At the beginning of the Changemaker Program, Shane thought it was unacceptable that teachers were spending so much time searching for resources and trying to work out how to teach concepts that have been in the curriculum for many years. There was a lot of reinventing the wheel going on!
He believes that the main role of a teacher is to provide the best, evidence-informed practices and learning experiences for students in their care, but doing all of the research and sourcing resources is a really time consuming process. As a result, educators spend much more time on the ‘what’ rather than focussing on the ‘how’. He decided to try to switch this so that his colleagues could spend more time on the ‘how’.
Shane developed a central (digital) place that was easily accessible to teachers which housed all of the ‘what’ resources they might need to teach a particular unit – curriculum documents, teaching resources, etc. Providing all of this information freed up time for his teacher colleagues to spend considering the ‘how’.
Shane followed a few steps to create the online platform.
First he researched the pedagogical approaches of other schools in the area and their resource provision tools for teachers. What were they focussing on in the ‘how’ of teaching, and how were they getting the appropriate resources in the hands of teachers?
Using this research and once he’d decided on the vision for the shared digital space, Shane scoped out all of the platforms he could use – OneNote, Google Docs, Ed-Studio, the school’s home drive, etc..
Deciding on Ed-Studio, and after canvassing the idea with his colleagues to make sure the platform would be useful and used, Shane developed a basic site, organising the content into a couple of tabs – (i) Diagnostics, (ii) Curriculum (including teaching sequences, assessment tasks, full units), and (iii) Expert Knowledge (like articles and videos from Jo Boaler in a Maths unit).
Shane introduced the platform in a staff meeting and to encourage staff to start using the site, he then had to refrain from answering questions about learning sequences and unit planning, and instead started to direct people to the Ed-Studio page.
He’s now at the point of developing the page further so that it covers all of the areas of curriculum and the resources and tools are kept up to date and are examples of best-practice.
At his school, Shane has noticed many more teachers talking about and sharing ideas, practices and strategies for the ‘how’ of learning tasks in their collaborative planning sessions. The number of times he’s been asked ‘where do I find x?’ has been greatly reduced, and instead he’s been having conversations about productive pedagogies.
All teaching staff have used the site, and all have given feedback!
“A teacher who was reluctant to change her planning processes eventually used the site to get all of the information she needed to create her term’s learning plan. After using the platform she said “That was really useful having all of the information and documents in the one place”. Over time, she has also added feedback, saying things like “Maybe you could add a page where I can find resources so that I don’t have to download the C2C”. I loved this comment as it was my initial plan that most teachers wouldn’t have to download C2C units at all (because they’ve been integrated into our school’s unit plans on our own site).”
Like the idea?
Shane would love your support for Productive Pedagogies, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and he’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where he can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Shane and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer him on in the comments below as well.
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