At our school (NBCS) we have a list of 5 major priorities:
Every child important
Every teacher outstanding
Every lesson critical
Every encounter valued
Every opportunity taken
I have been reflecting on how Moodle/eLearning, and my role as an ICT integrator meets these priorities. With three Moodle installation for Primary, Secondary and Online, more than 1000 students (K-12) and over 120 staff I get to see a fair amount, these are my thoughts.
For every child to be important implies a sense of tailored and individualised learning. For some time now Moodle has created environments, avenues and resources for students to express themselves, select tasks, and pace themselves through their learning.
This with the inclusion of ePortfolios (using Mahara), is now enabling each student to go one step further, and reflect on these processes and express their achievements and struggles in a new and unrestricted way. We are already seeing students open up and convey thoughts that previously were not heard, and we are only at the birth of our ePortfolio journey.
As an ICT integrator, working alongside teachers is a crucial part of my role. As I stated in one of my previous posts, “Moodle itself has no pedagogy, it’s the teachers & developers of the content who drive the pedagogy”. Professional development sessions, one-on-one mentoring, show-and-tell sessions, and a host of other channels have been an essential part of empowering teachers at our school to translate their physical classroom into digital ones.
Probably the most effective way that I have seen this play out, is working alongside teachers in the development of their visions for their online courses. Whether it be quizzes in Maths classes or choices for English speech topics, from HSIE homework assignments to online sport selections, I hope that as an integrator at this school I’ve help every teacher to be outstanding and every lesson to be critical. I believe that it’s impossible to effect change without actually spending the time with the people who you are hoping inspire.
I also believe that my own experiences and successes with managing online classes, have kept me grounded in understanding teacher’s & students daily needs. This helps me to translate conversions and encounters with peers and students, into effective and useful modifications to the environments and processes which we use to learn & teach.
Lastly, and I think most importantly, as an ICT integrator and a teacher, I need to be constantly flexible and open to new ideas and opportunities. eLearning and the use of Learning Management Systems such Moodle have only become possible through the vision of people who not only saw opportunity, but also grabbed it with both hands. I feel that I am in a unique position where I not only get to teach, and work in the environment of today, but I also have an input into the visions of the future.
I hope these few ramblings might have inspired the teachers and the ICT integrators out there who are doing an amazing job of transforming what we think education might look like tomorrow.