Since last writing a blog an enormous number of positive changes have occurred and I am again excited about the way teaching and learning is moving forward for my school. I have had lots of excellent questions about using 365 for collaboration between students and staff, staff have started making OneNote documents and a few have had a play with Office Mix too. But more importantly, HoD’s and senior management are starting to concert their efforts. If there is anything that this year has taught me, at some point senior leader in a school need to stand up and make a decision. Unless it is coming (or at least actively supported and promoted) from the top, it is very difficult to drive it from the bottom up.
So some exciting things I am doing in the least 2 weeks of school.
1) Meeting with the Science and Social Science dept to talk 365 and Onedrive for collaboration between staff and eventually students. Currently the school has a clogged and unfriendly teacher drive, which is impossible to find anything on and has multiple versions and copies of the same document scattered about the place. So moving these two depts into the cloud will show other depts how it can be done and hopefully give the staff in them more confidence to use the same system with their students.
We are also going to discuss using OneNote as both a dept handbook and also a ‘virtual’ text book/work book for staff and students alike. So a bit for me to cover in 2 hours, but I will give it a good shot.
2) Meeting with the HoD and Ass HoD of English to talk 365. They attended a PD day and saw how another English teacher was using 365 to give feedback to students, including verbally. They are very keen to do this within their department, so I am meeting with them to go over some options around this. I think OneNote is the best option for this… but will have to do some learning myself, which is great.
3) I am meeting with the senior leadership team and the school office team to talk 365 and how they can share documents more easily between them. This will be the scary one, so I am leaving it till last and using the others as practice of sorts. But I really want this one – which really is the simplest in terms of what to do and how to share it – to go the best, so we can get the top people on board and sharing documents with staff in the same way so it becomes more common place. And of course if that goes well and works easily enough, it means that they might be more open to other options.
4) Ben from cyclone came for a chat and mentioned the new HP stream which is an alternative to the chrome books. He has sent one out for us to play with and I am impressed with what it can do. A small, seemingly sturdy device with everything you would need in the junior school for a very reasonable price. So the Yr seven students are currently having a play around with it and so far the feedback is all good. So I have a job to explore options around how we offer the device and how we inform the community.
5) I have been quietly proactive, and put this up in the staff room
I guess bright yellow isn’t the quiet….
I have deliberately tried to use as few ‘technical computery’ type terms as possible. My big hope is there are a few staff interested in a few areas who can work together to get something working. Then they can pass there knowledge onto a few more. I am still not quite sure when these events will happen, but I will bribe people with food and hopefully next year they will go ahead.
And to top everything off, Tuesday was the most amazing #scichatnz ever! It is amazing to see how in two terms our hungry little hashtag has grown into a vibrant community of Educators and Scientists. Need to get the thinking and creativity caps on fro 2015 🙂