Monday, 23 November 2015

Using SAMR, CoWs and MindLab Assessment

Since last week at the MindLab I've been thinking about how I use SAMR as a basis for my student's and my own learning. More critically for me is the fact that at the moment it's difficult to teach students the basic digi tech stuff without fulltime access to devices.

I'm maintaining positivity and patience, but am finding it difficult to try new things without being able to test it out with students.

Doing this with my Y10 social studies class recently has been an absolute godsend. Would like to thank the Maths dept immensely for welcoming us in as we've been relocated from our English classes while the exams are on.

Part of the awesomeness of this is being able to use the Maths CoWs. Still think that the term CoWs is highly funny having grown up on a farm. But like any good cowshed the Maths dept have got the most onto it system and damn it works pretty good too.

At first I was quite a bit nervous about using their sets of CoWs but decided to keep on prodding and going along with the system - which obviously works for them and they've had no issues - though one laptop is missing - not sure why. But that's pretty awesome by all accounts really to have such a solid system in place that there seem to be no issues!

Anyway - as I said - like any good cowshed there are systems in place to ensure that things run smoothly. With the Maths CoWs it's a matter of ensuring that they're in numerical order. At first I found this a pain as I'm not a numbers person and thought it was tedious - but there is brilliance in this - because straight away you can see when they're in numerical order whether one is missing or not. The only thing I could think of that would make this process go faster would be little numbered stickers on the metal above each of the CoWs ports.

As with the cords - one of the CoWs has a pretty simple but again brilliant idea with using some boards from one of their Maths exhibits as dividers for the cords - mainly so that the cords aren't in a jumbled mess on top and so that they're easy to find by quadrant to replug into each laptop.

Both sets of keys have a different keyring so you quickly become used to knowing which one goes to which padlock and again the system for this is easy and no issues.

I spent a good ten minutes with the last session getting a few students just to double check both sets of CoWs as three laptops were left on top because students had been lazy. Another really awesome thing that the Maths dept have in their CoWs usage system is the log book where students need to log in and out which computer they've used. This system made it super easy to call out the laptop number and check who had used it that period. A really simple way of catching out students who aren't being accountable for their actions.

That student, a couple of others who were being inapppropriate talking to other students in other classes or calling out the windows stayed behind to fix up the CoWs.

Absolutely think that this system needs to be implemented throughout the school because the Key Competencies are fully met:

Relating to Others: CoWs are plugged back in and recharged for the next use of students. Any issues are logged in the book.
Managing Self: Students log their laptops in and out of the system by using the booking sheets in the CoW booklets. They also return the CoW into the right place, numerically and in the right CoW (Stars and Non-Stars).
Participating and Contributing: Because the other two KCs are being accounted for - each student is able to use a laptop each.
Thinking: Students are learning about the different workarounds like issues with No Logon Servers Currently Available, or a low battery and getting a cord rather than a new laptop each time it goes flat.
Using SLT: Ensuring that the CoWs are back in numerical order helps improve the system overall for everyone's use of the resources.

What started out as a SAMR post has become a very geeky techy post - no apologies. You all probably enjoyed reading it as much as I loved sharing how awesome their CoW system is.

Anyway - the SAMR task list I've begun to collate and create is here.

Will add links to this as well with the different processes and focal points needed to understand SAMR in more depth.

A friend of mine recently reminded me about RAT. A more simplified version of SAMR that was being floated around different educamps last year. While I like it's simplicity - I still struggle with identifying the different levels and moving deeper into more redefined learning. I think I may already do some learning myself like this but identifying when and where I do this is my issue at the moment.

To fully convey the SAMR process - we need to actually get ontop of some of these things. And while I'm definitely not the fount of all knowledge, I can at least upskill myself for the benefit of myself and my students and can help my colleagues when and if they ask for help.

Probably one of the things that keep coming up in the MindLab is this assessment due next week - a video about our plan for something that will benefit student learning.

As my Y10 social studies students will mostly be doing their careers booklets now - they won't need as much focus on the CoWs or the Google Apps learning we'd been doing. Wish we could have started ages ago so that we would have more time to tutu, make mistakes, take risks in our learning and learn from them. But as it is we've got about a week or so to go and need to get these careers booklets and goal setting in place.

Because of this my plan for the assessment is to focus on the learning I'm planning for the staff with these workshops - because ultimately it will hugely affect student learning across the school and that will be my intended impact.

Regardless - I think that there are definitely some things we could all be doing at the moment - even if it's just using the CoWs more effectively, teaching digital citizenship and gaining a stronger idea of where students are at with their device use.

It would be cool if we all used the GAFE platform more often as a school as there are just so many different apps and programmes we could use as a staff to enhance focus and pride as well as organisation - like using Google Keep, Calendar, Slides for Notices maybe.. or even Sites for class portal pages for their learning.

Maybe even a schoolwide Google Classroom where students and staff post ideas and information. It would get pretty full on though with everyone posting. But I guess that comes into Digi cit too - learning how we use tech effectively and appropriately.

The stress and anxiety with report season is still upon us all and I really need to get out of this funk I've been in since Thursday night when I got THAT news... which I'm sure will be in the news soon enough. Am not even going to bother eliciting it with any response here. Not my story to tell - even though it generally makes me pretty sick physically to think about...

Am looking forward to the MindLab session this week and the Cyclone workshop at Mokoia this week too. Busy busy!! :)

Had NPeW elearning interviews today. Was absolutely awesome to be a part of this and hope I can go into more detail in the next couple of days.

Should probably finish writing reports for the night and get some sleep. :)