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Listen Curiously, the answer might be more mutually beneficial, collaboratively driven and cost effective

Today has been one of those really unusual days. I know that it is a school day but being unwell meant that I needed to sit back and listen to the world pass by. Covid will do this! Outside of the ready known symptoms it forces us to put life into pause. One of the things I love to do when life is on pause for example on a holiday or on the weekend is to gain inspiration by reading, listening to podcasts or joining in a virtual conversation. Today, was not anything like a holiday but I was blessed to tune into a session presented by Kimberly Mitchell at the ToddleTIES virtual conference. She is an author and lecturer at the University of Washington College of Education and founder of Inquiry Partners. Her presentation was on leading inquiry learning school-wide.  It was refreshing to hear some things that I have forgotten and some new ideas from an educator on the other side of the planet based in Seattle but desiring to see student learning impacted as much as me. Ideas such as: Writi
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Professional Driving Questions

Over the past term, there have been some questions that I have been pondering related to leadership and teaching in education. They are questions of purpose and motivation. While I have not got clear answers of all, some have helped me develop more clarity and direction with those I am working with as they speak to my philosophy of teaching and reasons for being a teacher. My challenge is to prompt others to revisit what drives them to work with students and lead within educational settings. What are we really trying to accomplish? What are the things we need to be doing in this season? What are the things we need to let go of which are holding us back? Why are we trying to accomplish this alone? Who else are we bringing along on the journey and empowering with the vision? Are we creating a collaborative culture? Is what we are trying to achieve simple or are we making it too complicated? If we are constantly exhausted, are we doing more than what is expected or are we pushing too hard

Shaping the Destination your Educational Organisation

It has been a while since I took some time out to write down my reflections about my current practice in education; however, recently I have found myself encouraged by the passion, willingness to serve and desire to raise up others within our profession. Over the last 12 months, I have been on an educational leadership journey.  At the start of 2021, I began a new role after 11 years at my previous school. There were immediate differences, though, I saw a willingness to adapt and grow. More than 12 months on, with a considerable amount of time navigating the pandemic through virtual learning, my team has continued to use the challenge to improve.  One of the key learnings I have made was, when we work together in a similar fashion it allows us to create a flow in which our students can improve. When we are at odds with each other and walking in different direction, it creates obstacles to student learning. As professionals, our goal is to improve the opportunities for students. My enco

How might we Personalise Learning in an Online Environment?

I cannot recall how many times recently I have heard the saying that we are living in an unprecedented time. While not disagreeing with this statement, as I am aware that with the COVID-19 virus a lot of things have changed, another part of me thinks we everyday is unprecedented as our students do not learn the same way we do any more than their hobbies, interests, or personalities are the same as ours.  So keeping this in mind, the understanding is learning is about movement and growth, regardless of the starting point. Whilst there are some attributes and dispositions in common between us and our students this difference makes us individuals therefore as educators providing equitable education we ought to personalise it to allow the greatest access to learning outcomes. In the online learning world, it is beneficial to consider ways to support all students access the information and learning. Therefore, differentiation can be created based on  Content - what is being taug

Continuity of Learning while Remotely Teaching and Learning

While remote learning has been a significant paradigm shift for many of us, some of the practices that have assisted both my students and myself to actively engage and continue our learning as recommended by my professional learning network has been: For Students - Providing students with a simple timetable to guide their learning throughout the week. - Daily virtual home groups enabling student connection and pastoral care using video conferencing platforms such as Google Meet. - Each day explicitly going through the work plan and daily expectations so that students can ask questions and seek clarification. - Students complete each day a Google Form check in to mark attendance and indicate their wellbeing, quality of sleep, energy levels, nutrition intake and identifies how they are feeling about relationships around them. This then exports to a Google Sheet. - Open hours where students can drop in to a video meeting and ask questions about their learning. - When students ne

Virtual Excursions

It has now been a week that I have been working in this new paradigm of remote teaching and learning. I wanted to think of creative ways I could support, engage and encourage my students. One of the ways that I have been reading a lot about from those who have been remote teaching longer than what I have is taking my students on a Virtual Excursion. I have done this previously with my class but not with us all being in distant locations.  The following are a list of some that members of my professional learning network have suggested. This will be updated; however, if you have others please leave the information in the comment section below. Boeing Boston Museum Eagle Cam Experience Polar Bears Food Farm Georgia Aquarium Live Feeds Great Wall of China Google Arts and Culture Google Expeditions Google sheets list of webcams...HUGE list Live cams of almost anything from Explore Louvre Mars Melbourne Zoo Monterey Bay live feeds NASA National Park

EdTech companies supporting in the Covid-19 response: Free Tools!

As the Covid-19 crisis grows, schools are facing the potential of mass shutdowns across the globe. Students and teachers have been struggling to process what education will look like from a virtual context through remote connections. To make this slightly easier, I thought I would compile a list of edtech companies who have shown generosity and provision during this time of trial. My list has been generated by drawing together many other’s posts and suggestions. I do not claim to have tried all of the following; however, at publishing the links were live to their offerings. Can I also thank all of the people who have been reaching out to me for support and training, it has been a privilege to help you during this transition time. Whatever the outcome, my hope is we will continue to support our students navigate this uncharted territory. If you find others please add them as comments at the bottom. 2Simple   3PLearning ABCMouse/Adventure Academy AdmitHub Adobe Crea