Jane is an academic at Sydney university.
She has done research – case study ethnographic qualitative research – using 4 high performing teachers and what they do to integrate ICT effectively into their classrooms. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138781337/
She worked with 4 teachers across 4 schools and these teachers were extraordinary teachers who met certain criteria. They had to be using tech every day and had to be involved in research at some level. They had to be a leader and using tech in innovative ways.
She was looking to find out if there were elements of their practice that she could identify and use to help others.
Teacher 1: covering a 1/2 composite. She was interested in making learning public and giving students an authentic audience. The students did a lot of performing – and producing and creating these performances so they were quite polished little performers. She saw this as giving their imagination an outlet. She was focussed on this idea of ‘thick play’. ‘Thick play’ is tied up with the idea of ‘flow’ – which is the opposite of teaching in little segmented time portions. This is the idea that if they are working on something that is meaningful to them – they should be allowed to continue this work and focus on just this.
There were very few worksheets. She showed a little movie which is similar to what we do with Explain Everything – the students demonstrating their understanding of ‘bossy e’.
Teacher 2: Nina – wanted to focus on metacognition and learning about how children learnt. She wanted the use of tech to enhance the children’s understanding of how they actually learnt. Children used laptops 1-1 and this teacher used this same set of laptops with this class and other classes. She did a lot of sharing of multiple screens through the projector so that children could see what others were doing.She liked film and did a lot of film making with her kids. She used inquiry as an approach to learning.
She talked about herself and tech use and described herself as a bit like a mothership……sometimes she is out front and other times they are all together.
She worked with other teachers to build their capacity.
Teacher 3: one of her interest areas was learning to code. She was a very careful planner and considered that when students use tech they need to concentrate more in order to create a quality product. She was very constructivist in her outlook.
Teacher 4: secondary teacher with 99%NESL students. She was a digital media and visual arts teacher and understood the importance of the aesthetics.
ALL OF THEM – their work on authentic learning and authentic audience was clearly seen.
Jane’s work is based on the TPCK model – and the notion that teachers effectively using tech have a thorough understanding of pedagogy and content and then how to use technology.
Her model that is emerging from this research focusses on 5 factors.
- public learning
- life preparation
- contextual accommodations
Generally -successful teachers work in a constructivist manner. They have sutided Piaget and Vygotsky. They talked about playing and learning alongside kids. They talked about technology matching the learning purpose. Tech was used to shift the students’ thinking. Real tasks and students questions were the starting point.
The classrooms were highly creative. They made different things and had choice and options.
Knowledge is limited but creativity circles the world
Her research also goes into the dilemmas.
- Who is in charge? – principle and practice
- Getting into flow – the teachers who allow students to get into the flow and who take risks see the results. They see tech as empowering the students.
- Teacher who don’t use tech are afraid to take the risk.
Standardisation is the death knoll of innovation.