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Melissa Marshall Assignment 1 EMT501 11328556

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EMT501 Assignment 1: Action Plan Melissa Marshall 11328556

Current Situation

I am a Science/ICT teacher who has seven years teaching experience. My
current school is a secondary co-educational Catholic College in Perth. My
school has undergone some incredible changes in the last two years - one of the
major ones being that students in Years 7-11 have had access to a 1:1 iPad
program since the beginning of 2013, with most texts now being accessed on
devices. This also corresponds with the introduction of the SEQTA Teachers
Assistant, Coneqt-Student and Coneqt-Parent learning management software,
which has significantly shifted expectations of communication and collaboration
beyond the classroom. Many staff are unsure and wary of the technology, and
some are struggling to learn how to adapt in their classrooms. I have been
teaching at the College for five years now and have been in the role of eLearning
Coordinator for the last two years. The school is in the Consolidating Phase of
the Learning Vision, so most of the set up and had work happened last year. We
are now seeking the next step in our growth. I feel like the iPad program is partly
my responsibility and as part of my role, I am to continue to seek to find methods
to assist staff in implementing technology into the curriculum. New teaching
spaces and non-traditional learning areas have combined this year to make the
challenge more intense.

The goal of this Action Plan is to put a structure in place specifically for the
support of those staff trying new things and wanting to change their practice. I will
particularly focus on modelling the flipped classroom and the role of ICT tools in
learning. This plan will specifically take the form of a peer coaching strategy, and
ties in with the visual ranking tool results (Appendix 1) where I have ranked
Quality Teaching and Assessment as the most important outcome. Assisting
teachers to improve their practice and doing the same myself through a flipped
learning model is essential in quality teaching in my context.

The Diagnosis of Learning Needs

The gap over which learners must jump demonstrates the space between where
they are now, and where they want to be (Knowles, 2005). This gap is the
precipice on which good teaching rests, and must be identified accurately and
bridged with the learner in mind in order to proceed further.

In order to do this, I will conduct an interview with the staff member to find out
which skills they are looking to develop, or which problem they are seeking to
solve. If they are unsure where to begin, I will try and make suggestions based
on their subject area or assessments coming up through a checklist. It is
important to remember that many staff are very proficient in their role and may
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not see the need to change. This is why I am hoping for volunteers who already
have an idea of what they would like to achieve.

My own identified learning gap is to be confident in delivering information and
facilitating learning through a peer coaching model (which is relatively new to
me). I am confident in teaching other teachers as part of my role, but adult
education is also complex with its own needs.


The two key learning objectives that I wish to achieve are:

- Set up a peer coaching model with at least five other staff to increase
confidence in the use of technology.

- Increase teachers understanding, competency and application of ICT solutions
for learning through modeling and by peer coaching
Ideal Situation
The ideal situation would be for staff to be confident in both trying and selecting a
number of technology-based tools to further engagement and learning in their
classrooms. Recent surveys for the Quality Catholic Schooling Initiative have
indicated that while our College has been deemed a safe environment for
students and they like coming to school, they are not often engaged in their
learning. The introduction of the 1:1 program has enabled staff to differentiate
and cater to different needs of learners and this needs to be explored to its full
potential.

When working with staff and encouraging them to change their practice, a win-
win approach is essential (Cornelius & Faire, 1989). This is where the teacher
can clearly define the benefits both for themselves and for their students, with the
learning gap reduced enough that it will not take too much effort to bridge.
Bergmann & Sams (2013) advocate a modelling approach - if you work well in
your classroom and your students are getting results, other teachers will want to
know what is happening. I am trying to combine these approaches through peer
coaching and modelling.

Executive have often spoken of their desire to see staff trying new things and
have provided practical support for this through specialised learning spaces and
multiple opportunities for professional development. The ideal is for all staff to be
confident in applying strategies to assist in increasing engagement. Often,
teachers do not feel equipped to implement the many fast-paced ideas presented
in professional development. One of the goals of the peer coaching program is to
tailor the outcomes to the individual and support them in their progress, while
being mindful of the big picture and teacher responsibility for their own growth.
The goal of the flipped classroom is to ensure I can practice what I advocate staff
should try, and I can back this up through data-based observations of my own
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students. The data may eventually be what convinces some staff to try this idea
for themselves.

My vision is ambitious - to help create a school that is a leading technology
school, with engaged students and enthusiastic staff. I know technology wil
provide some of the inroads to this and I plan on using these opportunities to at
least strive for the ideal.
Steps to success
Encourage and work with the four staff set to present on their learning on
the 18th August (from a previous peer coaching trial, February - April
2014.) The hope is that this will inspire more staff to take up the
opportunity as I learn to refine my approach.
Use a day of professional development on the 18th August, where time is
put aside for staff to work through educational technology examples and
ideas in an engaging environment. I will be using one of these sessions to
model both flipped learning and peer coaching.
Set up one-on-one meetings with staff who would like to develop their
skills, and approach it as an action plan rather than an informal meeting.
In this way, we can set goals and monitor progress in a peer coaching
model. I am aiming to have four or five staff that I will be meeting with
regularly.
Document all meetings and formalise the peer coaching approach at the
College (use of Appendices 2 - 4)
Clearly communicate goals and seek support from the Executive, Heads
of Department and others in positions of influence across the school.
Clearly communicate to staff and enthusiastically follow up on those who
express an interest in peer coaching.
Regularly publish links to interesting and noteworthy articles on my
scoop.it newsletter page and engage in conversations regarding issues
surrounding education technology.
Continue to build my collegiate network and ask for help - both by those I
know in nearby schools, and others I know online via Twitter and other
platforms.
Run a series of workshops on apps and simple methods to increase
engagement along with the Curriculum Committee and other middle
management within the school. I am aiming to do this towards the end of
Term 4 as exams finish up and the load on teachers is lightened a little. It
will also conincide with the 2015 planning period. Specifically, I am looking
to run workshops in the apps ShowMe and Explain Everything, and other
tools such as edPuzzle, Tellagami, Camtasia Studio and ScreenFlow.
Respond to all technology-related staff queries promptly and satisfactorily.
Train up students in the Tech X Perts program to provide assistance to
both staff and students. Tech X Perts are students in year 7-11 who do
project-based learning in programming, robotics, media, computer building
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and other activities, guided by me. Students must apply to be part of the
group and complete one project per term.
Implement a flipped learning approach in my Year 10 Science Extension
class that is more than tokenistic (i. e., one flipped lesson a fortnight) and
monitor the results over the rest of the term as a model. I am only teaching
this class until the conclusion of Term 3 due to staffing changes.
Overall Completion Date
12 December 2014
SWOT analysis
Strengths
There are many staff who are enthusiastic about the new challenges presented
to them and who have been willing to participate in similar activities in the past.
There school is developing a strong culture of change. many teachers also know
that their contracts and employability relies heavily on their ability to change and
adapt to new technologies. This means they are taking their professional learning
in these areas quite seriously. They are also keen to learn for themselves - as
John Hattie said, the best teachers are the best learners. Staff with this growth
mindset are very rewarding and motivating to work with.

The school is actively promoting engagement in professional learning and in ICT-
based technology, so what I am attempting to do lies within the Colleges
Strategic Plan and integrates well with the goals and aims of leadership. It also
ties in well with the new AITSL Standards of Teaching (particularly Standard 2
and Standard 6). (AITSL, 2014).

I have used a peer coaching model before in Term 1 this year, so I know what to
expect and how to refine my approach and strategies. I have also been part of
the staff at the school for a long enough time period to know who to ask and
welcome into the program in order to help ensure its success.

The new student-centred classrooms available in four areas of the College are
well-equipped for staff to trial different teaching methods. The classes include
couches, beanbags, low tables and moveable furniture that can be grouped
according to student needs. One classroom has high tables around the edges
and another has stools and coffee tables with whiteboard surfaces. These
classrooms are available in Music, Maths, English, RE and in the Library. The
rooms include plasma TVs, Apple TV devices and projectors. There are no
traditional desks, nor an obvious front of the classroom. Making resources
available like this encourages teachers to trial new approaches and think about
how to use spaces flexibly, and students are motivated to use the spaces and
work more naturally.
Weaknesses
I have developed stand-alone lessons using the flipped classroom model, but
never more than one lesson at a time. I may find the challenge of sustaining this
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approach quite difficult. The idea is to provide a model for other classes, so I
would like it to be successful. I feel that the process carries quite a lot of risk as it
is unconventional in what is still a very traditional school environment. The
students themselves may also find it hard to adapt to, and may need adjustments
to be made.

I will need to be cautious about which teachers to approach and encourage in the
peer coaching program. There is an attitude of suspicion to change in some
members of staff, and it may be counter-productive to work with staff who
harbour misgivings about the use of technology at the College. We have also had
serious changes and ICT-related challenges in a very short period of time, so
some staff may be justifiably jaded and not ready to learn more at this point in
time.

I also do not know what I will be specifically coaching teachers in until the initial
meeting to distinguish which skills they will be seeking to develop. I cannot
predict what they will choose and may not have much knowledge about the
specific app or approach they would like to take.
Opportunities
We have a significant opportunity to alter how we teach and learn at the College
and it is exciting to be part of this, More and more research is pointing to the
value of student-centred, flexible and responsive learning for students - indeed,
this is what they expect and deserve (Bergmann & Sams, 2012).

Now is the time to consider changes in pedagogy, engagement strategies and
content in order to better respond to the needs of students. With the Western
Australian Curriculum (based on the Australian Curriculum) and the changing
environments of schools, we need to ensure that students are getting the most
out of their learning and feel a sense of ownership in it. The more tools, ideas
and strategies teachers have, the more opportunities for all sorts of learners to
learn in the way that best suits them.

Flexible, modern furniture has been introduced to several classrooms to make
them more conducive to student-centred learning. The school has invested much
into the setup of these classrooms and the chance exits to make the most of this.
Executive certainly want these rooms to be used often and effectively for
innovative pedagogical approaches.
Staff have the opportunity to develop a growth mindset through participating in
the peer coaching program and to receive exposure to ideas and software that
they may not have tried before. It also gives me an opportunity to 'practise what I
preach' by implementing a flipped classroom model concurrent with the peer
coaching.

There is also the opportunity of a day of professional development on the 18th of
August, where time is put aside for staff to work through educational technology
examples and ideas in an engaging environment. During this day, I will be able to
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present briefly on the peer coaching strategy and answer questions that the
teachers have. In addition to this there are regular faculty meetings across the
College, so I am also working to present at a variety of meetings with the Head of
Departments permission to ask staff more personably if they would like to be
involved in the peer coaching program.
Threats
Much of what I am proposing to do is built on the assumption that teachers wish
to engage students in class and are open to the idea of doing this through
technology. I may find that this is not actually the case for the staff at my school,
and this could cause a problem. Much of the research around implementing
technology in classrooms demonstrates that teachers will have a spike in using
particular tools or approaches immediately after effective professional
development, but can then fall back into old habits and teacher-centred
classroom approaches (Voogt et al., 2011).

Time is also very short in schools, and some staff many not find it convenient to
meet with me face-to-face, given their timetable and time constraints at this point
in the year (leading up into senior school exams is a key factor). Staff may
choose to not consider being part of a peer coaching model simply because they
feel too overwhelmed with other duties, and they may have some fear about
trying something new - particularly when their efforts are recorded and not just
anecdotal. If the steps to success are not clear, the peer coaching process may
be more of a burden rather than a method for further development.

If the Executive do not support the development of staff through the peer
coaching approach, it is almost certainly doomed to fail. While my experiences of
their support have been positive in the past, I run the risk of being slightly too
ambitious in my approach to this project. I need to take measured steps and
demonstrate clearly what I would like to achieve as a big picture as part of the
Learning Vision of the College in order to have their backing.
Supporting Resources
Books / journals
Bergmann, J. & Sams, A. (2012). Flip Your Classroom: Read Every Student In
Every Class Every Day. ISTE: Oregon. [Book]

Cornelius, H., & Faire, S. (1989). Win-Win approach. In Trainers Manual12 Skills.
The Conflict Resolution Network. Retrieved fromhttp://www.crnhq.org [Journal
Article]

Department of Education and Training, Victoria (n.d.). Professional learning
ineffective schools. [Journal Article]

Knowles, M. (2005). The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education
and Human Resource Development. Elesevier: San Diego. 265- 271. [Journal
Article]
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Luckin, R., Clark, W., Logan, K., Graber, R., Oliver, M. and Mee, A. (2009). Do
Web 2.0 tools really open the door to learning: practices, perceptions and profiles
of 11-16 year old learners. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 1 - 16.
[Journal Article]

Nash, L. (2012). Exploring iPads in learning. Scan, 31(1), 6 -13. [Journal Article]

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology Into
Teaching (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson. [Book]

Traxler, J. (2007). Defining, Discussing, and Evaluating Mobile Learning: The
Moving Finger Writes and Having Writ... International Review Of Research In
Open And Distance Learning, 8(2), 1-12. [Journal Article]

Voogt J., Knezek G., Cox, M.J., Knezek, D. & ten Brummelhuis, A. (2011). Under
which conditions does ICT have a positive effect on teaching and learning? A call
to action. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 15 November 2011, doi:
10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00453.x. [Journal Article]
Web links
http://www.aitsl.edu.au/

http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

http://australiancurriculum.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/austrailan-curriculum-
resources-on.html

http://education.qld.gov.au/staff/development/performance/resources/readings/pe
er-coaching-models.pdf
People
The Executive of the College - Principal and Deputies, Bursar, School Board

The several supportive ICT-savvy teachers on staff, especially in the English and
Science departments

The staff involved in the peer coaching program - their feedback will be
informative
Training courses / workshops
Peer Coaching
Course: http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/teach/mentor_b.pdf

Expanding Learning
Horizons: http://www.expandinglearninghorizons.com.au/elh-
services/services/ict-peer-coaching/
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EduTech Conference (Brisbane): http://www.edutech.net.au/
Electronic resources
Australian Institute of Teaching and Educational Leadership (AITSL), (2014).
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, Accessed on 4 August 2014
at http://www.aitsl.edu.au/australian-professional-standards-for-
teachers/standards/list

Catholic Education Office of Western Australia (2014). Quality Catholic
Schooling. CEO, accessed 27 July 2014 at
https://internet.ceo.wa.edu.au/AboutUs/Pages/Quality-Catholic-Schooling.aspx
Other
Proformas for peer coaching meetings

ISTE Conference Resources (attended online in 2013 and
2014) https://www.isteconference.org/2015/

Reflection
I am hopeful that this peer coaching program coupled with my ongoing
development as a 'flipped classroom' teacher will assist in the development of an
engaging and flexible learning environment at my school. Already, it feels like the
ground is shifting through lots of changes. We have reached a critical time in our
growth where it is no longer about managing the new devices, but continuing to
learn with them and find new ways of inviting students to participate in the
learning process. I do not think trying a flipped classroom on its own would be as
helpful as putting it with a peer coaching program. This enables me to see the
issues with setting up and working through this model, rather than passively
instructing my colleagues. I am excited about what the changes will bring as I
had been looking for the next step in my role.














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Appendices
Appendix 4: Peer Coaching Planning Sheet
Description: A document example of a planning sheet used in the peer coaching
program at my school.
Size: 39KB
File: Peer Coaching Planning Sheet.pdf
Appendix 2: Coaching Timeline Example
Description: A sample timeline from the peer coaching program at my school.
Size: 41KB
File: Coaching Timeline Example.pdf
Appendix 3: Peer Coaching Collaboration Log
Description: A document example of a collaboration log used in the peer
coaching program at my school.
Size: 47KB
File: Peer Coaching Collaboration Log.pdf
Appendix 1: Visual Ranking Tool
Description: These are the screen shots of the Visual Ranking Tool, used to
analyse the learning outcomes for this subject.
Size: 331KB