This MindLab postgraduate certificate journey has been both inspiring and challenging. This experience has further opened up the world of online learning. I consider myself as a life long learner. I am always eager to learn and experience new concepts. I love networking with other educators outside my own practice, in Auckland, nationally and globally. It has definitely made me think and see outside the box!
I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the lecturers and admin staff at the MindLab in Auckland. This journey has not been easy. Initially, I had signed up to the Postgraduate course in July 2015. Due to personal reasons I had to ask to be deferred to the November intake. The staff at MindLab have been supportive and sensitive to my needs as well of other fellow students I know of. Since November I have been able to fully engage and enjoy this learning community and am so blessed to have been given this '2nd chance'.
Assignments have been achievable and flexible. With a full-time teaching load again the MindLab administration have been supportive and taken into account the 'busyness' of our jobs. I have felt like I have been chasing my tail for the last 32 weeks.The flexibility to submit assignments using video, photography and blogs have been exciting as we have not had to document our learning through traditional documentation - Essays! The feedback I received for the assessments were great. Initially, I had a few that brought me down and nearly to a halt. Through the MindLab Google+ community, I was able to share my experiences with others and gain support and motivation to persevere. This enabled me to push through and try new techniques, manage my time effectively and stay focused.
PTC 7 - Promote a collaborative, inclusive and supportive learning environment
PTC 8 - Demonstrate in practice their knowledge and understanding of how akonga learn.
My MindLab experience has given opportunities for my learners which is engaging and future focused. Learners are given the opportunity to risk take and take ownership of their own learning and behaviour. I have been encouraged to implement a collaborative learning environment. In Technology, my learners work in groups to solve problems, design and develop their products. Learners use google docs, slides, drawings and blogs for collaborative planning and discussions.
I believe my MindLab experience has been deployed well into my classroom. Learners have been given opportunities to learn in different contexts. This term my classes have been developing their digital fluency supported by tricks and tools I have shared with them e.g. enforcing learning using Kahoot quiz, recording learning reflections using blogger. I have bought a class set of Makey Makey and we have been using this during term 2. I have taken my learners to MindLab for a visit to learn how to build flight controllers for a flight simulator.
Visit to MindLab
Learners have experienced the Marketshare board game. We were very lucky to have Nick Hinsdon visit us at our school giving learners a different context to learn within.
Futher to support PTC 8: provide opportunities and support for akong to engage with, practise and apply new learning to different contexts, I invited Angela Lee to share her knowledge and 'toys' with me and my learners.
We spent the afternoon exploring Google expeditions where learners experienced a virtual reality experience and visited different parts of the world. Learners were given the opportunity to create apps using bitsbox. The most exciting and engaging 'toy' they experienced was how to programme control robots Ollie and Sphero.
Next term I will be running a code club. Learners will be developing their computational skills using Scratch.
PTC 4 - Demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal practice.
I have been actively contributing to various professional learning communities are shared in my social networks blog and My community of practice blog.
My dream regarding future professional development
- I will continue to share my practice using online tools and social media such as Twitter,Facebook and google+ communities to keep me informed with the current 21st Century practices.
- In the next 6 months I plan to achieve google certification Level 1 and continue with further certification for Google Apps for Education.
References:Osterman, K. & Kottkamp, R.(1993). Reflective Practice for Educators.California.Cornwin Press, Inc. Retrieved on 7th May, 2015 fromhttp://www.itslifejimbutnotasweknowit.org.uk/files/RefPract/Osterman_Kottkamp_extract.pdf