Monday, September 26, 2016

Time to put my money where my mouth is....

"Keep going"
"Learn from your mistakes"
"Pick yourself up"
These are things we say to students all the time.
This morning I received an email which means I have to put my money where my mouth is in this respect.
I had applied for the Core Education Vince Ham eFellows 2017 scholarship and the email this morning told me that I had not been successful.

The good thing is, the plan that I had put forward in my application is not something extra. I am intending to do the planned work with my Year 12 students anyway next year, so now I have to make sure I put as much effort into it as I would have done if they had accepted me,

The email I received was a generic "you have been unsuccessful" type, so I am not aware of why they think that my plan was not good enough.
I am going to include a copy and paste of my application here, and would be grateful if you have a little time, to give some feedback so I know where I can improve the focus for next year.
I have started the plan already with this year's Year 12 students, and they are helping me to start the planning for the course for next year.

Here is my application :-

Tell us a little about the context in which you work and your experience answer:

     I have taught Technology since 1995 and I moved to New Zealand in
     2004. Since then, I have taught Graphics / DVC at Tamaki
     I have been responsible for the Graphics / Technology department
     getting 3D printers and a laser cutter and I am taking the
     graphics / DVC course in a more product design direction.
     Since the school went fully digital and working on Google, I have
     also been the Google support person for the staff and have
     provided one to one PD and help as well as group sessions for
     them to learn how to use all the Google (GAFE) products.

 What is the area of practice you wish to investigate and develop further through this award? answer:

     I want to improve the achievement of my Level 2 DVC students.
     I wish to investigate the impact of a structured course which the
     students can work through at their own pace. This will be in the
     form of screencasts,forums and recorded skills sessions.
What is the background-answer:

     I investigated this briefly last year with one project at Level
     1. It gave the students a lot of support within the classroom
     setting as well as outside of it in terms of knowing where they
     were up to and what to do next. I was able to spend a lot more of
     my class time helping individual students instead of going over
     things and repeating instructions.
     A link to this investigation is here :-
     This year, my teacher inquiry is based around improving Year 12 /
     Level 2 achievement and I am part of a "change" group at school,
     working with the ministry to effect change with the Year 12
     A link here to my Year 12 group enquiry so far :-
Five minutes of total media time OR no more than 500 words of text-answer:

     I have a group of students in my Level 2 classes who are a very
     mixed ability group.
     Some have done Level 1 with me. Some have not done graphics with
     me at all. A large part of my group miss lessons throughout the
     year due to going on courses in other institutions like MIT. This
     makes following the structured course in DVC very difficult as
     they are all at different places and come in and out at various
     times throughout the year. I want all of my students to have the
     same opportunity to achieve the credits on my Level 2 course,
     regardless of whether they are in the classroom or not. The
     produced investigation will also benefit the students who are in
     the class as they will always know where they are and what to do.
     I also always have students who want to take my course but can't
     because of timetable clashes.
     This gives students the chance to plan their own learning at
     their own pace as thanks to the Manaiakalani Tamaki Learning
     Network, all the students have wireless access at home.
     This will give students access to the course and their learning
     at any time and give family access to know what the course is all
     about. The collaborative space  / discussion forum / google plus
     community will give the students chance to support each other, be
     the teacher and learn valuable skills about commenting and
     working with people online. (cybersmart)
     I will be able to support the students in the classroom in a much
     more personal and one to one manner to help them with their
     individual needs in regards to their project work and the
     students will be able to plan their own time more effectively
     when out of the class.
     As this is based around the "spiral of inquiry", I will be
     getting to know my learners and their individual needs in a much
     more effective way.
     If this proves to be an effective way of setting up a senior NCEA
     course, then this can be used at all levels to support student
     progress through their projects.

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