Draft Essay Plan

What is my goal for writing this essay?

My goal is to review two change models applied to my research area of “How might we successfully change our Y7/8 Technology courses to include aspects of the DT|HM curriculum”. To get a picture of where we are, so that we might then go on to evaluate the questions of

  • how do we do this?
  • how do we get buy in from everybody?
  • how do we excite and educate our teachers about this new curriculum?

It will also be an opportunity to analyse the literature around this topic.

What information do I need to include?

  • History of the previous classroom context
  • New curriculum requirements
  • Reasons for change
  • How it will change
  • Two change models and their application. Initially thinking Davis’s Arena(2018) and Rogers(2003).

How will the information be organised?

  • A collection of annotated literature will be developed in my blog.
  • The essay will continue to be informed by readings and the Learn site.

What is the personal change context you would like to focus on?

The context will be focused on my own classroom and the modelling and testing of what could be done, that will be able to be applied to other classes at the same level initially.

What is the central thesis or key question you aim to answer drawing on the research on change with digital technology in education?

How can we adapt our courses to successfully integrate the new DT|HM curriculum, while being mindful of the changes and upskilling that will be required from our teachers.

What are the main themes you plan to address in the body of your essay (bullet points)?

  • Background information
  • New curriculum demands
  • Why are we doing it?
  • How are we doing it?
  • How are we supporting our teachers?
  • Two change models applied
  • Review of models
  • Conclusion

What conclusions do you anticipate?

  • That it is an important area for us to focus on and that the integration has merit.
  • That we have asked too much of our teachers. Perhaps done too much at once.
  • That we could have provided more training.
  • That we have not conveyed what the new curriculum actually involves.

 

Davis, N. (2018). Digital technologies and change in education: The arena framework. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Attributes of innovations and their rate of adoption. In Author, Diffusion of Innovations. 5th ed. (pp. 219-266) New York, NY: Free Press.

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Using the Arena Framework

I am using the Arena framework from Davis(2018) as the basis for these diagrams.

This was my first attempt to frame my context for the area I am researching “Year 7/8 Programme change in light of the new DT|HM curriculum”.

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 1.43.52 PM

Key:

  • T = Teacher
  • S = Student
  • P = Parent

At that point I was trying to model too much and as you can see I had many questions. After putting some questions to Niki Davis, I clarified that I could have more than one classroom at the centre but she felt that maybe that it would be better to concentrate on just one to start with.

I was also having trouble modelling the digital technology and how to draw this across the ecosystems. I wanted to draw more than one – but once again this was looking at too much and was actually confusing the issue.

So after getting the answers to my questions and rereading Chapter 2 of Davis(2018), I was able to reframe my Arena and here is my second attempt.

Arena

Key:

  • T = Teacher
  • S = Student
  • E1 = DT|HM Curriculum leader
  • E2 = HOF
  • E3 = Principal
  • P = Parent

At the centre is my classroom with a Y7 course (we also have Y8 courses, but I am trying to simplify at this point). I have coloured the T and E1 the same colour, as they are the same person. E2 and the green T are also the same person.

I have included examples of the other classes, but have given them dashed lines, to illustrate that they are there, but are not currently the initial focus. Although they are also an important part of this change and the curriculum leader is very focused on making sure that the changes are replicated across the classes.

The HOF is very supportive of these changes and is also teaching some of these classes.

There are other teachers in other classes who are inexperienced in this area and will need lots of support.

I have made the resource represent the curriculum, as it is not so much one resource but a shift of focus and teaching to meet the new curriculum. The circle of influence stretches right out to the world, as other countries have either already made these sorts of changes or are contemplating or rejecting changes.

I have found modelling using the Arena useful as a visual representation of all the players involved. The tensions and influences that are inside and outside the classroom become obvious and this gives a good framework to hang the implications of change on.

Reference:

Davis, N. (2018). Digital technologies and change in education: The arena framework. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

http://technology.tki.org.nz/Technology-in-the-NZC/Digital-technologies-curriculum-support

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Annotated Bibliography – Fernandez, T., Ritchie, G., & Barker, M. (2008). A sociocultural analysis of mandated curriculum change: The implementation of a new senior physics curriculum in New Zealand schools. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(2), 187-213.

Fernandez, T., Ritchie, G., & Barker, M. (2008). A sociocultural analysis of mandated curriculum change: The implementation of a new senior physics curriculum in New Zealand schools. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(2), 187-213. https://doi-org.ezproxy.canterbury.ac.nz/10.1080/00220270701313978

Description: This article analyses the implementation of a new physics curriculum that was introduced in 1994. It uses the sociocultural theory of practice and identity by Wenger (Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) as the lens for analysis. It looks at the communities of practice that were involved particularly the developers versus the implementers. It explains how the developers of the curriculum bonded and became their own community. That there were many influencers involved in the process, including industry. It interviews some teachers who were involved, who felt they lacked the professional development needed and had to make sense of the curriculum themselves. This led to the teachers forming their own communities, or often being isolated and re-creating their own understanding based on their own experiences, which led to some implementations that did not initially reflect the intended curriculum.

Evaluation: This article is a scholarly article published in a reputable journal. The main points that can be taken from this article, is the importance of consultation when creating a new curriculum. To ensure that the communities of practice are not isolated and that the implementers get a chance to feedback and to influence. In the case of the new Digital Technologies curriculum, there has been the same industry push, however the consultation has been stronger and wider, with many opportunities for feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. This has resulted in a curriculum that is more accessible and the understanding is stronger. However, this may not be present, where the teachers are new teachers of this curriculum. This means that the new communities of practice must be careful to ensure they promote feedback and understanding.

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Annotated Bibliography – Bell, T., Andreae, P. & Robins, A. (2014) A case study of the introduction of computer science in NZ schools. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) 14(2), 10:1-10:31.

Bell, T., Andreae, P. & Robins, A. (2014) A case study of the introduction of computer science in NZ schools. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) 14(2), 10:1-10:31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2602485.

Description: This article presents a case study into the introduction of the Digital Technologies standards that occurred from 2011-2013 and the changes that occurred before the implementation, that led to their introduction. It looks at the challenges that were encountered during these changes and how they were addressed. It investigates the differing stakeholders and the impact that the changes had on them. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of a rapid implementation.

Evaluation: This information is reliable and peer reviewed. This article reflects many of the barriers that appear to be present in the current introduction of the new Digital Technologies curriculum. It emphasises how teachers have a central role in the implementation and need to be valued. This backs up my intention to look at how we support teachers and get their buy-in. It also describes the problems with rapid implementation and the pressure to up-skill. This supports our idea of looking at how we teach our teachers. It also validates our mission to test this early before it becomes a requirement in 2020. Strong guidance and resources are also mentioned as essential. By using the longer lead in time, we allow ourselves to create resources and support our teachers.

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Research Topic – Y7/8 Programme change in light of new DT|HM curriculum

The focus for my research will be around our Y7/8 programme in light of the new DT|HM curriculum. This curriculum will become mandatory in 2020 and this is an area we have identified that we are weak in. By trialling the changes early, we will be in a good position to analyse and make changes as necessary. We also believe that it will equip our students better for the future. By focusing on this area, we will be better prepared to address any changes required in Years 9-13 as this cohort moves through the school.

In previous years we have had a very technology based course with Textiles one year and Food another, with only a very small focus on using Digital Technologies through the use of movie and poster making.

We want to move to a 50/50 model with Digital Technologies, but in an integrated way. Our current thoughts are focused around communication, design, material investigation, social conscience and sustainability. By creating integrated units, involving project based learning, we hope to be able to create genuine contexts and to make it interesting for our students.

The information around this topic will come from the Ministry of Education. There is already some documentation surrounding the new curriculum. And more will become available as they develop and publish resources. There is also literature from other countries who have implemented new curriculums, for example the UK. This topic affects all New Zealand schools who will be required to implement the new curriculum by 2020 in some form.

The major questions for our school are around how do we do this, how do we get buy in from everybody and how do we excite and educate our teachers about this new curriculum?

There is debate from the education sector about whether it is compulsory? How much is needed to satisfy the curriculum? Where are the teachers who can teach this going to come from? There has been a lot of discussion in teacher groups, interested business groups and the media. There is also the caution of ensuring that it is not just digital literacy that is implemented, and that it is a true reflection of the intent of the new curriculum. It could also be impacted by the government’s intentions to overhaul the education sector, and the effects of this are unknown.

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Portfolio Introduction

My name is Lesley Sampson and I currently work at an independent girls’ school as a Digital Technologies teacher. I have enrolled in a paper at University – “Change with Digital Technologies in Education” and I have been tasked with creating blog entries to support my learning and to start to build a portfolio.

I am excited to be blogging again, as it has been a few years since I last blogged. I find that having to put your views and thoughts out into a public arena, makes you think about what you are writing and really analyse your thoughts.

I would like to be able to reflect on my learning and gain insights from other people. I look forward to having a place to collect my learning. And I also look forward to having my blogging passion reignited.

Next week my internet might be a bit patchy, as we are off on EOTC week. But I’m hoping to see some views like this when we do the Tongariro crossing, which I am really excited about.

640px-Le_Ngauruhoe_et_le_Ruapehu_vus_du_sommet_du_Tongariro

By © Guillaume Piolle /, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31740809

Tips I have for others:

  • Once you choose a platform – stick with it. It doesn’t really matter what you use, just do it.
  • Choose good categories and tags – it makes it easier for you and others to find things. I wish I’d done that from the beginning
  • And this website had the task to complete – and it also has lots of other hints that you might find useful.
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Investigating Alice 3

I have to admit I’m a little bit sceptical about the benefits of using Alice in the classroom compared with other applications. However I do have to teach it this year, so today I have tasked myself with investigating how it works and what resources I can find. My biggest question is what can I do with it?

First step installation:
http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=downloads/download_alice3.1

Now to try out the various instruction manuals:
http://www.alice.org/3.1/index.html

Carnegie Mellon first
http://www.alice.org/3.1/materials_introduction.php

Ugh the format is powerpoint, will have to convert first! Thankyou google slides.

The first slides tell me I will be learning “how to program in the context of animation, simulation, storytelling, and building short games”. Sounds promising so far.
I am liking their slides so far, nice descriptions and explanations. Although they are perhaps pitched at my level rather than the students I will be teaching. They are explaining objects, instances and inheritance really well.

I’ve done the first set, but I just want to make something … not just have concepts explained. Think I will move onto another tutorial. If I’m bored I imagine my students would be too. The first few tutorials are well worth using the concepts for, but then I think it goes into too much depth and not enough doing.

Collin College
http://www.alice.org/ATE/materials_collin.html

This tells you how to do it in Alice and then how to do the same thing in Java. Definitely not what I am looking for at the moment.

How to Guide
http://www.alice.org/3.1/materials_guide.php

A useful reference

Oracle Academy
https://academy.oracle.com/self-study/alice/index.html

This one is a good step by step progression and very easy to follow. A good resource for students to work through as well if they need to know how to do something specific.

There are also these which could be used in the classroom:
https://academy.oracle.com/self-study/alice/alice_14_1.html

So in conclusion the Carnegie Mellon is good for explaining Object Oriented concepts and the Oracle one is good for a quick run through that I would base a demonstration for students on.

I can see that this will take a bit more time for me to get my head around the full extent of what can be done, rather than just simple animations. And I think that unless you get the students to fully understand the concepts and in addition write their own procedures the benefit of using this in the classroom is lost. It would merely become a cool 3D animator.

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Learning Python – Part 2

The second night was full on with us creating a text based game using multiple classes and inheritance. It was a great learning experience and a good refresher on classes, objects and instances. Something it always takes me time to get my head around.

What I couldn’t stop thinking about was how to implement at Level 3. Is the step up so big that it is just not worth contemplating using Python? The standard requires the use of a GUI and that is not easy. We didn’t even get that far in our course and it requires further investigation.

So is Python really the best choice for a language to be used at school or are there better alternatives?

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Learning Python – Part 1

Tonight I went to the first evening of two, on how to program in Python, specifically aimed at teachers. The workshop was being run by Tanya Gray from Gather Workshops. They run economical, fantastic PD for Digital Technologies and I encourage you to check them out.

I’ve been a programmer for a long time, but I’ve never used Python, and I thought it was about time I took a look at it. And yes I could have taught myself, but as always it is finding the time, and this gave me the opportunity to block out some time and get to grips with it.

But the best part, was meeting a group of dedicated teachers giving up 2 evenings because they think that this is an important skill to learn so they can pass on the knowledge to their students.

However, of concern was hearing some of the messages that are being disseminated about what is required for some of the NCEA standards. We had quite a discussion about whether global variables are required to achieve at excellence  in level 2. It is such a shame that the standards are not being interpreted in their true essence and perhaps bad programming practice is being taught in order to “meet the standard”. I really hope that the CS4HS conference in Christchurch will clarify this and clear the misconceptions.

Anyway, it was a great night and I’m looking forward to making a game tomorrow night.

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Year 10 – Mixing it up

After the Ulearn session on “Creativity is not just for the arts” run by Steve Mouldey, it got me thinking about how I could apply his MacGyver activity to my Year 10s as a great discussion about prototyping and knowing your stakeholder. Actually creating something for the client. This is a hard concept to get Technology students to focus on and really understand.

McGyver

It also got me thinking about really letting go and letting them choose their own projects in an area of interest.

So how did it go?

We started with the activity.

  1. The students were told to go and find someone in the class they didn’t know and go and find things out about them.
  2. Then they were told they were going to make an accessory for that person.
  3. They were then allowed to select materials from the room. I gave them a little more time than Steve had given us, as 30 students in a computer lab had the potential for injuries.
  4. A short amount of time to make the accessory for the person. Thinking about what they liked.
  5. Presentation to the other person and feedback.
  6. A bit more time to refine and the final presentation.

IMG_1524photo

Great learning out of this, especially when for example the bracelet didn’t fit the person. And then we could discuss how we need to actually think about the client and what they want, not what we think we would like to make.

Then this led into the next part of the lesson. They were already away from their comfort zone seats and ready to think a bit more laterally about what they could be doing next.

I asked them to think about something they would like to do for the rest of the term. I gave them some suggestions, as I was aware that they didn’t know what was out there. I think this needs work in the future, as I perhaps needed to show them some ideas of what other people have created, but would that have stilted their ideas. Love to hear your comments on that.

So then I asked for ideas and I wrote them on the board. I checked that everyone was interested in at least one idea on the board. I then asked them to stand in groups with the idea they wanted to do and appointed a “leader” of each group.

Their task was then to discuss what they wanted to do in the group and also come up with a way of proving to me that they had achieved something at the end, a way of measuring their success. This will be the hardest part for them I think. I will be checking in with the groups to see how they are going this afternoon.

We have groups doing Photoshop, Illustrator, Websites, Gamemaking and Robotics – I hope I can keep up!

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