The task for this discussion, is for me to choose two professional connections that I have on my map and evaluate their impact on my practice and professional community.
As I created my links, I thought about how every year the links change. A few years ago I was involved in a wonderful support group of Wellington College computer teachers that was developed through Victoria University as the Computer Science Faculty had discovered that students were not arriving at their doorstep with enough knowledge of programming. I have not included the links this year, but their input still impacts on the learning of programming skills that are learnt in my senior classes.
When I first began teaching Computers in a College, I had a strong professional connection with the WeLcom community, who shared knowledge and supported me with my first online courses and introduced me to “Moodling”. These links and supports are still available for some of my students and for moderation.
Throughout my teaching careers’ as a primary, secondary or pre-school teacher, it has always been the students that have made the most important impact on my practice and formed the foundations of my professional communities. Relationships, interests, and shared information with whanau, have helped to set goals and next steps, with the New Zealand Curriculum providing the support to achieve these.
I was interested by my pathways and how my Technology Faculty provides me with the support to be connected to the Technology curriculum and to NCEA or NZQA. This illustrated for me that professional communities are linked by knowledge and by people, and as either of these change, we adapt our professional community. TKI provides professional support, information and exemplars that support student learning.
This leads me to the second most important impact on my professional community, as over the last few months I have been encouraged to communicate online, creating an environment where I can have world wide interaction with people. As I introduced my classes to their courses at the start of the year, I encouraged my students to utilise headphones and use YouTube if they have a question they would like explained. We now have international tutors in the class, and I have noted on two lessons how much faster it is to have someone working beside you. My students who are working on Excel are finding it easy to follow instructions at their own pace instead of waiting for everyone else.
Previously I have developed my own Camtasia video’s but now I am confident to utilize a much larger professional community, thanks to a teacher called Steve, whom I have never met. Steve Mouldey regularly share blogs and his expertise, beginning this year with a blog about getting to know students, creating a link for me to those who impact the most on my teaching practice – my students.
The students are accessing their own private tutors and in only one lesson we were able to cover what we have previously looked at in two. Ben Bloom is referred to by David Wiley as investigating a model of learning that studied what personal tutoring can allow our students to achieve.
Like David says though about linking ideas to create new ones, although I can not bring the personal tutors into my class, by linking in with technology as an open source I can create lessons where students can work with experts at their own pace to achieve this.
Wiley,D. (2011) An Interdisciplinary Path to Innovation. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ytjMDongp4
Mouldey, S.(2016) From Knowing to Empathising. Retrieved from https://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/from-knowing-to-empathising/#more-1537