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Course proposal #EDUC5608

October 31, 2015

Notwithstanding external and local pressures, our team of English and HASS secondary teachers is currently stable. As recent learning from our ecosystem suggests that continued practice will yield the best opportunities for leveraging change, and with a BYOD policy in place from 2016, I remain optimistic in aiming for ubiquitous technology integration.

According to commentators,

…we understand that we can connect and share and learn from one another. We are now coming to understand that it is actually very difficult to stop sharing and learning from happening, once we are connected (Pesce, 2013, para 18).


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Students are the focus and pedagogy is the key in our ecology. In order to succeed, two considerations will be addressed when designing future learning to “plan for a normalised state” (Bax, 2003, p. 24):

  1. Student needs and
  2. staff capacity to innovate.

Accessibility remains a source of likely tension shaping outcomes of this proposal.


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Firstly, the Australian curriculum outlines “five interrelated elements” as key ideas “in the learning continuum” when addressing ICT as a general capability (ACARA, n.d.,c, para 1). Furthermore, support and enhancement of student learning is explicitly reinforced across the learning areas with considered development and application of “ICT knowledge, skills and appropriate… protocols… to meet their learning needs” (ACARA, n.d.,d, para 1).

In short, as a curriculum leader, student needs will be best served by ensuring staff are supported in their collaborative design of learning opportunities which address curriculum: Applying social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICT; Investigating with ICT; Creating with ICT; Communicating with ICT; and Managing and operating ICT.

These elements are interrelated:

ICT capability

Figure: Organising elements for ICT capability (ACARA, n.d.,c).

In accordance with our need to “go mobile”, applying a framework of digital literacies seems the most appropriate lens from which a shift in the existing learning dynamic will be achieved (Dudeney, Hockly & Pegrum, 2013; Pegrum, 2009; Pegrum, Oakley & Faulkner, 2013).

Second, “great teaching” will be the method by which staff collaboratively undertake to design learning opportunities which meet students’ needs (Hattie, 2003; Jensen, Hunter, Sonnemann & Cooper, 2014).

Third, maintenance of our community of practice – embedded professional learning (Timperley, 2015) – is the mechanism by which collegial innovation can be sustained as a curriculum leader.

My contribution to this community of practice will be conducted on a number of fluid and interdependent fronts:

  • With students online as well as face to face in classes;
  • alongside colleagues as well as asynchronously online employing web 2.0 tools and apps;
  • with senior leadership wherever opportunities arise;
  • and with others in my connected professional learning network which serves to uplift and enable since

…serendipity often occurs in social networks, where we unexpectedly encounter friends of friends or even total strangers who prove helpful (Hagel, Seely Brown & Davison Lang 2010, p.17).


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Feedback on praxis whilst leading and influencing change alerts me to potential pitfalls of any planned approach. Without scanning the horizon for emergent trends along with paradoxes, I risk loss of momentum (Deal & Peterson, 2010). Clear communication of intents and purposes is paramount. In order to make sense of the chaotic entity that is web 2.0 where research claims technology has potential to “transform education” (Clarke, Svanaes, Hasbrouck & Atkinson, 2015), and critics remain

unswayed by the arguments that we’re on the cusp of some sort of techno-utopia where all our problems are about to be solved by “connectivity” (Watters, 2015, para 27),

selective restructuring of resources is deemed necessary. As previously mentioned, I am also concerned that accessibility is assured.

Drawing on initial discussions during EDUC5608 coursework (Pegrum, 2015), and following conversations with staff at school, I have begun creating a website titled ImaginairE using Weebly to assist in developing a course of eLearning opportunities for staff and students.

Screenshot (21)

I have also initiated heightened connectivity with colleagues using Instagram.

To enable flexible entry points from the website’s landing page, I have linked Pinterest resources along with my Twitter stream. Pages will cache tools related to

  • Digital literacy,
  • Inquiry Learning,
  • Creating presentations and
  • Research.

My goal is to avoid possible alienation of non-Humanities teachers by ensuring the content is relevant across the curriculum, hence a focus on ICT as a general capability (ACARA, n.d.,c). Blogging and ePortfolios are the recommended online platforms for students and teachers to engage in eLearning regardless of subject specificity. This focus is intended to support inquiry and agency (Barrett, ongoing; Cambridge, Cambridge & Blake Yancey, 2009; Yang, Tai & Lim, 2015).


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As with BYOD, the range of pedagogical options available will render avenues of learning accessible to all.  For Year 7 students undertaking transition, for example, a Digital Passport will be designed as an initial learning opportunity to raise awareness to issues of online citizenship. I envisage that digital ambassadors will be able to earn tokens in a gaming environment to be adaptively developed using scope and sequence documents (ACARA, n.d.,a). Much will depend on teacher capacity to innovate. Integrated cross curricular learning opportunities will be promoted to build collegial support, save time, and increase the likelihood of skill transference.

For reasons outlined above, engagement in professional learning with staff as a course of action is essential. Already, employing Instagram as an invitational initiative to link classroom walkthroughs to pedagogy is fostering adaptation. With ongoing reference to current student work samples serving to illustrate changing practices, awareness will expand, and confidence should grow.

Traffic will eventually flow from Instagram images to ImaginairE where notes, thinking, frameworks, tools and strategies are readily explored via hyperlinks in readiness for collegiate discussions as well as classroom experimentation, thereby further shaping our ecosphere; consequences of networked learning include increased volume, heightened velocity, amplified vibrance and relevance (Rainie, 2013).

Face to face engagement with pop-ups, lunch & learn and TeachMeets will also assist in building our shared pedagogical repertoire (Solomon & Schrum, 2007), and serve as alternative avenues of staff engagement in a a community of practice to heighten technology integration. Applied understanding of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) will assist us in working towards normalisation of practices (Bax, 2011).


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Sustainable, transferable practices are the optimal achievement of this eLearning approach: Engagement of teachers in an ecosphere of connectivity enhances agency (Garcia, 2014; Timperley, 2015). Peer support, attunement to relevance, production centred classrooms and connected knowledge creation are all likely to flourish given the right conditions, as staff perceptions change, especially when aided by relevant, contextualised support structures (Garcia, 2014).

Time is needed for staff to learn and adopt different pedagogical strategies. Perhaps evolution will take years.  According to Bax, successful implementation depends on

…training for teachers, administrative and pedagogical support, integration into the timetable and so on…(Bax, 2003, p. 26).


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Based on awareness that knowledge flows in organisations are relative as well as difficult to measure, and that social media expands new knowledge creation, “Institutional leaders will need to play a critical role in this institutional transformation” (Hagel, Seely Brown & Davison Lang 2010, p.18). Accordingly, adaptive shift occurs.

Selected references

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). (n.d.,a). Scope of ICT capability.  Retrieved October 11, 2015

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). (n.d.,b). Information and communication technology (ICT) capability. Retrieved October 11, 2015

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). (n.d.,c). Information and communication technology (ICT) capability: Key ideas. Retrieved October 22, 2015

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). (n.d.,d). Information and communication technology (ICT) capability: In the learning areas. Retrieved October 22, 2015

Barrett, H. (ongoing). E-portfolios for learning. Retrieved October 30, 2015

Bax, S. (2003). CALL – Past, present and future. System, 31, pp. 13–28.

Bax, S. (2011). Normalisation revisited: The effective use of technology in language education. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 1(2), 1-15. Retrieved September 30, 2015

Cambridge, D., Cambridge, B. & Blake Yancey, K. (2009). Electronic portfolios: Emergent research on implementation and impact. Stirling, Virginia: Stylus.

Clarke, B., Svanaes, S., Hasbrouck, H. & Atkinson, R. (2015). Transforming learning: Ethnographic observation and interviews – Stage 1. TechKnowledge for Schools:  Family, Kids & Youth. Retrieved October 26, 2015

Deal, T. E. & Peterson, K.D. (2010). Shaping school culture: pitfalls, paradoxes, and promises. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved October 12, 2015 from Ebook library:

Dudeney, G., Hockly, N., & Pegrum, M. (2013). Digital literacies. Harlow: Pearson.

Garcia, A. (Ed). (2014). Teaching in the connected learner classroom. The Digital Media + Learning Research Hub Report Series on Connected Learning. Retrieved October 10, 2015

Hagel, J., Seely Brown, J. & Davison, L. (2010). The power of pull: How small moves, smartly made, can set big things in motion. New York: Basic Books.

Hattie, J. (2003). Teachers make a difference: What is the research evidence?  Paper presented to Australian Council for Educational Research Annual Conference. Melbourne, 19–21 October. Retrieved October 6, 2015

Jensen, B., Hunter, J., Sonnemann, J. & Cooper, S. (2014). Making time for great teaching. Grattan Institute. Retrieved October 10, 2015

Pegrum, M. (2009). From blogs to bombs: The future of digital technologies in education. Crawley, Australia: UWA Publishing.

Pegrum, M. (2015). EDUC5608 Integrating Pedagogy and technology coursework. UWA. Retrieved September 29, 2015

Pegrum, M., Oakley, G. & Faulkner, R. (2013). Schools going mobile: A study of the adoption of mobile handheld technologies in Western Australian independent schools. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 29(1), 66-81. Retrieved October 5, 2015

Pesce, M. (2013). Re:thinking. Retrieved October 10, 2015

Rainie, L. (2013). Networked learners. Raleigh Community Colleges retrieved October 23, 2015

Solomon, G. & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0 new tools, new schools. USA: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Timperley, H. (2015). Leading teaching and learning through professional learning. Australian Educational Leader, 37(2), 6-9. Retrieved October 16, 2015

Watters, A. (2015). Technology imperialism, the Californian ideology, and the future of higher education. Keynote delivered on October 15 at ICDE 2015 in Sun City, South Africa. Retrieved October 18, 2015 via Hack Education

Yang, M., Tai, M., & Lim, C.P. (2015). The role of e-portfolios in supporting productive learning. British Journal of Educational Technology [early view]. Retrieved October 28, 2015

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