Saturday, August 29, 2009


These are a couple of websites that I found relating to the STEPS Project, a study commissioned by the Executive Agency of the European Commission Directorate General Education and Culture (EACEA) and undertaken by the European Schoolnet and empirica GmbH between January 2008 and June 2009, with the support of national correspondents, researchers, policy-makers, teachers and pupils in 30 countries.

Preliminary findings are available on the site in the form of presentations from some of the countries involved. The study aimed to identify the impact of ICT on learning and learners, on teachers and teaching and on primary school development plans and strategies. It sought to identify the main drivers and enablers for effective and efficient use of ICT, and to propose recommendations on the integration of ICT in education for policy makers and stakeholders.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom

I came across the following article in the NY Times. It got me thinking about the implications of studies like this in terms of teaching pedagogy in the classroom. I don't believe that online learning is going to replace the classroom, but I do think that it challenges to expand our conceptualisations of 'the classroom' and the ways in which we 'teach'.

As the article states:

“The technology will be used to create learning communities among students in new ways,” Mr. Regier said. “People are correct when they say online education will take things out the classroom. But they are wrong, I think, when they assume it will make learning an independent, personal activity. Learning has to occur in a community.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

So is this journey over......?

I'm not really sure what I am going to do with this blog now that the inquiry project is over....

I think that I will continue adding to it to continue developing it as a resource for other teachers to use when setting up their blogs....

I guess this is also the start of a new journey of using this technology (and other new technologies like 'wikis' in my classroom)....this is a new journey and one that I will continue to reflect on in this blog.....

T.S. Eliot was right......the end really is the beginning....

Presentation Feedback

I found it quite difficult to present given the technical difficulties that I faced in the room. I had thought that all of this was sorted as I had met with the technical specialists last week.

It was exciting to share with people the possibilities of blogging and see the ways in which they responded to what I was sharing.

Feedback comments:

- "I have been following the journey on your blog. It has taken a lot of the "fear" away from me."
- "Inspired to have a go!"
- "Great suggestions for application of blogging."
- "What an innovative way to record your journey and learn a new skill at the same time!"
- "You raised my awareness of the benefits of blogging and how it can be used as a communication tool with other schools, parents etc."
- "This is awesome and you have really inspired me to set up a classroom blog with my own students."
- "I find this sort of thing hard, but you have made it very accessible. Such an interesting topic! Perfect for us in this computer literate world. I like how it empowers students."
- "You have taken away the 'scary' side of blogs."


- "How do you belong to a blog?" - responded to this question at the end of the presentation
- "I wonder how much time you'd need to keep it updated as a teacher?" - this is addressed in my blog
- "Can a blog disappear eg. if I did online portfolios - could they disappear into cyber world?" - this is an interesting question which I will follow-up on
- "Would this be able to be implemented in a new entrant year 1 class?" - yes it is being done in schools (just takes more teacher involvement and scaffolding)

It has been a really rewarding journey for me. There were moments when I wondered whether I was taking on more than I thought possible in the 5 weeks. There were also moments when I thought I knew where I was going, or tried to resist making changes to the focus of my project. However, I have have learned a lot about the inquiry process from this project and now feel more comfortable working in less-rigid ways - sometimes you just need to go with it and trust that you will end up in a meaningful place. Roadblocks can't be avoided, it's all about how you chose to get over then, and learn from the ......(there's a word here......7 of us can't work out our what it I will leave it blank)

Inquiry Presentations

The Inquiry presentations have come to an end. I have found the past few days a really valuable part of the inquiry process. It has been great to be able to share our learning with each other and I have found it interesting how many common themes and connections could be made between what seemed like very different topics.

I took notes during the presentations on things that I wanted to explore further or refer back to later in terms of my teaching and learning.

Presentation Day - Roadblocks

I am about to present my project to our inquiry class. Things haven't gone smoothly - there was meant to be a technical expert to help with my set up (they never turned up); the computers couldn't be turned on (which undermined the hope of my presentation) - so things have got off to a pretty bad start....


I have managed to improvise enough that I am hoping I can achieve most of what I hoped in my presentation......time will tell (and hopefully the technology will come to the party!!!)