Wednesday, 18 March 2015


The internet is a powerful thing, yes we're living in the 21st century. But ICT is not what MLP is ALL about. I've just finished reading Lyn Ross' (2014) presentation. She is a CORE consultant with extensive knowledge of MLE and MLP. I started reading from about slide 14. It's great to read and know that we've personalised our space to promote learning. We're working on personalising the learning more and more to target our students learning.

Key points:
  • learning requires thinking
I know, that's not exactly ground breaking. But the ability to 'think' about learning is, and to be cognisant of the learning process and to use 'metacognition' in action, these are all things that show 'learning requires thinking'.

  • learners need to be actively engaged
It's not rocket science, but teaching learners to be learners can be like rocket science. Engaging them and awakening their curiosity is what PBL (problem based learning) is all about. We've recently purchased a set of ACTIVE MINDS boxes. They are INCREDIBLE. Seriously, if you've not got one / two / three of them? GET THEM. The sheer chaos and enthusiasm in my classroom was 'OFF THE CHAIN' ;-D. Check them out:

Our students were actively engaged in this learning. NO ICT was involved. Just good old curiosity and OPEN-ENDED science tasks, such as how can we make a paper plane fly the futherest, or let's make the pig fly. VERY COOL TASKS. The level of engagement was incredibly infectious. We teachers ended up trying to work out how to complete the tasks.

  • learners have to want to learn
  • learners have feel in charge of their own learning
  • learners needs to develop in-depth knowledge

We've really worked hard to develop strategies to engage our students with their learning, to foster a love of it, to encourage the students to be in charge of their own learning. For a majority of our students, this flexi-learning space (early days of course, albeit an 'under-construction' space) has supported them to realise their ability to be independent learners. There's a core group of students that just GET ON WITH IT. They love the freedom to choose when and what to learn during SDA (self directed activities). We're not completely there yet, in terms of timing all of our teaching workshops. But Maths is working very well. We have set times, that each of our groups have to attend, these are our workshops. They then fit their independent learning in and around that. They choose which activity and space will work for them daily. In time, I hope to have all the BYOD students adding their workshops to their personal google calendar, with reminders beeping at them to get ready for their workshops. On the walls and windows we have a scaffold of how to win a pin. It's got pictures of the things they must bring and do to win a pin. (refer to PART 4 for the breakdown on Independent licence and our PIN system). Personalised learning space is a huge part of Poutama. Below is some recently acquired furniture and furnishings, kindly donated by D.Peck, our wonderful principal.

  • learners need to be encouraged to search for the right approach
  • learning involves interaction
  • learning usually needs structure
Our vision: we will provide all the workshop times that students must attend, then they'll be able to even more successfully 'TIMETABLE' their learning. This is to further promote STUDENT AGENCY. We want our students to fully take charge of their learning, and know that CHOICE is an important skill to have have as a life long learner. Lyn Ross (2014) sites that problem solving as a process is the learning NOT just the answer. I feel that we have strived to support our students to learn how to problem solve. I see our students one day being able to think:
"oh, I can't do my collaborative task because my buddy is at his maths workshop, or at 12.30-1.00 we can book space x and then collaborate."

This is a timetable that my colleague modelled after Russell Street schools visual timetable. We project this on a TV in the think space. It's also available on our class blog with links for the students to go to in order to be set up for the day. As teachers, we always provide structure, it's a given that students LOVE knowing boundaries. As you can see in this timetable, our maths workshop times are given. As mentioned, we hope to eventually have all teacher workshops recorded, so that the students know when to meet with us.

Presently, we're focussed on INQUIRY. We want our learners to ENQUIRE into the LEARNING PROCESS through technology. At Riverdale, we have TE AKO RITENGA, it is our cyclic model of the learning process (more on it here: RIVERDALE INQUIRY, nb- this observation is a little outdated, so I'll update it in a new post). Our students apply EXPLORE in a range of learning contexts. Technology is just one of the many ways we have begun to promote this learning process. Through EXPLORE the students are focussed on DESIGNING. This will encourage them to understand the technology process at the planning level.

In summary, based on the presentation I've read. I know that our collaborative teaching is demonstrating many of the facets of effective pedagogy in action. Are we all the way there? OF COURSE NOT! We're on 7 weeks into it, but we're moving at LIGHT SPEED. I'm really proud of our work ethic, passion and drive to succeed. We're not in the practice of preparing our LEARNERS for intermediate or highschool, where they sit in rows, and regurgitate knwoledge and do 1hour of homework, we're preparing our LEARNERS to meet the demands of the future, an uncertain future, a future where jobs will not look like what they look like right now, one where the ability to CHOOSE and ENQUIRE will prevail, not simply the random reciting of generic knowledge. We're supporting our LEARNERS to be life long LEARNERS that know how to PROBLEM SOLVE and ENQUIRE.


Personalised learning image link

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