Kiwi Blend: Blended Learning for Kiwis by Kiwis
 
Please add your thoughts and comments to this post after reading the Activity 2 page. Add a comment by clicking the Comment(s) link in red above on the right.

Respond to this thought provoking statement:

New Zealand now needs a compulsory ICT curriculum for Primary Schools because of the irregularities in the deliverance between schools.
Rosa Jones
9/9/2010

If we are to take ICT seriously we should have a set number of skills to learn at a younger age and these should be added to the national standards for assessment. Only then will they be measurable and able to be standardized across the country. It is not necessary to teach pre-schoolers these skills and they should be installed before high school so that teachers at high school do not need to worry about teaching the skills rather they can use it straight away and then the expectations will be similar for all students.

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Bron
9/10/2010

New Zealand now needs a compulsory ICT curriculum for Primary Schools because of the irregularities in the deliverance between schools.

I believe that it is not necessary to establish an ICT curriculum for Primary Schools. However, I do agree that there are irregularities in deliverance and that these need to be addressed.
For me ICT/e-learning/ m-learning is a thread with which and through which the NZ Curriculum is taught and with which and through which Key Competencies can be addressed. Firstly, a prescribed ICT curriculum and associated tests or standards that dictate which ICT skills you would learn in what year removes any chance of using ICT as a tool and or pedagogy though which the Core Curriculum can be naturally be taught. Teachers could often be required to force links in order to meet the set requirements. Ie. I am in Year 2, I must ‘do’ PowerPoint rather than our topic is so we could….email a source, video a …., etc.

Secondly, you could argue that just because you have an e-learning/ICT curriculum that it does not necessarily follow that you will have quality e-learning experiences in schools. Easily this could lead to the development of ICT skills based teaching practice with little reference to the changing pedagogy that e-learning or m-learning can facilitate. It appeared to me that while the Elm Park School was well-resourced, many of the ways that it was being used were examples of ICT Integration – same pedagogy, new tool.

Addressing irregularities in the deliverance of ICT between schools could have a more flexible approach. Firstly, addressing the irregularities in resourcing would be a good start, ensuring that all schools have a reliable and fast school network, and are saturated with ICT tools. Both of the English schools were well-resourced and if the MOE specifically marked school funds for this area then these disparities would be addressed. As a compromise, the implementation of a school wide ICT strategy could be made compulsory across NZ rather than as specific curriculum area. Extensive teacher PD is also essential to help teacher to come on with the vision and to learn new ICT skills and strategies. Central School emphasised the importance of a school vision and ‘buy in’ from all stakeholders.

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Stan
9/10/2010

New Zealand now needs a compulsory ICT curriculum for Primary Schools because of the irregularities in the deliverance between schools.


The first question we have to ask is why(Grant) in the first instance we would like to teach our children ict based Learning/Teaching?
Is it to satisfy parents? or to play a equal game with partners i.e. Digital natives and Digital immigrants? Or simply following MOE guidelines to attract funding for desired learning ?Are we really wanting to speed up to the moving touring bus? And the second question is based on the answer from the first one, If we do will it necessarily produce the desired result? ICT is not a trend anymore a vehicle to embark on as it is readily available in many parts of New Zealand. Grant quotes (Central school)positively of his outcome from the case study in his school as a successful learning/teaching experience through ICT. Many factors need to be considered for successful implementation of ICT education, like infrastructure, Successful PD program for teacher, Readily available services like (Technician at hand if something goes wrong) The question also comes how well can you drive a car before you can teach someone how to drive.

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Sue
9/10/2010

New Zealand now needs a compulsory ICT curriculum for Primary Schools because of the irregularities in the deliverance between schools.

This posting comes from someone who has very little knowledge of either ECE, Primary or Secondary as I am an adult educator, so please forgive my ignorance here.

O'Neill & O'Neill (2007) speak of the emergence of the new curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007, p.37) and the most important feature of this as being "the inclusion of the so-called competencies - thinking; managing self; using language symbols and texts; relating to others; and participating and contributing, which replace the previous 'essential skills'.

If we take the intention detailed above and then wrap around it the fact that it is the government's intention to create a "well-functioning society of more effective human capital which will cost the state less and enhance the economy" and that the enhancement of human capital is defined as creating a "knowledge economy and society" (O'Neill & O'Neill, 2007, I think it becomes essential for all students of school age to become as ICT literate as possible across a defined and aligned standard.

I believe creating such a standard will ensure that all primary school students are on a level playing field when it comes to ICT when they move to secondary schooling. I believe if they start secondary school with lesser skills than their peers, it will make it hard for them to catch up putting them on a constant backfoot as they then leave secondary school and move forward to adult life.

Creating such a level playing field would therefore enable them to be be active contributors to the knowledge economy and not be excluded from occupational opportunities that demand these skills.

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Wendy
9/11/2010

New Zealand now needs a compulsory ICT curriculum for Primary Schools because of the irregularities in the deliverance between schools.

I agree absolutely that ICT as a tool for learning needs to be integrated into the primary education sector. the tension will always be around the availability of the tools and devices for students to use. It is fine to make a curriculum but you need the technology to make it work. Elm Park has 40 laptops that they share throughout the school.
the other area that i see as a huge area for growth will be in professional development to support the schools and the teachers/facilitators. it is fine for the students to be more capable than the teachers and be leading the learning. teachers will need to understand the basics.
perhaps the way forward is for each school to have a learning coach for all learners (both teachers and students) and an experienced techhy expert to work through issues that managing that technology often presents on a daily basis.
another development could be around virtual learning support so that there was a centralised 'help place' if having these people in schools is too expensive.
the area that we believe we want to focus on for C21st century learning as a primary school is developing the teachers as facilitators of learning - what will that look like?
Where will our learning areas be?
What ICT devices and knowledge will the chn have that we can use and how will we do that?
How will the role of the teacher change?
How can we use the networking skills and enthusisam of the students to further their learning?

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9/11/2010

Hi Stan,

What a great question/analogy to finish with:

"The question also comes how well can you drive a car before you can teach someone how to drive."

This has cropped up many times throughout our thought discussions and seminars, that teaching training including pre-service and ongoing professional development is absolutely key, regardless of whether we have a ICT standards/skills curriculum approach or not.

What do you see as being the vital, non-negotiable components of an effection professional learning and development programme?

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Anne Hilton
9/11/2010

Hi Sue and Stan
Sue I think that you probably know more than you think you know. Your argument has merit and like Stan said in his closing statement. Who is effectively going to do the teaching as not all teachers at primary level are competent in ICT. Maybe then competency at training college is the answer to over come this problem.

Anne

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Anne Hilton
9/11/2010

Hi Wendy

I like your idea of a learning coach to assist teachers and perhaps a techy. Maybe these could be shared amongst several schools that are situated close together.

There is also the concept of virtual learning classroom that could be incorporate into ICT teaching. If timetabled along the lines of the ICT suite that lots of schools have, then perhaps the need for only one personal through the VLN could solve the problem of teachers feeling unable to teach these skills.

How does this idea appeal?

I certainly had not thought of those concepts before.

Anne

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Wendy
9/12/2010

Hi Anne and everyone
i like your ideas of VLN and think this could work with groups of schools - it would need to be fairly timely help as our students 'want it all and they want it now' I wnder how many students a VLN could support. Interesting

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Bron
9/14/2010

Hi!

I went to the MOE Roadshow this week, Learning without Limits, in Central Auckland and some of the discussion revolved around the Digital divide and disparity of e-learning between schools. Interestingly, the solution appeared to be a more centralized approach to accessing ICT tools and equipment (especially faster Broadband).

There was also discussion about what teacher PD was essential to address this disparity, seeing as the PD Clusters are gone. At my table of 6 Principals, the key for them was strong vision and leadership and funding to provide in-school support. No mention of an ICT Curriculum..;-)

The question then is...how do you get the Principals and leaders of schools to have the similar vision without instilling a compulsory ICT Curriculum?

Regards,
Bron.

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Anne Hilton
9/15/2010

Hi Bron
This is a very thought provoking question. Unless the principals want this they will use ICT as an individual selling point for the school and as schools are more market driven to retain students those that are ahead in the ICT world wont want to be seen as the same as others.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. However this type of thinking does not aid the fledging schools and only I feel when it is compulsory to a certain standard will some schools make an effort. There are also a whole lot of other issues such as PD and funding then to be considered.

This is a very thorny idea and concept.

Anne

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Maggie
9/15/2010

Hi guys,

Good to see an intersting conversation has been going on here. I know I'm coming into it late, but the question that this statement immediately raises for me is if the ICT curriculum becomes compulsory, who is going to teach the new teachers coming through? The tertiary institutions are ill-equipped to do this in my view, with ICT being seen as an add-on.

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Anne Hilton
9/16/2010

Hi Maggie and everyone else

That is a worrying idea, and I guess it will be a little like the roll out of NUMPH and have to be funded by the MOE initially. I really dont think that it is going to become a curriculum area but if it was it would certainly change the obvious imbalance that is occurring at present in Primary schools.

Any ideas anyone else on how to meet this problem head on. Maybe a deal with mircosoft or apple could solve the problem. It is really where the government puts their priorities which currently obviously isn't in education.

Anne

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9/16/2010

Hi Maggie and all,
I am sure your claim Maggie that pre-service education training in tertiary institutions see ICT as being an add-on would be loudly argued by some as being untrue. Would you be bold enough to state that in the staffroom at the Turitea campus?
It is not that I disagree with you at all, I also think that preservice training does a disservice to elearning and elearning pedagogy which should been a dominant theme that is integrated throughout all curriculum and professional learning theory.
However on the flip side, effective elearning is based around effective pedagogy and a solid understanding and application in this area and the skill of a teacher to transfer this knowledge across to other areas is are great trait. Putting elearning aside, is there a really robust enough programme of effective pedagogical understanding and theory in our tertiary pre-service programmes? Are current PRTs well grounded?
Pre-service education should be about preparing teachers to effectively implement the beliefs and aims of the New Zealand Curriculum. Elearning, with reference to the NZC, is a feature of effective pedagogy and not a separate bit on the side. If tertiary institutions are not acknowledging this then they are not inline with the intent of the NZC.
Does this mean there should be an ICT curriculum? I don't think so. ICT infused into learning becomes invisible and normalised, it is simply the way learning happens. Pulling ou skills will reinforce elearning as an add on, not and effective and integration component of learning and teaching.

Nick

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    Activity 2: Blended Learning in Primary Education