Friday, 9 January 2015

Developing Citizenship with New Learners, a New Class, and a New Level

Barely a week into January and I'm already contemplating what 2015 will bring. This year I will be teaching a new level of Year 5 & 6 learners (last year was Yr 7 & 8). I will have a whole class full of new learners in a whole new classroom. These learners will be pooled from three different 2014 classrooms, and for the majority it will be their first year in a digital one-to-one learning environment. 

Before this year begins however I will be undertaking a summer school paper at Auckland University, along with 10 other Manaiakalani teachers, on Digital Enhancement. In preparation for this I have been reading a variety of papers on knowledge building, 21st Century skills, opportunities and implications of ICT, and other digital education research and findings. Though it seems a waste of this amazing weather to be stuck reading when I would much rather be out enjoying my new paddleboard, I am finding the texts are getting me thinking about this year, and about how I can best foster the skills and aptitude's I desire with my learners within the existing curriculum. 

Determining how I can go about explicitly teaching 21st century skills, then embed them in our daily routines is a challenge I look forward to. As I mentioned, 2/3 of my class this year will be new to having their own digital device, so it is up to me to ensure that our learners use them to enhance their learning, not just as a substitution for their textbooks. Later this year I will be speaking about this at the 2015 BYOD Making it Mobile! workshops at Hobsonville Point School; reflecting on how to develop the learning behaviours and skills needed to learn in a digital environment, how to get the foundations set early on so the learning can happen later. If you can't make it to the workshops, findings and a summary of the event will be posted here also. 

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