New issue of Weve available!

Weve is one of the publications I mentioned in my recent post about professional reading, so I’m thrilled to have been invited to contribute to the latest edition!
This challenged, stretched, excited and frightened me, all at the same time! I’m so proud of stepping outside of my comfort zone and creating something new. I’ve always been a words girl, so parsing my words right back and selecting just the right ones with the right images to express my thoughts was definitely moving beyond comfort. I enjoyed the brainstorming that went along with this immensely! Thank you, Sally and Megan for inviting me to do this, and then actually using my little movie!

Heroes Mingle

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The Tertiary Prep Programme 2015

TTPP SBHS Title page

It’s been a great learning journey to date.  Six years on and The Tertiary Prep Programme a la 2015 only vaguely resembles the unit designed in the fledgling days as I tentatively began forming my thoughts about preparing students for the transition to further study.

After presenting on the work I had begun at Hargest at the LILAC Conference in 2012 I had a whole new lens thrown across it when I began working at Southland Boys’ High School.  Two years of further thinking, trialling, talking and tweaking has now led to the development of a programme designed not for just one particular school, but for any school wanting a solution to bridging the gaps between secondary and tertiary study.

So at the end of last month, at a workshop presentation during the recent SLANZA Conference I launched The Tertiary Prep Programme to a group of librarians and teachers.

Why should we be considering this type of programme in our secondary schools? Recent research out of Massey University, published in the current SET magazine indicates areas of concern in how prepared students are for the switch to tertiary learning. Lisa Emerson and fellow researchers Angela Feekery and Ken Kilpin make some clear conclusions from their work with a group of secondary and tertiary teachers.  Watch out for a blog post on The Tertiary Prep Programme website about this article, Lets talk about literacy: preparing students for the transition to tertiary learning, in coming days.

If you are interested in learning more about The Tertiary Prep Programme, visit the website, check out the resources and follow the site.  I would like it to grow into a community of educators who can share ideas, thoughts and suggestions with each other.

If you’re interested in my next steps with tertiary prep or you’d like my brief summary of the issues and mitigating factors relating to the research article then be sure to take a look at my conference presentation on Slideshare.

And if you’d like support towards embedding a tertiary prep programme in your school, please don’t hesitate to contact me as I’d love to work with you!

Research and the Internet – Are we getting smarter?

Human – business evolution

Reused from Flickr with Creative Commons License

I have just finished reading a thought-provoking article from the American Psychological Association regarding research into whether internet searching makes us feel smarter than we truly are.

It would seem that it does!  Apparently the research would suggest that we gain an inflated sense of our own knowledge, even when we don’t find the answer to what we’re looking for, after the physical act of searching the internet. However, it appears this is not the case when researchers provided the link to a website to enable subjects to answer specific questions.  It is the act of searching that makes us feel all-knowing.

Lead researcher Matthew Fisher suggests that as a result of the act of reading a book or talking with an expert we are more engaged in the research process than when we are searching the internet and so it becomes apparent to us when we have gaps in our knowledge.  This then leads us to investigate further to find the answer. “With the Internet, the lines become blurry between what you know and what you think you know.”

So what are the implications of this on education and our future generations? And will it become more obvious as our current crop of young people who seem surgically connected to their smart phones become adults?

My initial thoughts are that we need to be designing lessons that require a level of critical thinking that demands our students to engage with the material they find, and that we should not be too quick to physically or mentally throw out our non-fiction collections.

We also need to continue to engage in learning conversations with our students as well as encourage those conversations to take place between peers, and demand not only reasoned and cited answers to questions but that further questions need to be asked in the quest for new knowledge.

It could become a dangerous world indeed when decisions are being made by people who think they know everything, but in fact know very little at all.

A Librarian’s Take on the Future of Learning

NZCER’s 40th anniversary special edition of SET is now available on line and will be hitting school staff rooms from next week.

set-2014-1

The theme of this special edition is the future of education and I can’t wait to read the articles published, especially:

“The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present”: Preparing your students for their critically multiliterate future today byKwok-Wing Lai

Future-oriented pedagogies should focus on supporting students to be creative, innovative, and capable of creating knowledge, both individually and collaboratively, at the community level. This article discusses how a group of teachers have come to understand and use the knowledge-building model developed by Scardamalia and Bereiter (2006) to support secondary students to develop as knowledge creators of the 21st century. Findings from knowledge-building research conducted in New Zealand classes are used to illustrate how the knowledge-building model can be implemented. The PROGRESS practice model is introduced to guide teachers to implement the knowledge-building approach in their classes. and

Transforming New Zealand schools as knowledge-building communities: From theory to practice by Susan Sandretto and Jane Tilson

We can no longer predict knowledge needed for the future, which has significant implications for contemporary literacy programmes. In this article we argue that reconceptualising current literacy approaches will support teachers to develop future-focused literacy teaching. We suggest that a critical multiliteracies lens can provide rationale for a future-focused literacy programme (the “why”), and that the four resources model (Luke & Freebody, 1999) can provide a way to enact such a programme (the “how”). Drawing on our research using this approach with teachers, we provide a mapping template and reflective questions as a springboard to initiate reflective discussion.

I’m also very excited to have a ‘think-piece’ published! 

A Librarian’s take on the future of learning 

Now is an exciting time to be involved in educating our next generation. The way we think about education and our approach to teaching is continually evolving, and our libraries are also undertaking a parallel evolution. They are no longer dusty, silent spaces where the main function is to store and catalogue books. Today’s libraries are becoming vibrant spaces for information seeking, sharing, creating, and communicating new learning. They encompass the best traditions of our old-world libraries while embracing multiple pathways to supporting, connecting and collaborating in our new educational environments. Twenty-first century librarians like me are still there with the right book for the right reader at the right time, but we are also enthusiastic mavens, passionate knowledge-seekers, and committed communicators in this burgeoning landscape.

It has been an amazing experience to work through the process from submitting the abstract and having it accepted to finally seeing it in print.  It was certainly a much harder and more robust process that I had anticipated, but I am so grateful for the experience and I now hope to write more about how librarians fit into the education landscape today and into the future.  This is something I feel very passionate about and believe my knowledge in this area is growing as my role at Southland Boys’ High School continues to develop and I get more opportunities to work with staff and students in a range of ways.