Showcase v Sharecase - Digital Literacy Dover

Friday, 31 May 2019

Showcase v Sharecase


Team Time’ is a time in each grade in the Primary School when the DLC is available specifically to a  team to facilitate collaborative and individualised (Hixon & Buckenmeyer, 2009) teacher-generated opportunities to learn from and with each other (Pickering, 2007). These shorter, smaller and more frequent meetings are the kinds where collaborative work is more effective than larger, infrequent meetings (Cordingley et al, 2005; Devereux, 2009).


Most weeks these are informal affairs, that provide a forum for collaboration; teachers are able to discuss technical and curriculum questions, classroom management issues and assessment practices, as well as how to use available technology, and share tips and short cuts they have learned with/from their students (Ciampa & Gallagher, 2013). One teacher’s efficacy (often a 'Tech Mentor'—a teacher designated as having a particular role in the development of ICT within the grade level or department—but not always) with a particular tool can quickly became ‘viral’ with two or three other teachers eager to learn from a colleague’s expertise, very much imitating the way they observe their own students learn from each other.


The problem in a school as large as ours is finding ways for these powerful practices to expand beyond the bounds of one grade, to impact teaching practice in other grades as well. And so it was the 'ICT Showcase' was born...


Photographs courtesy of Dave Caleb, DLC - East Campus



The annual ICT showcase effectively extended ‘Team Time’ from grade to school level, including subject specialist teachers. All teachers attend and share by ‘mingling’ in small informal groups about the ways they have been integrating digital technologies - opportunities for purposeful talk are plentiful, and focus on specific aspects of technology enhanced learning (TEL) and the specific types of digital tools that they feel have proved effective in realising this. Plans for further development, or repurposing of other team’s uses of ICT are facilitated by the teachers themselves, who are currently using these ICTs, importantly not the DLCs, who act purely as mediators to facilitate learning conversations around what can be possibly be achieved with ICTs, in other grades and contexts.

If you'd like to see a snapshot of some of the examples form the ICT showcase, please view the short 'videoburst' below,  we open the event with this, as it gives a good indication of the ways technology is currently being used at that grade level.

An ICT Showcase VideoBurst


A Slam/Dunk Slidedeck


From a Showcase to a Sharecase

Calling it a 'Showcase' carried with it expectations of 'showing off' and bragging, or even impressing, that we found that from teacher feedback, teachers found off putting. If it wasn't AMAZING they were reluctant to share anything, so to emphasis the focus on sharing, as opposed to 'showing off' we renamed it.

From Technology to Pedagogy

This year we evolved this event to the next level, 8 years into our work on facilitating authentic tech integration, we felt we are 'mature' enough as an organisation to shift the focus away from tech as the only focus, and to work as a wider team of coaches (digital, literacy, maths, inquiry) to widen the remit to reflect any practices that teachers value, whether this in terms of their own experiences (professional development and learning) or classroom practice. I'll admit I was a little reticent, now teachers can choose anything, will tech still survive? Will it be overshadowed by other examples?

I guess that's the ultimate test of whether the initiative has really has any effect, to the extent to which it has reached the levels of adaptation, appropriation, and invention described by Larry Cuban (2016), by teachers naturally, authentically, and meaningfully. I think a look through the following slideshow should answer that question (and allay any concerns) very effectively.


References

Ciampa K and Gallagher T L (2013). Professional learning to support elementary teachers’ use of the iPod Touch in the classroom, Professional Development in Education, DOI:10.1080/19415257.2012.749802

Cordingley P, Bell M, Evans D and Firth A (2005). 'The impact of collaborative continuing professional development (CPD) on classroom teaching and learning. Review: How do collaborative and sustained CPD and sustained but not collaborative CPD affect teaching and learning?' Research Evidence in Education Library London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. 

Cuban, L. (2016). Stages of Technology Integration in Classrooms (Part 3). Retrieved May 31, 2019, from https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/stages-of-technology-integration-in-classrooms-part-3/

Hixon E and Buckenmeyer J (2009). Revisiting technology integration in schools: Implications for professional development. Computers in the Schools, 26(2), 130-146.

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