SCD/Milestone Reports/Resources, Documentation and Downloads/Milestone 3 4 June 2011

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Milestone Number: 3
Regional Cluster Name Southern Central Divide
Contract Number 10-0279
Lead School/Legal Entity Waimate High School
Date 20 May 2011
National Facilitator Warren Hall
Project Director/s Trevor Storr, Pete Graham, Darren Sudlow
Facilitator/s Trevor Storr, Pete Graham, Darren Sudlow

3.1 Liaise with the National Facilitator assigned to this project

Our national facilitator has been very useful in providing guidance in the continued direction of the regional cluster.

He keeps in touch on a regular basis (even when we do not) through skype or emails, as well as phone calls.  This gives us that much needed nudge every now and then.  He is also offering chances for the regional clusters to connect (both face to face and virtual) which is of great benefit to all I would imagine.  The facilitators role in keeping tabs on a number of different clusters enables him to get a holistic view of what is happening across the country and this in turn provides us with an extremely useful resource and one in which we have tapped into.  He is able to pick out what has worked in other clusters and bring it to the table in any planning discussion we are having.  Perhaps Warren's most important contribution to date was his attendance of a planning meeting for 2011 late last year.  He was able to make some very good suggestions which we have taken on board for this year and more importantly helped us clarify what a regional cluster is all about it.  As a result our approach has broadened from what was a project to what is now an attempt to sustain a regional cluster that has online learning as the community focus.  This blog post reinforces that.

1. Report on your programme implementation

What we did and how often? Was it effective?

Face to Face PD: University of Canterbury, Wed 24th – Fri 26th November 2010

Attendees: – 20+ teachers, Darren, Trevor, Pete, Prof Niki Davis

Presenters: Mark Osborne (Albany Senior High School), Howard Baldwin (MoE eLearning)

Project vision and goals restated.
Teacher work on their pilot blended learning module was showcased – our stars presented to the group.
ePortfolios – guest presenter Mark Osbourne from Albany Senior High School showed what ASHS does with MyPortfolio (an implementation of Mahara) – inspiring in its clarity.
Teachers did further work on their own ePortfolios.

Day 2 – Further showcases, attended by Howard Baldwin (Manager, eLearning, MoE) who also presented.
Further workshops on pilots and ePortfolios

Teacher showcases were fascinating in variety and in the learning they revealed – both in deliverer and student.

Mark’s presentation clarified some of the purposes of Mahara and showed its power as a reflective tool.

I finally understand!!! For some reason I could not get my head around the whole e-portfolio concept but now that I have seen it in action I think I could become its biggest fan! The potential of e-portfolios seems fabulous. - Denise

Howard’s presence affirmed the work our widespread group has done.

Looking back … it’s hard to imagine the level of ignorance I had about online tools. I was completely unaware of all of the tools that were available and not only that, most are free! My attitude has changed so much at first I was uncomfortable with the fact that so many of the group members knew so much more than I did. Now I celebrate that and think: lots of resource people! - Pat

2 Face2Face West, PD at the Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika.

Mon 14th – Tues 15th March 2011

Attendees – Darren, Trevor, Pete. 20 teachers

Presenter: Dr Scott McLeod

At November’s PD it was decided one of our Face to Face times in 2011 would be on the West Coast. Hokitika was chosen and the time (immediately after Wildfoods) provided Cantabrian teachers some welcome earthquake respite.
Professor Niki Davis was in the US but we were honored to have UC visiting Fellow Scott McLeod (Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University) attending both days and presenting a provocative keynote on the need for fundamental school change on day 1.
Scott’s views underpinned the remainder of the workshop which featured further showcasing of teacher pilots, planning and refining of blended programmes and working towards the grail of personalised learning.

Key tasks established for the year:
establishing Communities of Practice (distributed departments)
gaining further penetration of participant teacher’s learning into the minds of school management.

At least things are starting to settle down now. Prophetic words posted by Darren on Feb 17th.

Teacher attendees appreciated the break from Canterbury and the proximity of a beach for contemplative walking…

Scott’s keynote stimulated discussion and thought:

One of the striking things about looking forward in education is that when you come back into school, so many of the structures people take for granted use up time and energy without being at all forward-looking. …many people in schools are neither equipped nor interested in developing their technological skills very far.

The society of the future does not need to be schooled; it needs to be educated… in that difference lies our challenge, which we need to be ready to meet, and soon. - Linda

…the worst part was all the reflecting in the first person …knowing that I would normally write stuff for assignments in the third person. I was caught between reflecting and thinking about what I had done and trying to write it up as if for publishing. Anyway the heart-felt reflection won out. The whole process was great - not too sure about sharing the pass rates - they were truly abysmal and definitely not a reflection of the learning, oh well more to work on. - Angela

I am also hoping to increase the usefulness of eportfolios in Twizel area school. Consolidate ideas and look at best practise with portfolios.
I am also writing my moodle course for VC through which I hope to make use of as many web 2 tools as possible.
I will continue to advocate Blended learning and best practise within it in Twizel Area School
- Denise in March - Motivated and reconnected after Hoki get together.

I have been really inspired by the examples that others on the course are sharing and I am excited by the possibility of making my course much more personalised. I am also looking forward to being able to use new tools confidently, and to sharing my learning with both my actual and my virtual colleagues - Jane

3 Leading Innovation in a Broadband World, Ashburton College Auditorium.

Mon 4th April

Keynotes by Scott McLeod, Michael Barbour, Marg McLeod.

Group presentation by four teachers in SCD ICT PD – showed sample of their blended learning pilots.

Panel discussion led by Derek Wenmoth.

Selection of feedback:

it was good looking at the big picture of where the UFB will take us. The need to have our students working in the top end of thinking strategies reinforces where we are working at heading.

It was still great to hear a strong message about how much teachers matter and that online learners still need a mentor teacher to be successful.

…having individuals present who are working with this in a practical sense is a very good thing. It stops it from just being theoretical and puts it in a real context for people.

4 Uni course EDEMx10

Teachers have now completed the first half of work proposed toward Post Grad. Cert. in Education, draft grades issued.
22 teachers completed, 6 withdrawn.

I am delighted to note that we have two students who have earned the tip top grade of A+ and are truly outstanding in their achievement, I think. I am sure that pressure of work and other matters restricted others who would normally have achieved that grade too. Professor Niki Davis

2. Reflections

What was important for us?

  • To develop communities of practice where teachers can support each other to develop blended learning opportunities for their learners.
  • To continue to develop our core group of teacher leaders so that they are able to act as elearning leaders within their own school and within their community of schools
  • To challenge school leadership to raise their own expectations of what elearning can offer to their learners and also establish the critical role of school leadership within and across communities of schools.

Why was this important?

Blended learning offers a means of engaging learners and encouraging learners to take responsibility for their own learning, provided that pedagogical styles support this approach. Additionally, by establishing communities of practice we aim to provide a support mechanism for teachers changing their pedagogy and also lever economies of scale to provide both pedagogical and time benefits to learners and teachers. The key role of school and communities of schools leadership is essential if any changes to pedagogy are to be sustained at a system-wide level.

What did we do?

  • We facilitated a three day workshop in December 2010
  • We facilitated a two-day workshop for 20 or so core teacher leaders in Macrh 2011
  • We facilitated a 'leadership 'elearning' event for school leaders and we publicised the availability of financial support for teachers to form communities of practise across schools.
  • We reviewed the first two activities immediately afterwards.

What happened as a result?

The core group of 20 teachers met at the University of Canterbury, Dovedale Campus.  The focus was the sharing of blended practice by a selection of teachers and to celebrate what had been a challengin, but rewarding first year.

The core group of 20 teacher leaders met in Hokitika a few weeks after the start of Term one. The teachers contributed greatly to the program for the two days. During the last 12 months they have developed in to a cohesive and supportive community who are willing to challenge any assumptions they have about teaching and learning. Additionally, the teachers are starting to articulate their own vision of elearning and understand that a key role they will play is in sharing this vision, both within and across schools. As an example of this greater self-reliance, the group has taken it upon themselves to organise their presentations at Ulearn later on this year.

The 'leadership event', held at Ashburton College during Term One attracted a large number of participants from both within and without our regional cluster, including representatives from local primary schools and other educational organisations, The long-term implications of this event, particularly on the rate of school change, are difficult to assess. However, feedback suggests that targeting school leadership was a worthwhile thing to do as it both informed schools about cluster activities and, more importantly, indicated that the role of school leadership in supporting pedagogical change is pivotal.

We advertised the funding available for groups of teachers to form Communities of Practice during the first week of Term Two. We will be reviewing the self-selected CoP's and allocating funding shortly, but initial analysis suggests that there are more potential CoPs than available funding.

What have we learned?

We have learned that professional learning, designed to give teachers ownership of their development and delivered over a sustained period of time is effective. Our core group of teachers have made quite enormous progress over the last year. While the demands on them (and ourselves) have been high, and some of the original core group withdrew from the project, we would implement the same model again. We have also learned that engaging school leadership is essential to make progress with the project at a system-wide level. Finally, seeding communities of practice was a result of realising that inter-school collaboration needed cluster initiation.

What are our next steps?

Our next steps are a logical progression of the project thus far:

  • Continue to develop our core group of teachers by providing opportunities for the CoP to reflect , plan and determine use of cluster resources – the core group will play an increasingly central role in cluster planning.
  • Hold another leadership event later on during 2011
  • Support the emerging cluster-wide CoP's.

Who are we: The Southern Central Divide Cluster consists of the 30 or so area and secondary schools that comprise WestNet and CantatNet, geograpically we are between Oamaru and Karamea.

3. Progress towards cluster goals

Cluster Goal One: Cadre of eLearning Leaders continues to develop their eLearning capability

The core group of teachers involved in the blended learning project (which now numbers 22) continues to make progress in their own understanding and application of blended learning. As part of the university course each teacher has implemented and reflected on an online module of work which has given them a solid foundation to build on. The PD in November 2010 was extremely successful in sharing the progress of each teacher and was a fantastic way to finish the year. Some of the showcases can be viewed below. The approach for 2011 is less formal (with no university course) and focused around teacher collaborative projects. Teachers are currently forming themselves into different groups to collaborate on things such as implementation of ePortfolios with students and teachers or collaborative / individual blended courses. As part of this teachers are organising times to meet in small groups face to face during the next two terms. Much of this was planned with the teachers in the March PD (see previously) which was a useful way of including them in the planning process. These two days were vital in setting up this year and the teachers left with a firm idea of how the year would work (which is quite different to last year).

Key Lessons:

  • A well developed community of practice will lead to teacher leadership and be able to sustain individual teacher professional learning
  • In this situation the leadership group can provide less direct input
  • Resourcing of time is a key investment in teachers professional learning
  • Teachers do not need directed professional development opportunities to develop their own learning. They need the opportunity to connect with like-minded teachers.

Next Steps:

  • The project teachers will use their new blog to share their experiences, ideas and reflections with each other, the wider cluster community and the public
  • The project teachers will organise themselves into focus groups and plan days to meet face to face
  • Ten teachers will attend Ulearn
  • The final three days face to face PD for the whole group will take place in December

Cluster Goal Two: School leadership is actively involved in realising the vision of the SCD

This is a major focus for the cluster this year and the leadership event in Ashburton was a great way to kick things off. The aim was to engage school leadership in the 'bigger picture' re broadband and innovation so that we can get more schools actively supporting the goals of the regional cluster. The keynote speakers were excellent and the day as a whole very succesful, but it needs to be backed up with further events and discussion. This discussion will come in cluster principal meetings, but importantly, a second event planned for later in the year which will be a workshop / discussion based event where we can engage all the principals. The first event at least drew attendance from the majority of our schools (as well as more widely around the region). This was important for us and why we wanted keynotes with reputation. Some comments are included below. The majority thought the day was very worthwhile, although some valid criticisms were provided. The day did tend towards a lot of lecture style delivery, but we found the number of really good keynotes we had (even with 1/2 an hour each) filled up the time available. As mentioned earlier the key is to follow this up with a discussion based event for leadership.

Some schools are starting to actively develop blended learning approaches based around the expertise of their project teacher. When this happens it often comes down to whether the principal understands and shares the vision of the regional cluster and actively supports the teacher as a leader within the school. See the Darfield example.


"A lot of really useful information was shared. great networking opportunity as well. more time for the panel to recevie questions from the audience at the end as answers that were provided by the panel influenced more questions.
I enjoyed listening to Scott and I enjoyed looking at the e-portfolio work of Albany Senior College. Nothing, you chose your presenters well and the panel discussion at the end was an interesting feature. Well done.
I felt that the purpose of the day, or my understanding of it, wasn't nailed. Sure there were elements in the various speakers addresses that gave some ideas, but the big picture question of what opportuities ufb would provide for schools was left to the audience to piece together. Too bitsy Make sure that the purpose of the event is clearly stated, and that each presenter keeps this in front of them when they are putting their presentation together.
"it was good looking at the big picture of where the UFB will take us. The need to have our students working in the top end of thinking strategies reinforces where we are working at heading.
I found the work Mark was doing in Albany interesting, though not something I've explored, so needed more time to work out the hows and wheres of it all."

Key Lessons:

  • The leadership event needs a strong discussion based follow up
  • Teacher leaders need to connect more on leading change in their school, as opposed to tools and teaching approaches

Next Steps:

  • The next leadership event is planned
  • Provide some guidance to teacher leaders

Cluster Goal Three: Sustainable communities of practice have been developed from which the region can build leadership of blended learning

The project teacher group continues to develop as a community of practice. The drawing together of teachers from across the south island into one group has been one of successes of the contract so far. They are now at a point where they are taking the initiative and organising themsleves. Some evidence for this can be seen in the video below. A group of ten of the teachers are going to Ulearn and 5-6 of those have made a submission. There was no prompting from the leadership group in this.

A flyer went out to cluster school at the beginning of this term which advertised the opportunity for teachers to form communities of practice as seen below. We are currently receiving registrations for this and then it will just be a matter of facilitating the formation of any new groups.

Key lessons:
  • See cluster goal one

Next Steps

  • See cluster goal two on teacher leadership
  • New COP's will need to be supported in the initial formation phase

Cluster Goal Four: Foster new and exisiting relationships with the region's community

We have only made initial progress on this goal so far.  The leadership event was a significant step in engaging the wider community, especially with respect to local primary schools, and with over sixty schools attending we have sown the seeds for future engagement.  Many of the primary schools in the regions will at least now have some idea of who we are and what we are all about.

Next Steps

  • Look to engage some primary schools in opportunities for online / blended learning
  • Continue to connext with the wider community

Cluster Goal Five: Ongoing professional reflection on the progress of the SCD regional cluster informs the wider community on the challenges and opportunities of blended learning

Our reflection has always been put in the public domain so that all stakeholders can get the information they want.  Coupled with this portal in Wikieducator is the blog which allows information to be fed to the public domain on an ongoing basis

Disbursement schedule

This table should be used to account for the MoE funds only. You will need to separate out the MoE and cluster funding contributions from the budget figures in your contract

ICT Professional Development Cluster:

Southern Central Divide
Contract No. 10-0279
Milestone No.


Neil Melhuish

e-Learning Unit

Ministry of Education

PO Box 1666



Trevor Storr

Waimate High School

Paul St


For Professional and Operational Costs:

3yr Budget Actual-to-date Cumulative %
Professional Fees $10,000 MOE funding rest is FTTE
Professional Costs $31,150
$18,340 59%
Operational Costs $1500
$1560 104%
Teacher Development Costs (if relevant) $312,350
$132034 42%
plus Goods and Services tax $44,375 $21082
Total $399,375 $178412 44%

Explanation of variance of predicted expenditure of the MoE funding

The project was on the decreasing funding model but has just transfered to the flat funding model.  The Professional costs are as expected for the flat funding model.  The operational costs are higher than we expected but are insignificant in absolute dollar terms.  The Teacher development costs are as expected.  Our planned activities for 2011 are weighted towards Terms 3 and 4 and the Christchurch earthquake has resulted in some additional costs.  We do not expect accrual at the end of 2011.  

Cluster Budget Contributions

Cluster contribution is in the form of facilitator funding - FTTE's.  The clusters have contributed 0.75 FTTE  as in the original budget.  Therefore there is no negative variance issues.  The work of the facilitators in their roles as ePrincipals and as facilitators of the SCD project often difficult to tease apart.  The clusters will have contributed more time to the project than was originally budgeted for.  

Cluster Contribution Variance Issue Impact Action Planned

When you have had your Milestone approved by your National Facilitator then you can submit it as per the instructions on page 1 of this template.