enrolled at Telford or focus on internet research 4 students receive music tuition from Christchurch School systems need to be ready to cope with UFB Every second year a teacher at this school teaches an Online course are more successful when regular online course through Westnet to meet its contact with tutors commitments to this network Current Principal networks could make more use of UFB will not be available until 2014(Stage 1), Reefton online meetings Area School should be connected by the end of 2014 Primary and Secondary Principals do not network in a (Stage2) planned way VC halves the internet speed at the school West Coast schools do not network, teachers only e asTTle cannot be used as the current system cannot informally - this was substantiated by staff at Reefton manage - this is also the case in Reefton Staff perspectives There are similar concerns at both these schools and Reefton Area School in regard to blended teaching and learning... Lack of time, hardware issues, teacher knowledge, access to IT by students, network issues, application to NZC. Teaching staff see the need for professional development, reliable equipment, technical support person and guidelines and/or expectations for teachers as they begin to offer blended learning opportunities for students
Te Kura - current situation from Te Kura teachers and management perspective (Southern Region)Te Kura is an integral part of Reefton Area School’s senior study programme. Te Kura enables students to study topics not offered at their home school,as the the senior students interviewed commented. The students are able tie distance subjects to their chosen career pathway.Currently, Te Kura is not viewed by the students as a learning network. As in Karamea Area School, work is delivered by post and there is little or nocommunication between student and tutor other than on paper. Barriers/areas of improvementTe Kura teachers and management Connectivity of students - both at home and schoolCurrent Greater understanding of funding issues by schoolsPush for more online courses that will lead to better communicationEmphasise the need a regular supervisor at home school Stronger communication network between Te Kura teachersHave access to email, skype, Adobe Connect and phone and in school supervisorsHave developed a 2010 - 2012 E learning Strategy and Action Plan Greater use of OTLE - to provide resources andHave appointed a staff member to assist colleagues with communication - asynchronous contact suited to student’sdevelopment and delivery of online courses needOnline teachers have an ipad in acknowledgement of time needed to Greater use of Adobe Connect and VCdevelop online courses Parent attitudesTe Aho students (Years 7 -10) have online integrated classes All of the above will lead to greater communication between Te Kura, students and home schools.
Analysis of current networksLearning networks 42 senior students are enrolled in a distance learning course at Reefton Area School. Most of the students do not see themselves as partof a learning network. The students rarely contact their distance tutors. They do not network with other students in their course. Thissituation may be helped by the following: students experience blending learning environments from a young age where theycommunicate and collaborate online, Te Kura continue to increase the use of OTLE and implement their E learning Strategic and ActionPlan to personalise learning for their students, the school’s distance learning coordinator facilitate communication between students anddistance tutors. Westnet works through VLN to provide courses for West Coast students and now Marlborough has joined. Thisnetwork would be an obvious one to develop learning networks further amongst its member schools.School networksThe school has established networks with distance learning providers. Previously, when there were school advisors working in allcurriculum areas,the Westnet network was used to deliver PD through the virtual learning network. This was a positive and effectiveway to provide PD. Reefton’s isolation means that it is not possible for teachers to attend 1 - 2 hour workshops after school in othercentres. This delivery was effective(in most cases).This is not available now through change in government policy. The VLN is still aneffective mode of delivery for PD and needs to be looked at again - perhaps the Westnet network can look at this again. West Coastschools have networked in the past to work on the new curriculum. The staff at Reefton School were asked which schools did theysee as potential network members . There was a mixed reaction. Some staff thought that is was important to link with bigger schoolas they had more to offer - this would be more of a parasitic relationship rather than a partnership. Some staff thought that anyenergy put in to developing networks with other schools should deliver inspiration... On the whole staff thought that the AreaSchools network was the most natural one to develop as there are commonalities in so many areas. The schools have along way to goin developing networked schools as described in the Learning Communities Online Handbook(2011)
Future DirectionsAs already discussed there are several ways to move forward in terms of networked learning -Professional Development - to continue and further develop teachers’ knowledge and skills interms of blended teaching and learning. This is an area where this author can work with teachers.One of the six emerging principles for a 21st century education system, as described by Bolstadand Gilbert (2012), is a culture of continuous learning for teachers and educational leaders. Itwould be good to examine this report in detail with the staff.Develop online environments for younger students to foster online communication andcollaboration skills. I will continue to develop our class wiki to foster communication andcollaboration and assist other teachers develop online communication tools for their students.Explore BYOD. Investigate management strategies. A report by Watson (nd) states that in thefuture students are likely to be working in an environment that involves information gatheringand critical thinking - sharing a computer is not a realistic preparation for this type of work.Work with Te Kura as this organisation implements its E Learning strategy and action plan.Develop the Area Schools network in terms of teaching and learning. This is already in place interms of sport and cultural activities. There has been a move in this direction for professionaldevelopment. Trust needs to be further developed so that all participants can contribute in goodfaith. The Learning Communities Online Handbook (2011) is a valuable tool for this process.
References Bacsich, P & Davis, N. A conversation at Canterbury University.(2012). http://connect.canterbury.ac.nz/p3yhw9dymp5/ Barbour et al (2011). Online and Blended Learning: A Survey of Policy and Practice of K-12 Schools Around the World. Retrieved from http://www.inacol.org/research/bookstore/detail.php?id=31 Bolstad, R. & Lin, M (2010). Students’ experiences of learning in virtual classrooms. Wellington:New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Bolstad, R. & Gilbert, J.(2012). Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching - a New Zealand perspective. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Dabner, N. & Chowfin, A. (2011). Project-based professional development: Reflections in and on action implementing blended learning with primary school students (HTML). Computers in New Gerbic, P. (2011): Teaching using a blended approach – what does the literature tell us?, Educational Media International, 48(3), 221-234 Ministry of Education (2011). Learning Communities Online (LCO) Handbook. Retrieved February 10, 2011 from http://www.vln.school.nz/pg/groups/2644/lco-handbook/ Pratt, K. & Trewern, A. (2011). Students’ experiences of flexible learning options: What can they tell us about what they need for success? Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning, Teaching, Technology, 23 (2), 137-152. Watson, J. (2009). Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-To-Face Education [N. America moving from entirely distance to include F2F]. Retrieved January 10, 2012 from http://www.inacol.org/research/promisingpractices/index.php Te Kura - The Correspondence School - E learning Strategy and Action Plan, 2010 – 2012