One for my Kiwi readers to begin their week…
Newsletter from the Ethos Online Community – August 2015
Kia ora, talofa lava, and greetings,
August has been turbulent, with high-points, and low points. With great sadness, I share that, Ed Flagg, a dear friend and colleague and member of the community since May 2010, met with a fatal accident at his home in the States. Ed was an accomplished researcher and writer, as well as a generous, compassionate soul – with a wicked sense of humour, and a strong sense of justice. We would often meet with other colleagues to talk about life, learning, students, eLearning and gnarly philosophical points. He shared some key takeaways in this wonderful reflection. Ed will be sorely missed and always remembered; arohanui to his wife, Amy, and young son, Keenan. Kia kaha.
For every down there is an up. Also in August, Ako Aotearoa announced that a lovely friend and colleague, Lara Tookey (who joined the community in May 2015) is the recipient of an Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching 2015. In the announcement Lara is described as a “dynamic, inclusive and inspirational teacher in the field of Quantity Surveying, Construction and Engineering Technology”, who is “highly successful at teaching students from a wide variety of backgrounds, many of whom are educationally disadvantaged”. And “this has seen women succeed in a male dominated discipline and inspired many students, some of whom had never experienced academic success, to continue to higher level studies”. Congratulations, Lara – awesome!!!
Another really positive story shared by the wonderful Natali Rojas (who joined the community in May 2014), was regarding her shift in location as well as career focus: “What an incredible journey! I have spent the last few weeks landing into this special place, reconnecting with the whānau of friends and the whenua. I am working on a few Māori exhibitions that are opening at the end of the year as part of my new role here at Te Manawa, feeling inspired and grateful for this amazing opportunity. One of the exhibitions involves work from Saffronn Te Ratana, and I wanted to share this video where she talks about her mahi and her piece “Whakarongo ki te karanga”. Waimarie, Natali – good fortune, and go well.
Welcome to new members – August 2015
The Ethos Online Community now has 370 members. Hope you will all give a warm haere mai (welcome) to new members to the community who joined in August:
From Port Lincoln, Australia, we welcome Margaret Campbell. Margaret is an educator interested in the effects of technology.
Andrew Cowie, based in Auckland, is a Consultant and Facilitator in Future Focused Education. Andrew’s interest in ICT enhanced learning lies particularly in how it may support, extend and empower learning and learners. In particular, how digital literacies and behaviour can enrich storytelling, improve equity and how we can effectively share innovative ideas.
Again from Auckland, we have lecturer, Haami Lindsay. Haami is interested in how ICT can affect the overall learning experience.
We also welcome ex-principal and primary school teacher, now working as a learning and ICT facilitator in Otago, Greg Caroll. Greg helps lead the Learning with Digital Technologies programme across NZ on behalf of CORE Education.
Another Auckland dweller, Maria Elizabeth Heron, is a school principal focusing on how ICT may influence enhanced student achievement.
Know anyone who would like to join an international Online Community that’s all about learning – across all education sectors, business & ITOs: http://bit.ly/1GHWjFa? Please invite them :)
Member Blog Posts and discussions
In this newsletter, as always we have some great posts. Please jump into the conversation and feel free to ask questions.
Our featured blogger for August is Tessa Gray. In her post, Teachers are doing it for themselves – PLD that is!, Tessa weighs in on the surge of educators taking PLD into their own hands. More educators are now actively participating in online communities of practice. Tessa points out the amazing things these networks can facilitate (events, discussions, resource sharing, accessibility etc.) and how this ultimately goes on to positively influence the quality of the learning experience. This post is also jam-packed with fantastic resources on, and advice about, the subject and tools that can be used for PLD.
A big congratulations to Nathaniel Louwrens who had his first article published in none other than the prestigious Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning. And he was kind enough to share it with us. In Student and Teacher Perceptions of Online Student Engagement in an Online Middle School Nathaniel and Maggie Hartnett attempt to directly address the gap that exists in understanding student engagement in online and distance learning environments. The article (based on Nathan’s 2012 masters research) considers three key dimensions of student engagement – behavioural, cognitive, and emotional – to explore what engages students when they learn online.
Backlash or Implementation Dip? examines the new set of questions that seem to have arisen around digital technologies. Leigh Hynes points out a recent shift in attitude; it seems society has gone from being awestruck at the potential provided by digital technologies to questioning the negative consequences. Leigh suggests this may be an implementation dip – the immersion into disillusionment. She also discusses the importance of the questions being asked and looks at why questioning, rather than complaining, is key.
Sarah Whiting asks the question, how do we support students, parents and whānau to not only understand but embrace the direction of learning spaces and what it means for our learners? Sarah believes the answer lies in purposeful, meaningful learning and learning spaces, as well as using imagery that reflects your audience to demonstrate this. In The Concept of Purposeful Learning, Sarah gives two very simple and understandable examples. These could very effectively translate into a range of situations.
As always you have contributed a superb variety of posts this month. Thank you. Here are some of the posts and topics that you may find of interest:
Staying safe online is always a pertinent topic. Making the most of learning and teaching online: Fostering skills and strategies to stay safe looks at how age-appropriate, engaging, interactive safety sessions for all students could be a potentially effective way of enabling students to make the most of all the opportunities the online world presents while staying savvy and safe. This post delves into the in effectiveness of policies which merely block or ban students from using digital technologies. There are also some informative resources for teacher, parents and schools.
Involved or engaged: What’s the difference? examines a topic that seems to be gaining momentum at the moment – whether parents or communities should be involved or engaged in their children’s learning or place of learning. The post tries to explain the difference between the two terms and the implications of both.
Many learners are working with Dyslexia, ADHD, and other challenges that make it tough to learn in current education systems that are often designed to meet the needs of the ‘average’ student. The speakers in this video (A mentoring movement for different thinkers) are involved in a mentoring initiative in the United States that aims, through art and ‘talking’ to support learners who are different thinkers. It is a wonderful example of how openness, connection, relationships and caring can make a huge difference – for the learner and their family.
Inspirational – one of five Maori Painters: Saffronn Te Ratana is a great interview with the artist and her new installation. Natali Rojas shared this video saying that she is “working on a few Māori exhibitions that are opening at the end of the year as part of my new role here at Te Manawa…[and I] wanted to share this video where she talks about her mahi and her piece “Whakarongo ki te karanga”.
From the ever growing repository of videos (1,180 in total – thanks as always to John S Oliver for his awesome contributions), these are a just few of the highlights.
In this video Simon Sinek looks at the benefits of reciprocity in mentoring. Sinek answers the question “at this moment in your life, where are you seeking advice and coaching?” Sinek notes how he is taking an approach to better balance mentor-mentee relationships in his life. Specifically, he chooses to mentor someone only if it is a reciprocal relationship, i.e. the mentee also plays a mentor role and vice versa. An interesting thought.
This video has some real gems about the benefits of peer coaching to move beyond advocacy into inquiry. The speaker talks of how teachers working and planning together, while also offering support and asking questions, impacts teaching practice in ways that generic workshops don’t. Also important was duration. Because the programme works over an extended period of time, there is time to trial, reflect and evaluate, then to tweak, and trial again. Well worth a watch: Some of the benefits of peer coaching for teacher professional development .
Ten characteristics of adult learners is a short video that covers the characteristics many adult learners will have and gives some brief examples of what they might look like in practice.
This video shows some facilitation techniques that you may find useful in groups where you are working to restore balance, or in which you are keen to ensure that everyone has a voice.
Popular author, John Green, talks about different types of learners and styles of learning. John emphasises that just because someone may not function well in a classroom situation, doesn’t mean they don’t have a love for learning and a huge amount of potential. Take a look: John Green on Paper Towns and Why Learning is Awesome.
Another resource to fuel the fire – Phones in class – yes or no? Leigh Hynes shares the slides she created for a school debating cell phone regulations. These include some fantastic apps and links on how phones can aid the classroom experience. Leigh has a unique and insightful view on the subject. She ponders whether “some teachers use the cellphone issue as a control mechanism – they want to control when and how the student gets instruction from them”. Leigh suggests that there are plenty of other (more effective) ways to get instructions across and capture attention. One of which being a flipped classroom. Click on the above link to get all of Leigh’s helpful tips on working with technology, not against it – and join the conversation.
A great resource from Jan-Marie Kellow; her own blog! In the post, Inquiring Mind, Jan-Marie links us to her e-learning and student inquiry focused blog. Great for gathering information on such topics and sharing your own thoughts on the subjects discussed.
Tessa Gray has shared this very informative webinar recording from the VLN community. In Pakirehua: Teaching as Inquiry With a Maori World View Tammy Gardiner and Marama Reweti-Martin (Te Toi Tupu) give “some food for thought around the whakapapa [history and origins] of Pakirehua, they enlightened us with some understandings about the research that sits behind a Māori world view of inquiry and shared stories of success – where kaiako [teachers] have adopted knowledge building processes in their own learning contexts to help accelerate achievement for Māori students”.
This brilliant Prezi created by Maria Andersen looks at how children’s natural curiosity and love for learning changes at some point. When children become more adult they can tend to lose enthusiasm for the idea of formal learning. How to get ‘fun’ back into education explores why ‘play’ has such a bad rap and figures out how to get it back in education.
This post shares a new Publication from Association for Learning Technology (ALT). The new study focuses on “Material matters for learning in virtual networks: A case study of a professional learning programme hosted in a Google+ online community” by Aileen Ackland and Ann Swinney.
Lots of other things happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) including the The 2015 International Conference on e-Commerce, e-Administration, e-Society, e-Education, and e-Technology Fall Session (e-CASE and e-Tech 2015-Fall) to be held in Kyoto, Japan on September 8th. The aim of this conference is to provide a platform which helps deal with certain important topics of e-Commerce, e-Administration, e-Society, e-Education, and e-Technology. Find all further details in the above link.
Please feel free to add events to share them, or just let me know and I’ll add them :-)
Many thanks once again to Tessa Gray, John S. Oliver, Nathaniel Louwrens, Lynda Walsh-Pasco, Monika Kern, Clint Samaseia, Leigh Hynes, Sarah Whiting, and Jan-Marie Kellow. Much gratitude too to Charlotte Caines for doing the lion’s share of work putting this monthly newsletter together. Please keep your posts (including cross-posts), comments and recommendations coming :-)
Nāku iti nei, faafetai lava, and warm regards
Education consultant / Director
Ethos Consultancy NZ Ltd
PO Box 90391, Victoria Street West,
Phone +64 (0)9 9738027 / +64 (0)9 5750206
Mobile +64 (0)21 2273777
Web site: http://www.ethosconsultancynz.com/