The Classroom of the Future

This week I have the privilege of presenting a series of lectures at a familiar place, Australian Catholic University in East Melbourne. Each year I am only to happy to oblige when asked to come back to speak to tertiary students. As a practising educator, I believe it is a moral and professional obligation to prepare our pre-service teachers in the best possible way that we can.

For fairly recent graduates like myself, and for the generation of teachers to come, we face a sticky situation. The students in our care are likely to see the end of this century, if not the next. How will our education system adequately prepare our students for a largely unknown world?

The title of the lectures will appropriately be called “The Classroom of the Future”.

The idea of any classroom of the future is a daunting prospect. Where will learning take place? Who will be involved in learning? What will learning be “defined” as?

One thing is clear. The only constant of the future will be change. With that, technology will continue to have an evolving impact on the world as we know it, and bring with it both positive and negative implications that are associated with it. One only needs to step back briefly and appreciate how quickly technology has developed in the last 40 years, to the technologies that are beckoning to us in 2014 to realise that it is almost impossible to predict the world and technology in the decades to come.

It is imperative that we start focussing on the rich technology available now and the opportunities that it provides, as well as sound pedagogies that maximise student outcomes and genuinely prepares them for an evolving world in which we can only dream about. Let alone the future, our current work force demands it of us. However, empty promises and lessons from the past teach us that technology as a tool does nothing by itself. It’s up to us, as educators of the future, to harness its true potential… and it’s time we started taking it seriously.

As part of this lecture, I have updated our school’s progress of Genius Hour after some recent work with Notosh’s Tom Barrett. I truly believe, that the Genius Hour model is just one way in which students are appropriately engaged with school, and fosters the cognitive skills required for the current and future work force. This reflects the ideas of Ewan Mcintosh, of developing problem finders and not problem solvers, Guy Claxton’s Three Rs and Three Cs on the point of school, and Dan Pink’s Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose of performance.

Both sets of slides can be found below

The Classroom of the Future

GeniusHour @ St. Mark’s Primary School

 

 

Google Apps For Education Summit Sydney (2014)

Next week the 2014 Google Apps For Education Summit tour lands in Sydney. Last year’s summit in January 2013 was the real starting point for me and my school’s journey with Google Apps For Education. This year I have the privilege of sharing 2 presentations at the Sydney summit. All of my presentations and resources can be found below:

 

Unleashing the potential of Google Forms:

http://prezi.com/embed/u3tzvjf-cv1w/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&features=undefined&disabled_features=undefined

Session description: http://bit.ly/1jzhZXE

Presentation: http://bit.ly/1sOMihZ

Resources: http://bit.ly/1hzmSBg

Example form: http://bit.ly/1efTpvH

 

E-portfolios made easy with GAFE

Session description: http://bit.ly/1hI1Pqk

Presentation: http://bit.ly/1qppMK9

Resources:    http://bit.ly/1kRPmnJ

Brainstorm: http://bit.ly/Qfdc32 

Are you the best teacher you can be?

This year, our school is fortunate enough to be participating in the Visible Learning Plus program; a guided change process of professional development and practice. Visible Learning comes from John Hattie’s work in what is quickly becoming influential worldwide. This is no surprise as it is the largest collection and analysis into evidence-based research that investigates what actually works in schools when it comes to improving learning.

I have been interested in Hattie’s work for some time and have taken some of his principles on board, mainly around calculating effect sizes, providing feedback, and constructing meaningful learning intentions and success criteria for students. But I am excited that our school is undertaking this approach so that all teachers can think more deeply about the impact on their teaching and learning with their students.

The article Know Thy Impact is a great and succinct read about Hattie’s work. His three books are also well worth the purchase.

Earlier in the year our staff was inducted into the program. One of the topics of conversation was the Visible Learning Checklist for teachers, which is a set of mind-frames for teachers to consider in order to make an effective impact as an educator. One of the mindeframes, “I seek regular feedback from my students”, stuck out in particular for me. In the last few years I have come to realize the merit of asking students for feedback on the teacher, but I don’t think it has been regular enough.

So this year I have been looking at ways of seeking feedback regularly. Using Google Apps (mainly forms and docs) has been a great way to collect feedback from students. Once a form has been setup, it is sent via a URL shortener and given to students. Students can easily enter their feedback, and the collection for the teacher is an absolute breeze. It makes reserving 2 mins at the end of the class really worthwhile, as you explain to students that their feedback will in turn make you a more effective teacher.

For me, seeking feedback assists in answering two critical questions when it comes to reflective practise, “what makes you an effective teacher?” and “how do you know your effect?“. I believe that educators can empower themselves immensely by listening openly to what students are saying about their practises.

Today I am speaking at Teachmeet Melb @ ESA on the notion of seeking feedback from students with and without technology. The presentation is called “Are you the best teacher you can be?” and the slides can be found here or below:

DLTV South Eastern Study Tour @ St. Mark’s Primary School

Today I will be hosting the first leg of Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria‘s South Eastern Study Tour at my school. We will be discussing our progress through the E-Smart framework, the development of the 1:1 laptop program, our use of Google Apps For Education, showcasing our multimedia studio and kidsnews program, our Genius Hour initiative with senior students, and our re-imagination of contemporary learning spaces and pedagogies.

The tour group will then head to Kingswood Primary School.

The slides for today’s presentation can be found here or below:

TeachMeet Melb – #GeniusHour at St. Mark’s PS

Today I  will be presenting at TeachMeet Melbourne on our school’s recent #GeniusHour projects. In 2013, I also presented at a TeachMeet describing how we were just getting started with #Geniushour with our students. Today’s presentation is about what we have since learnt from the second half of 2013.

The presentation can be found here or below:

The future of Maths is in your hands – Embrace IT!

Today I was privileged to deliver a keynote at the 50th Mathematics Association of Victoria annual conference at Latrobe University, Bundoora with Narissa Leung. Narissa and I were asked to bring an ICT spin and our perspective on the role of technology for maths education

Our keynote titled “The future of Maths is in your hands – Embrace IT!” was about the how, the why, and the now of the potential of ICT and mathematics for the plan – teach – assess cycle.

We shared example of some of our favourite tools like Onenote, Evernote, Diigo and Google Apps For Education. We also had a look at some great resources like Numberphile, Dr Tisdell’s Youtube Channel and Real World Math.

Our presentation can be found at http://goo.gl/P8a1UW :

Presenting at the Google Apps For Education summit Melbourne

The GAFE summit tour is coming to Melbourne this week. Earlier this year I attended the summit in Sydney, and if that was anything to go by, I am sure that the Melbourne summit will be just as awesome.

I have the privilege of presenting 2 sessions at the summit, the details of which, can be found below.

 

Unleashing the potential of Google Forms

http://prezi.com/embed/ee3d1ea52be59623f5007ef870cc0c0d85b0f346/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=1&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&features=undefined&disabled_features=undefined

Session: http://sched.co/149y53H

Presentation: http://bit.ly/1eW3WuE

Resources: http://bit.ly/GzGd4m

 

E-portfolios made easy with GAFE

Session: http://sched.co/17t5uHG

Presentation: http://bit.ly/1hh5Ume

Resources: http://bit.ly/GzvFTu