Ask the Connected Learning Advisory

Issue: Volume 96, Number 8

Posted: 15 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d7s

The Ministry of Education’s Connected Learning Advisory – Te Ara Whītiki is committed to supporting schools and communities as they plan for, manage and use digital technologies for learning. This month we invite you to attend one of our free professional learning opportunities to explore developing a digital technologies action plan with our popular resource the Strategic Thinking Roadmap.

Free professional learning event

“This workshop has given us a starting point for digital technology in the future in our school. This has also allowed us to access useful resources. This has opened our minds to possibilities in our school focus.” – Previous participant

In term 2 (12–22 June), throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, the Connected Learning Advisory will be offering free professional learning and development events around the popular Strategic Thinking Roadmap resource

(external link)
 These will be full-day workshops with an introduction to the resource in the morning, and an opportunity to ‘dive deeper’ into the eight planning strands in the afternoon. Those new to the resource, as well as those who attended last year’s workshops, are warmly invited. If you wish to register your interest to attend, please do so here on the Core Education website(external link) 

The Strategic Thinking Roadmap: Developing a digital technologies action plan

Planning for how technology can support future-focused learning is a complex challenge. However, by following the roadmap process and using its planning strands, reflective questions, ideas, exemplars and templates, schools and kura can develop effective and sustainable elearning action plans. Plans that have been robustly crafted through consultation and by adopting a team approach, rather than by a lone elearning leader.

You can gain an overview of the roadmap process at one of our professional learning events, or by contacting the Connected Learning Advisory. The online guide to the roadmap also provides an overview through short video clips.

The first roadmap action is to assemble a lead team. Some schools may already have an elearning team in place but for many schools it will need to be formed or expanded. A successful team will be diverse – not just including your early adopters.

As with any planning process, it is important to determine where you are at right now: what’s going well with the use of digital technologies at your school and what’s causing concern?

Then, the roadmap focuses on where you want to be: what’s your future state? To help you determine and develop this vision, the roadmap draws upon five key concepts:

  • Always start with your purpose and principles.
  • Link your planning to teaching and impact on learners.
  • Champion inquiry and innovation.
  • Planning needs to be informed by research and data.
  • Ensure a schoolwide commitment to continual professional growth.

The roadmap asks two key questions, based on the work of Julia Atkins:

  • What would be powerful for our students to learn, both now and in the future?
  • What do powerful learning and powerful teaching look like?

These questions are intentionally not specific to technology. As Michael Fullan famously states, “Learning is the driver, technology is the accelerator”. Planning your digital technologies journey is linked inextricably to your planning for teaching and learning: you must firstly agree to the purpose, values, and beliefs that underpin how you work as a learning community.

Only when your school or kura can clearly articulate its vision should decisions about ‘what to do’ with digital technologies be addressed. The roadmap process revolves around helping you to explore this and to then determine how digital technologies can help to amplify it.

Once the vision has been clarified, the team considers eight planning strands they need to weave into their strategic thinking:

  • Intentional leadership.
  • Genuine learning partnerships.
  • Powerful pedagogy.
  • Purposeful curriculum.
  • Expanded teacher capacity.
  • Innovative learning environments.
  • Robust digital infrastructure.
  • Cohesive digital services.

Each strand is underpinned by research and supported by resources such as school stories and reflective questions that provide highly useful discussion starters. Typically, a school or kura will need to go beyond the lead team and consult more widely with students, staff, whānau, iwi and the community as it gathers its evidence and develops its goals.

Templates are available to record and share discussions as well as the goals and actions that form the plan itself. Together, these provide a concise, accessible document to share with the board, staff, students, whānau, iwi and community, and to continue to revisit as the plan is enacted, revised and evolves.

Contact the Connected Learning Advisory

The Connected Learning Advisory is supporting hundreds of schools, kura, and now also Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, as they make strategic decisions related to learning with digital technologies.

If you have a query about integrating technology with teaching and learning, or you want to suggest a topic for this column, contact the Connected Learning Advisory on:

Phone: 0800 700 400
Online form: TKI website(external link) or the CLA website(external link)

The Ministry of Education’s Connected Learning Advisory is managed by CORE Education.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:31 pm, 15 May 2017

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