Saturday, 30 May 2015

Heights eLearning Workshop Session

Am still buzzing after the workshop yesterday. By the middle of our session we had 68 teachers signed up to using Google+ and joined up to our staff development community.

We have even more now. 76 at the last check.

We didn't get through all of the slides. We did get through a couple of our aims that session though -creating a google+ account, using Padlet, accessing the community on G+ and using Class Dojo.

At least with this session - we could see who was visibly struggling. We could see the ones that were bored and knew what to do and were fine and there were those ones who just needed an extra nudge.
What we didn't get to was the continuum so that we can make up ability groups. The idea of the continuum was merely to show who felt confident and less confident and pair them up so that they would have someone to bounce ideas off of.

I really would have liked to go over the Docs stuff though.

I think that we'd planned so much we didn't really think of the 'students' in front of us - in regards to their ability levels.

At different points I was going too fast - and that was to me a simple logging on to the G+ account.
From yesterday you could see who had read their emails and who hadn't too. Because I'd given relatively easy instructions for setup and for the day.

I think that our next step is to find out when our next session is. Then we can plan appropriately. It will need to become more of a 20/20/20 time though.

20 mins full staff workshop. 20 mins self choice on a topic they want to learn more about. 20 mins playing and learning and reflecting time.

What I'd like to see happen next is a timetabled session for eLearning. Even though we've got the G+ community up and running now - it's going to be hugely important to have those face to face (f2f/ktk) meetings so that they can ask and learn faster. 

Also - I would be really keen to develop that eLearning Hub more in depth with the collaboration of the eLearning committee too. I think we need to figure out our staff's ability levels though. 

It was quite clear yesterday that we're going to have to do QUITE ALOT of upskilling throughout the staff. 

Main areas of focus at the moment:

Basics:
Logging in and getting around the GAFE platform
Using Gmail, G+ and Drive effectively
Privacy and sharing settings
Helping each other
Sharing failures and successes

Intermediate:
How to use Drive and G+ to build collaboration between staff for PLD, staff and students in class, student collaboration in and out of class
How to set up Classroom and send out announcements, assignments, change pages etc
How to set up a Google Class Site and create skeleton of site with different pages and sitemap
GAFE apps and add-ons, extensions
Helping each other
Sharing failures and successes

Extended:
Building Class Site - adding and embedding
Connecting G+, Classroom, Sites and Drive together to allow free flow of information and develop a classroom setting
Helping each other
Sharing failures and successes

Pro:
Teaching others
Sharing on G+
Modelling but allowing staff to learn on their own
Modelling that making mistakes is OKAY and actually really useful because we learn from them
Developing "best practice" 
Sharing progress and encouraging failure for the sake of learning
Learning
Using G+ to gain more information
Helping each other

Of course there are plenty of other things and areas that can go into these categories. For now - they'll do. I really just want some feedback on the session and find out where the staff want to go next in terms of their own learning. What specifically do they need/want to know and how best can we organise ourselves to efficiently help and upskill our staff. 

I was going pretty fast a bit of the time but felt like I was going slow most of the time. 

After talking to Rachel and Noelene at the Dojo Dinner last night - I realise that full staff PLD is just not going to be as effective. We know that full staff PLD doesn't work that well. What we do need to ensure though is that our staff feel safe and comfortable - but that they're also allowing themselves to come out of their comfort zones. 

I really wish that I had taken a picture of the staff yesterday. They all had their laptops and it was truly awesome seeing them all participating. If they weren't able to connect yesterday during the session - they did so afterwards. It was pretty impressive to see actually. The fact that they all were there - going with it. Definitely a better outcome than I'd originally thought. 

A few crucial moments:
- Digital Citizenship Teaching Moment. While on Google Slides - staff found the Group chat and I made use of the moment to tell them that they weren't showing DC skills. That they were:
1) not doing what I'd asked them to do.
2) did something that was completely irrelevant to what we were going to do
3) were off task
4) being inappropriate and bullying online
Great opportunity to see that though. The main point I was trying to get at was that you could see who was on the Slides - but they did that. Showing how quickly we need to be teaching these skills because our students don't know... and apparently neither do our teachers! haha

- Realising that there were people in the room that could help the rest and that I didn't have to do it all by myself - we'll need the eLearning team to build those skills too. 

- Being aware of the WIDE range of abilities in the staff. We need to ensure that no-one is being left behind and it's VERY hard to make sure that doesn't happen when we don't know who feels comfortable or not confident yet with tech. 


I'm looking forward to our eLearning Committee meeting this coming Tuesday to get some feedback and really hope that we can develop on these four areas to ensure that we have continued to build up our staff in an on-going development. 

The main thing though is building growth mindsets. If they can do that - then they're more likely to keep trying and not giving up. 

At first I was slightly overwhelmed - then I got back into it - like I usually do when doing PLD teaching. I love it. I'm glad that I've been allowed to share with the staff and build them up too. So so awesome. 

Looking forward to hearing the feedback from staff this coming week. 

Hopefully they'll have a play with our eLearning community on Google Plus over the long weekend. :)