Tuesday, June 16

The E-Learning Pie

E- Learning is formed from a concoction of many factors including infrastructure, pedagogy, curriculum, leadership, vision and professional learning. It seems that certain standards of capability in these areas and striving for their alignment is paramount to the effective whole school integration of ICT.

I worked at an intermediate school last week who had recently formed an e- learning team; their vision was centred on raising the e-learning bar across the school. The team acknowledged that in pockets of the school e-learning was very effective but the variation between what was happening in classrooms was huge.
The use of a tool that would allow the team to ‘helicopter up’ and reflect on their schools e-learning strengths and the areas to develop seemed like a logical place to start.

After exploring many models and frame-works (see below) I decided to use the ‘digital schools self evaluation’ tool.
Digital Schools Self Evaluation Tool
Florida STaRChart
ICT Competency Standards for Teachers
Texas Teacher STaR Chart

I favoured the ‘digital schools self evaluation’ as I I felt that this tool was particularly appropriate for primary and intermediate schools. This online tool, currently used in Irish primary schools, comprises of a total of 45 questions focused on the following elements: leadership and vision, ict on the curriculum, ict culture, professional development and resources and infrastructure. Aspects of the questionnaire were modified as we went to suit the NZ context.

The result was 2hours of quality dialogue. After completing the questions we were provided with a graph of our results. This graph provided evidence that highlighted the schools areas of strengths and areas to develop. More valuable than the graph however was the shared understanding that resulted from the quality dialogue that was necessary to complete this process.

Further discussion continued around priorities for action, which were now crystal clear. Avenues for support were also discussed (this is where we diverted from the Irish context and referred to NZ’s own e-learning resources).
Our next meeting will focus on the development on an action plan.

In summary, the use of this tool was certainly worthwhile in generating dialogue that enabled us to look holistically at e-learning in this school and to gauge where we were as a school on a developmental continuum. This data gave us fresh confidence in planning future development and change.

Has your school made use of any models/frameworks to assess their ‘e-learning’ capability?

In the latest advert for ICTPD 2010, I notice the introduction of a self-review component based on both the Becta and Euronet models.

Some countries that use such models have extended their use to include an accreditation process that schools and in some cases teachers can apply for to demonstrate a certain level of e-learning competence.
See examples:
Queensland - SMART Classrooms
Digital Schools Award

What are your thoughts?


Mr Lietze said...

Hi Rocky

Hey thanks for sharing this post with us. I find it timely as we continue to see how we can do things better at B.C. I think this evaluation tool will come in handy :+)

Neil Towersey said...

Thanks Rocky. I will definitely make use of the evaluation form. Very timely as we come out of the ICT PD contract and reflect on 'what next?'