Office of Schools Conference

This week is going to be a big one for me. I can’t decide what’s bigger – presenting at a BIG conference, the Office of School’s Engaging Learners Through Innovative Practice Conference (say that with a mouth full of marbles!) OR meeting the heart of my twitter PLN face to face for the first time. If this seems like an odd conundrum for a young(ish) teacher to be in, then you should have a look at the slides for my presentation with Troy Martin – DER Leadership: A Genuine Learning Revolution. This should help you appreciate just how essential ‘Back-Up’ is for those wanting to lead change in education. My twitter PLN are my dynamic learning environment. I quote myself (hahah … laughing at myself) ‘twitter is essentially immersive learning – it’s fun, it feels good, but you learn tonnes of stuff’. And i don’t lie – promise, cross my heart and stick a needle in my eye!

I would love it if you could check out the slideshow Troy and I have created for the OOS conference and give us some feedback. Even better, if you could add a comment about how YOU think it is best to lead change in an educational setting we would love to share these with our workshop attendees. Oh, and whilst you’re at it, check out the awesome prezi that Darcy Moore has put together for his presentation on Blogs in Education – it’s great! You can see it here.

D.E.R. Leadership – A Genuine Learning Revolution

10 thoughts on “Office of Schools Conference

  1. Great slides and a well thought out approach Bianca. This is in part the methodology that (@greghodgson) a colleague and I took in introducing Moodle to our school 5 years ago. This model worked for us up to a point but after developing the Media, Art, ICT and Business departments we reached saturation point and it got to be like “here comes Greg/James again with another VLE session, when are they going to stop going on about it.

    This led to a slightly different approach. We both wanted to pursue other things. Such as for me, Google Docs, Twitter in the classroom and podcasting.

    So in developing and motivating teachers across quite a big institution – we have over 200 teaching staff and almost 2000 students we have also taken the approach of what you may call planting seeds in departments that grow into “lone nuts” themselves. For example I have been struggling to get the English department onboard with Moodle. Instead I have spent the year developing one person, she is now the “lone nut”, my Moodle champion. She will bring the others in, because it is not me standing in front of them again.

    Another colleague (@joweir82) I have worked on by just dropping bits of new-media and tech in front of her until she bit. She has just signed up for Twitter, is going to be managing and helping the department use HotBooks and possibly Storybird next year.

    There will come a point in the future where you will need to offload. You must not allow your development become stagnant because you are so focussed on developing others.

    What has happened now is that we have 3 tiers of development within school. There are a few of us who are at the cutting edge. Then there is a large group who are where we were 2/3 years ago – using tech, Moodle, maybe some social media. And then there is the group who is where we were 5 years ago. Just getting started. But that is okay, they have started. Everyone in school at the very least shows the weeks notices on the VLE. Some even go as far as putting their homework online or use a pre-set-up program such as “MyMaths”.

    The point being: They will get there! So persevere. This is a great presentation based upon some seriously hard work on your part. I wish I could see your presentation, I would cheer you on from the back of the ground like a nut myself.

    I really hope you get to visit later in the year. Oh, and I’m stealing the dancing guy video for my own presentations! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your generous comment, James!

      I have reached the ‘saturation’ point that you mentioned. It happened a few weeks before the end of last term. I had timetabled a few more ‘lunch and learns’ but just lacked energy and enthusiasm as felt frustrated by the need for me to do ‘stand and deliver’ style teaching of tech at lunch times. But even more important was the complaints from mys students that they missed me in class – either I was out for some presentation/workshop I was running/attending or I wasn’t there in class mentally – they knew I wasn’t ‘tuned in’ and my own classroom practice was slipping.

      I have made the decision to ‘train-up’ individuals in each department also. I have some amazing and committed ‘first-followers’ who need to be given the chance to shine and show. They are the important next step in our genuine learning revolution. We will then move on to the students – targetting a select group of Year 9 and 10 students to focus on web-based and software apps that they think can be used creatively and effectively in the classroom. They will teach the teachers and the students both formally and informally.

      I think that my hardwork has paid off, but now I need to step back – thanks for your comment because it seems that I am making the right decision. I love your model and will use it as my inspiration for the coming term.

      Hope to see you soon too! 🙂

    • Thanks Darcy!

      Fingers-crossed it goes well. Would have liked to put in ‘where will we be in 2 years’ but 55 mins goes quickly and I need to leave time for valuable discussion where we will all learn from one another.

  2. Pingback: The Teacher-leader Conundrum « Bianca's Blog

  3. I love your presentation Bianca as I think it covers pretty much everything that can be done as DER leader in a school, but not in a ‘preachy’ way. It is informative without being boring and inspiring because it’s totally real and down to earth. Also because there’s an obvious passion there.

    It is definitely hard being a lone nut with technology in a school because the change you are making and hope for in others is HUGE considering all the the other factors in play in a typical high school. It is really a cultural change we are seeking and this takes time. True change in culture can only come from within individuals after they understand the need for this change and can see it’s benefits. Now that you have done the hard yards planting this seed, you can probably afford the luxury to sit back a little and let this cultural change develop organically. If you are feeling a little burnt out no wonder! The best way to get re-inspired I reckon, is probably to shift your focus back to your students whilst at the same time being around for those teachers that need you. After all, when we think about our most memorable and inspiring days at school, it’s always the students who are at the centre of these days. (I miss teaching)

    Anyway, I’m booked in for your workshop at OSC and very much looking forward to it!

    • Thanks so much Anne!

      These are very wise words and just the right ones for me right now, I think.

      I will be adding a ‘vision for the future’ discussion at the end and this sentiment of removing oneself from the classroom for the ‘greater good’ and then returning to it to be reinspired is essential!

      You’ll be back with the kids before you know it, but ikn the meantime you’re doing wonderful and important things for education and the future!


  4. I love love love love this slideshare! A beautiful resource 😀

    My only concern…how long is the spoken presentation supposed to go for? I usually bank on taking between 1-2 minutes for each slide, and you have 94 slides. I see some of them are very click through-able, but still…if you go off on tangents like I do, I’d make sure you have a plan for how you’re going to keep to time.

    • Thanks Kelli – I have all of the slides timed, it moves on its own so it’ll be watched like a little youtube clip. There’s about 10 slides each that we actually talk to 🙂

      I’ll let you know this afternoon how it goes… nervous!

      • watching youse on Ustream :DDDD

        (vision a bit choppy, sound a tad quiet, but overall pretty good streaming.)

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