Action Research and Blended Learning

We have finally launched our Action Research & Blended Learning project at school. This project has been in the planning stages for nearly 6 months and is now in its implementation stage. We had our official launch today with one of our Associate Principals addressing teachers who volunteered for the project. I was excited because I had two unexpected volunteers show up and join my team, which showed that others too are interested in changing teaching and learning within the school. We have staff willing to implement changes within the classroom because they recognise that the learning process is evolving and they wanted to be part of the project. A bonus to the entire project is that the technology leaders will now have more teachers incorporating technology in the learning process and will be able to talk to other staff about their experiences.

Whilst our school has experimented with Blended Learning, this is the first time that we are using Action Research to guide us. We are a unique school in the way our classes are set out. Our junior classes are run in a 3-50 model which means that a class will have up to 50 students and 3 teachers. We team teach and rotate the students in small groups. So often when staff attend Professional Development days we often find that the ideas are not suitable for our school. The technology leaders decided to use Action Research which would allow us to tailor the project for our students and our needs.

It will be interesting to see how the project pans out. For me, this project will help me further develop my leadership skills. I have been a technology leader for nearly 2 years now and I don’t feel as if I “lead” well. I need to learn how to help staff develop their abilities and encourage them in their own learning. Reading through AITSL’s “Essential Guide to Professional Learning, I identified 3 key areas that I want to develop during this journey

  1. The ability to set a strong vision and focus so that staff know what they are doing.
  2. To coach staff through this process, helping to build their motivation, ownership and increasing their capacity as learners and teachers.
  3. To seek and make effective use of feedback to improve my own teaching and leading capabilities.

 

References:

AITSL “The Essential Guide to Professional Learning: Leading Culture”, Web, accessed 28 July 2014

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