Different modes and media for program delivery

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This story looks at a significant change to the delivery of the ‘lecture’ component of the program at the nation’s biggest medical school. Clearly, this is yet another context of educational service delivery, but it puts a clear focus on the possibilities within a range of modes and media: mostly dependent on some fundamental shifts in the way that we perceive the whole paradigm of ‘what a school is.’

In the last decade, armed with this paradigm, we have then embarked on ‘school planning:’ setting in place an agenda of continuous, incremental improvement which, if done well, will get us well along the way to where we need ‘schools,’ as both independent and interdependent facilities for optimum learning, to be. If, however, ‘school planning’ is done as cynical lip-service to accountability, as a process in which disproportionately more attention is paid to risk management and demonstration of incrementally improving data sets in a range of performance areas (which are chosen as indicators because they represent the measures which are popularly attributed to be indicators of quality education), then perhaps all we are doing is celebrating the improvement of something which may still be fundamentally failing the needs of whatever percentage it is, of an increasingly disengaged segment of a generation of young people.

There will be many great schools where that particular balance line is nimbly negotiated: a wonderful outcome.

This is the story from The Australian.

Just how DO we move from the paradigm of ‘school planning’ to the paradigm of ‘planning school.’

End of the med school lecture Justine Ferrari, Education writer November 24, 2006

The traditional university lecture will be scrapped by the nation’s biggest medical school and replaced by online learning programs. Read the story here
There are some TAFEs which have been using mp3 etc.  If you know of some innovative programs, why not use the ‘Post your own’ link below to post a comment.



Don’t forget.  You can use the Post your own link below to comment.

From across the Tasman

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A recent report from New Zealand clearly identifies a number of issues related to the perceptions of the status of teachers.  The clarity and similarity of many of the issues is stark, and the need for positive relationships and a shared ability to have obvious pride in the quality of education we provide for children and young people seems probably to transcend “the dutch.”

Perceptions of the Status of Teachers

This report details the findings of a two part market research project, commissioned to provide an understanding of the public’s perceptions of teachers and teaching, and how this impacts on the profession’s ability to attract and retain good teachers within the profession. The project specifically explores the issue of teacher status, its importance and its impact.

Very interesting reading and very relevant to our own situation here in NSW.  Click here to visit the site

No child left behind ?

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Schools Slow in Closing Gaps Between Races  – From the New York Times

When President Bush signed his sweeping education law a year into his presidency, it set 2014 as the deadline by which schools were to close the test-score gaps between minority and white students that have persisted since standardized testing began.

Now, as Congress prepares to consider reauthorizing the law next year, researchers and a half-dozen recent studies, including three issued last week, are reporting little progress toward that goal. Slight gains have been seen for some grade levels.

Click here to read the entire story

Recognising some fundamental shifts in knowledge management

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An integration plan for digital migrants 

November 18, 2006

The 2006 Andrew Olle lecture was delivered by Senator Helen Coonan on Friday night. This full text of her speech can be read here

Senator Coonan uses the ‘Digital Native; Digital Immigrant’ analogy made famous by writer Marc Prensky.  You can read Marc Prensky’s piece from 2001 here

Senator Coonan’s address is a great mainstream recognition of the democratisation of knowledge management which has become increasingly possible with web 2.0 applications.  We should seek to make the best use of this trend within a field such as education where we are actually working directly with Digital Natives.

In more recent times, information distribution became the domain of those who could afford to own the airwaves. Now anyone with a fast broadband connection and a laptop can create a movie or a blog and share it with the world.

And, there are some parallel thoughts in this with the sort of ‘paradigm shifts’ needed in the minds of educators around how we productively harness new technologies and knowledge acquisition and management. 

When the Internet was first invented and innovative people began to contemplate how to make money out of it, it was assumed the Net would simply be a distribution pipe for content as opposed to something that users might be able to influence.

But quickly it has become the domain for largely untrammelled free thought and free speech. It has been shaped by its users and it responds to the changing needs of consumers. Its potential is limitless. And the faster broadband speeds are, the more dynamic its uses.

Perhaps understandably, it is simply the unknown dimensions of participatory media that most alarms both the traditional media and even the political class. And if it doesn’t, they’re in denial.

I appreciate that some in the media resist change, are risk averse and sincerely wish to preserve the status quo or even turn back the clock. But stemming the tide of technology that has fundamentally altered the way we communicate is impossible. And to be frank, it is undesirable.

The world has well and truly moved beyond being able to control the news diet of a passive audience or insisting on how it is to be consumed. And when high speed networks are now being rolled out across the nation, primed to deliver a triple play of voice, data and video it is increasingly apparent that those whose business is in old media must adapt, innovate and invest in order to survive.

Are we we constantly reassessing the possibilities of what we can do in this complex environment where we need to structure environments to meet the needs of ‘digital natives’, communicate the positive outcomes to ‘digital immigrants’ and do the work with a workforce which contains many who see themselves more as ‘digital aliens’ ?

If we are serious about operating with a ‘moral imperative,’ then the answer needs to be ‘yes.’

Coaching and Performance Feedback

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Readers of the SMH may have seen a piece in the My Career section written by John Eales, former captain of the Wallabies.  Eales has some interesting things to say about the role of coaching and performance feedback in leadership and management.  A search for some more writing led to the Australian Institute of Management and a piece which contains the following excerpt: 

Find your mettle

What are the special qualities that great managers share? The experts at Eales’ company, Mettle, who identify, train and create successful managers on a daily basis, fill us in.

  • Balance between managerial leadership and engaging leadership: ‘managerial’ being clear on roles, accountabilities, using systems and processes to get work done and key knowledge of the financials; and ‘engaging’ being inspirational, connecting, empowering, empathic, values driven and a great communicator.
  • Clear picture of a future that is easily understood by others and is a place that is better than where they are today.
  • Great storyteller who helps people connect more easily and visually into what needs to be done.

  • More good resources from Scotland

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    Here is another Scottish site which provides some great self-evaluation material to reflect on the service being delivered.

    Click to visit the site

    Let’s start at the very beginning . .

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    At a time when we have had a sustained focus on reporting achievement relative to a standards framework, this information from Scotland shifts thinking to the point of engagement with learning: creating a focus on the critical attitudes and relationships which provide the context in which all parties learn effectively.

    What is personal learning planning?

    Research shows that children learn best when they:

    • understand clearly what they are trying to learn
    • know what is expected of them
    • are given feedback about the quality of their work
    • are given advice about how to improve their work
    • are involved in deciding what needs to be done next
    • know who can help them if they need it.

    Personal learning planning is a process that takes account of these points and will help your child to make the most of their potential. It is a conversation about learning which will involve you, your child and their teacher. The conversation will focus on what your child is going to be learning, what evidence of achievements and progress will look like, and planning together for the next steps.

    Click to visit the page

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