Sunday, 1 July 2018

TML Wk 30: Trends Influencing NZ

My post this week relates to trends influencing NZ or internationally. In response to this I will be reflecting on the trends I am informed by professionally following Core Education's Ten Trends over the last decade. I will discuss this considering what happened using Rolfe’s (2001) reflective model to unpack it.  This takes the form of three simple questions, “what”, “so what” and “now what”.

Trends are a general direction in which something is developing or changing. The education sector needs to take stock of the rapidly changing world around our industry and consider the implications for preparing our learners for a world in which the impact digital technologies is creating disruptive and exponential change.  Daggett (2014), identifies five potentially disruptive emerging trends are that need to be considered in the education sector (page 4-8), these are: 
  • Impact of digital learning 
  • Heightened demand for career readiness 
  • Increased emphasis on application-based learning 
  • Use of data analytics for decision making 
  • Development of personal skills (Daggett, B., 2014)

Figure 1: Core Education: 2018 Trends
Since 2007 Core Education have published each year ten trends based on research that the New Zealand education sector could consider.  In 2014, Core Education started grouping the ten trends that they believe are important to consider against 5 themes: 1) Cultural;  2) Technology; 3) Structural; 4) Economic; and 5) Process.    

As an educational leader that is future focused and interested in being at the forefront of current pedagogical practice, I have encouraged staff to implement a STEM based curriculum in our context in order for our learners to acquire skills and apply learning that is much needed for their future.  This initiative in our context is called Tinker Time.   

So What?
As a professional leader I have taken notice of Core Education's ten trends because they specifically relate to exponential change and digital disruption affecting New Zealand educational contexts.  Tinker Time, provides learners with kits of cutting-edge technology that are rotated around each classroom for our learners to explore and engage with.  It addresses Daggett's (2014) areas of heightened demand for career readiness (with coding and critical thinking strategies being employed) along with the development of personal skills, and addresses the impact of digital learning.  The Tinker Time initiative also sits within the Economic thread of the ten trends, as we prepare our Sunnyhills learners to be active members of their future community.

We have had many visitors to Sunnyhills to see how we have set this up.  Our parent community has provided positive feedback and our teaching staff do not have to be experts in the use of this new technology, however they must allow our students the opportunity to explore the Tinker Time kits.  The below presentation explains our Tinker Time at Sunnyhills:

The Horizon Report, agrees that concepts implement like the Tinker Time activities that we employ at Sunnyhills, help to create opportunities for students to stimulate complex thinking (NMC, 2017).  They postulate that authentic learning isn't a trend, it is a necessity and that inquiry based learning and STEM related activities will help learners be future ready.

Now What?
I believe through the implementation and promotion of Tinker Time, I have followed the steps described by Daggett (2014) that school leaders can take to address the existing challenge in the context of emerging trends:
  • Create a culture that supports change
  • Create a team within the school focused on the impact of the emerging trend
  • Network with others to share best practices
  • Take risks in prototyping and iterating practices to accept emerging trend
  • Push trend-aligned policy (Daggett, B., 2014)
Our staff are committed to being future focused and that through the implementation of Tinker Time activities they are beginning to realise that we are meeting the requirements of the new Digital Technologies component of the Technology curriculum.  As a school we still need to create a rubric of competencies that each Tinker Time kit addresses.  Staff professional development also needs to occur, as while staff are giving the students the opportunity to participate in the STEM activities, they have not made the correlation between the activities and aspects of the technology curriculum.  As a staff in term 3, we are working towards completing the Mindlab Digital Passport professional learning and several staff are working towards the Google for Education, Level 1, Google Educator Certificate.  As a leader I have promoted staff to personally upskill in these areas and by the end of the 2018 academic year, 8 staff members will have upskilled with the Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning).

Word Count: 760 words

Core Education, (2018).  Ten Trends Document. Retrieved from 

Daggett, B. (2014). Addressing Current and Future Challenges in Education. Retrieved from MSC_AddressingCurrentandFutureChallenges.pdf

New Media Consortium. (2017, August 29). NMC and CoSN Release the Horizon Report: 2017 K-12 Edition [Video]. Retrieved from Youtube

No comments: