Dare you to move.


I have been involved in digital innovation in schools for a long time now. There are so many exciting ideas and approaches that have developed in the last 10-15 years. The advances we have made in the area of pedagogy and learning design with technology have helped to transform the way we teach and the way students are approaching their learning. Technology underpins many important emerging visions for modern learning. It is one of the core “deep learning” skills identified in Michael Fullan’s groundbreaking “New Pedagogies for Deep Learning” project.

Image: iPad Curious Learners by Fancy Jantzi, on Flickr
Image: iPad Curious Learners by Fancy Jantzi, on Flickr

Billions of dollars have been spent around the globe in education to improve infrastructure, upgrade technology training and increase access to devices for students in a variety of ways. There are many frameworks which have been developed which focus on marrying good pedagogy and learning design with effective technologies. It is not good enough just to put technology in front of our kids and think that they can do it themselves. Our kids are fearless risk-takers when confronted with new tech – but they often need a lot of guidance and support to use technology to improve their learning – that’s where we are ideally placed to have the most impact!

And yet there are still many teachers and leaders who have a view that technology is an added extra or even a “distraction to real learning”. We talk about our “digital natives” in a way that implies that this revolution is about them and not us. There are many ways that we can enhance the learning of our students by the use of technology – but there are also some exciting ways that we can improve the way that we carry out our roles as teachers.

Technology is still an area where many teachers feel hesitant, under-skilled, disempowered and even fearful – but it doesn’t need to be that way! It is way past time that we lived out our vision for our kids for ourselves. Here are three easy steps to take:

  1. ACCEPT that this is a part of your teaching toolkit that you can longer afford to be light on. It’s here to stay and it is becoming increasingly important for you to have these skills to be able to contribute positively in your teams and not be a burden on others.
  2. BUILD on our existing strengths and knowledge – choose technology use and digital strategies that you know will enhance learning based on research and your understanding of how kids learn. After all that’s what schools and students need to make it successful – teachers who can apply and filter these initiatives through a lens of pedagogical expertise! If you have a growth mindset, apply it and supercharge your tech initiative.
  3. CONNECT with other teachers who can support your skill development and who will benefit from your ideas and input. Working together is part of what we do as a profession and we are seeing many exciting developments in team-based approaches to teaching in modern learning spaces which are fantastic for teachers to be continuously developing and honing their craft alongside their colleagues. A personal learning network is only a few clicks away – social media is a rich source of wisdom, encouragement, innovative new ideas and support for any teacher who needs it. Don’t just sit and wait for the next course to be offered to you – go out and design your own learning by accessing the global network of educators who are more than willing to lend a hand!

Is it time you got your passport out and shifted your mindset? Become a digital immigrant.

I dare you.




New pedagogies for a new journey



New Pedagogies for Deep Learning - Deep Learning Skills -banner


This is a very provocative quote from Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy which headlines a new project into the development of new pedagogies to promote “deep learning”. It might sound like bog-standard education rhetoric to many teachers who constantly reel from one initiative to another.

But digging deeper into this new project has gotten me very excited. The cluster of schools which my current school is part of has been lucky enough to find a place on the exciting new global project which aims to bring experience and research across diverse education systems to build global collective capacity to pursue “deep learning goals”. The more I read about the project the more excited I am at leading this initiative in our school.

The New Pedagogies for Deep Learning project takes as its focal point the implementation of deep learning goals enabled by new pedagogies and accelerated by technology.

In many ways the deep learning goals will be familiar to many involved in the development of vision for 21st Century learning. Indeed they skills described mirror aspects of such frameworks as the PYP Learner Profile, The Key Competencies in the NZ Curriculum and the General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum. This will allow educators across a diverse range of learning contexts to be able to see connections between their own vision for students and the vision of the project.

New Pedagogies for Deep Learning - Deep Learning Skills

Diverse aspects of a MLEAs a team our school is already exploring new ways of working and discovering how the changing roles of teachers are evolving as we grow our understanding of modern learning practices. We are in the middle of developing a personalised vision for modern learning. In this time of change I can see a window of opportunity to not only rethink our learning programme but radically reshape our vision for our students and place them at the centre of everything we do as a school. Working together as a team both at our school, across our cluster and as part of a global project – what an exciting, rewarding and challenging learning journey!