Cluster attendees:

Pam Hook (BTG Programme Director/Facilitator), Helen Smith (Lead Teacher Waterlea School), Michelle Neki (Waterlea School)

Impact of attendance:

New learning, new connections and new collaboration.

Influence of attendance on Cluster Programme

Suggestions for next years professional learning include:
  • Building instruments to measure interest and confidence - refer here
  • Identify existing SOLO rubrics (KC) that focus on confidence and interest
  • Generating student voice in BTG schools
  • Digital story telling to engage the BTG community
  • Becoming an agent of change
  • Using memory sticks to share resources with teachers
  • e-portfolios
  • Improving digital presentations

Celebrity Photos Conference Dinner

Helen Michelle and Pam with Consultant David Kinane
Helen with Consultant Tony Ryan
Helen and Pam with Consultant David Anderson

Hooked on Thinking Book Launch

"SOLO Taxonomy: A Guide for Schools"

We have published a new book.

SOLO Taxonomy: A Guide For Schools.

“Congratulations to Pam Hook and Julie Mills for their innovative work in introducing the SOLO taxonomy and constructive alignment into the school system.
This book demonstrates clearly how children can become participants in improving the quality of their own learning.”

John Biggs, author, Teaching for Quality Learning at University


Helen Smith

Ulearn 2011 was, as my previous two Ulearn conferences have been, a truly inspiring experience.

We’re Switched On and Doing IT
This breakout aimed at switching on learners and enhancing teaching practice. A focus of the workshop incorporated the overriding need for Teachers to reflect on their classroom environment to ensure that the teaching space allowed for optimum teaching and learning to happen.
This presentation also showed ways of integrating e-learning into the curriculum with a particular emphasis on Literacy, and the use of thinking tools. It looked at a range of ideas including some web 2 tools that can support the class programme, while engaging and motivating children to learn. It also looked at opening the classroom doors and connecting with others through blogs, wikis and Geocaching.
I have already put things in place to put some of these ideas into practice with my classroom.

Engaging Community Through Digital Storytelling
The presenter shared the process she follows in preparing digital stories for students and staff. Digital storytelling involves using multimedia such as voice, images, music, video and audio to create a visual story.
Digital storytelling can be used to:
  • Enhance/strengthen oral language of young children
  • Engage community
  • Capture memories
  • Document learning
  • Developing relationships
I’m looking forward to introducing digital storytelling with my new class in 2012.

Getting back to creativity
During this hands-on workshop we drew using Paint, edited and enhanced photos using Picasa and produce a movie using Movie Maker. Lyn shared some integration ideas and set us up to engage our students in exciting and creative learning experiences to help us get back to creativity!

Agents of Change – Tony Ryan
Some people just seem to change the world. They consistently make it a more sustainable and inspiring place for the rest of us. In his Spotlight presentation Tony Ryan referred to them as Agents of Change
In this presentation we were encouraged to explore options on becoming one of these agents of change.
As pending agents of change, we were offered:
• Some of the directions being adopted by innovative educators around the world
• A series of worthwhile ICT tools and frameworks for generating student voice in your school

While I have personally reflected on all the keynotes and breakouts I attended at Ulearn 2011, this report contains those that I was most inspired and motivated by.
Helen Smith
Waterlea School

Michelle Neki

Receiving a memory stick from Microsoft with plenty of add ons for things like enhancing presentations, making maths work sheets, scientific calculator. Because it is a memory stick It can be shared with other teachers.

Going to a seminar on improving presentations like power point where I received many tips:
Plain background, equals better effects on presentation.
Take your own photos, don’t use clip art (way more effective)
Using the colour wheel for matching exact colour from a photo to match written text.

Digital story telling was really inspiring. I tried putting this in to practice as soon as I got back to school. I have taken many photos of our Ambury farm trip and have loaded them and will now get children to record voices. There are a few dilemmas like to get all parents permission to load photos on to a DVD or perhaps email if programme allows. This I believe is a great way for working parents to experience what the children experience on a class trip. Again Photo story is one of many applications and Craig Nicholson is helping me to see if this programme can be sent to others.

I went to a short seminar on the Ministries perspective on E portfolios. This was rather interesting and I have a large booklet with all the information. They look like they are the way of the future with many schools using the ministries software already.

Dr Jack Bacon was a keynote speaker but I also went to his breakout which was very interesting, how the brain works. Not as hands on or user friendly for my hands on tactile self but learnt some interesting stuff.

Another keynote speaker was Dr Jan Herrington where the use of technology based on a designed model was really interesting. Based on authentic E learning.

Also it was great to be at Pam Hook’s book launch.

A great first ever conference, a bit daunting if you were alone id say, but trusty Smithy led the way!

Michelle Neki

Pam Hook

On what teachers are obliged to do: Building achievement, interest and confidence.
Notes taken from Graeme Aitken's keynote on Innovation.
Graeme Aitken: Innovation - Lamborghini or Lemon?

Graeme Aitken, Dean of Education at the University of Auckland, argues that we need criteria to assess both the likely and the actual value of innovation in teaching, and that these criteria need to be sourced in the three obligations of teaching. In this ULearn11 keynote Graeme shares his belief that we are not successful as teachers unless we work at the intersection where successful learning and achievement, greater interest and greater confidence overlap for students.

Professor Aitken talked about Grant Wiggen's work and his focus on 3 things teachers are OBLIGED to do - create successful learners, create greater interest and create greater confidence.He used Steve Martin's work with SOLO Taxonomy and HOT SOLO Maps and success criteria at Howick College as an example of this.
Prof Aitken noted that teaching activity that focuses omits any one of the three - falls short of effective or innovative teaching. Value the intersection.
Note to self: Does Wiggins suggest any one of these is necessary and sufficient - or does he suggest effective teaching is obliged to build all three?
Recent Competency Report - 37% of secondary students claim to be bored in school.
Note to self: Is this figure taken from Wylie, Cathy (2009, September). Introduction, in Morton, J. (Ed.), Engaging Young People in Learning: Why does it matter and what can we do? Conference Proceedings. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research Press. - By age 16, 36% are reported to be usually or always bored and one quarter want to leave as soon as they can, or already have (Wylie,2009, p.2).
Misalignment of

Lack of success
Mirage innovation generates only interest or engagement .
Note to self: Claims for e-learning are commonly based on enhancing interest or engagement

Steve Martin's Work with Y9 Science at Howick College

Alignment of achievement
Build Interest
Build Confidence
Clear goals
Success criteria using SOLO - sets up a differentiated challenge
Minitoring through Voice Thread
Time to monitor and support in person
Receiving immediate feedback from peers
Control of content
Working at own pace
Determining own direction
Setting level of challenge - (beyond teacher expectations)
Work collaboratively
Clear goals and success criteria (using SOLO)
Less need for public questions
Revelas hidden experts
Support of peers
Teacher finds time to assist
HowickNet manages cognitive load
Clear goals and success criteria (SOLO)
Working at own pace
Determining own direction
Note to self: SOLO coded goals and SOLO coded success criteria play an important role (are indicators for) all three

Teacher workload
Set up from home
Front end work - developing Learning intentions and success criteria (SOLO)
Yaplet - means students are helping each other answer questions
Teacher activity in classroom changes from "racing" to "floating"

What do we need to know as a result of this initiative?
- student achievement outcomes -
- student experience of interest
- student perception of confidence

How to assess achievement outcomes

How to assess student interest - rating scale

How to assess student confidence - rating scale
For example
Answer questions about the work in this unit.
How confident are you to make well informed contributions to a discussion about xxxx?
How confident are you to clearly explain what you have learned in this unit in some other unit or subject?
How confident are you to use ideas you have learned in this unit in some other unit or subject?
How confident are you to use the skills you have learned in this unit in some other unit or subject?

Note to self: Build confidence instruments with teachers based on the unit of work they are teaching.

Follow up:HOT Confidence Instrument
A "Confidence Instrument" I built with teachers from Newmarket, Onehunga and Meadowbank School