Leasa Smith

Hi Chris,
Apologies for not setting this page up earlier.
I have had access to the course resources and notes, but had not created a page until now.
Thanks for all of the great resources provided.
Leasa Smith (Mortimer)

Assignment 1:
Chris,
I read with interest your comments around the 2007 Snyder article and the question you posed, "Does this add anything to the way you think about digital culture and education?"

I agree with your comments that there seems to be much in common in the article with the current ideas about technology in schools and the national curriculum. This prompted me to consider what I believe to be, the little progress our secondary schools have made towards immersing our students in an 'authentic digital culture'.

Having recently had the opportunity to visit in excess of 20 secondary schools across the state, and now in returning to my own school, I have become increasingly aware of the significant paradigm shift required across our state if we are to progress towards the student-centred, digitally enabled pedagogical framework that is essential if we wish to realise the true impact technology can have on improving student outcomes.

Thus I have used Assignment 1 to address what I believe can be some initial steps schools can take towards increasing the ability of teachers in employing digital technologies such as social networking, collaborative work spaces, blogs and publication spaces, as part of their pedagogical practice. While upon reflection, I may have mistakenly made some of the generalisations that Snyder also made, I am confident that the ideas and actions suggested, would enable my school community to take some steps forward towards thinking and acting more effectively in how they use new media, tools and strategies to better differentiate learning for our students.

References:
McLoughlin, C. & Lee, M. (2008). The Three Ps of Pedagogy for the Networked Society: Personalisation, Participation, and Productivity. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 20 (1) 10-27.
Snyder, K. (2005). The Digital Culture and Communication: More than just Classroom Learning. International journal of media, technology and lifelong learning, 1 (2). Seminar.Net.

Assignment 2
This task presented an opportunity for me to consider at a strategic level, how school leaders can use the momentum of ongoing initiatives in educational policy to continue the journey towards building a sustainable digital culture in schools.

School leaders fight a constant battle to implement new agendas while continuing to pay due attention to ongoing agendas, within the limits of the time, energy and resources available in schools. Effective leaders need to position new policy agendas within the overall work the school community undertakes as part of its explicit improvement agenda, and capitalise on the momentum of new agendas to continue to rejuveniate commitment to ongoing agendas.

The current Junior Secondary Agenda requires schools to review and reshape their approaches to pedagogical, organisational and relational practice in teaching Year 7, 8 and 9 students. This work would be incomplete if schools did not consider the link between the needs of these learners and the importance of creating a digitally rich school culture. Thus the resource I have developed for this assessment is a professional article for publication in an educational journal that challenges school leaders to use the Junior Secondary agenda to rejuvenate approaches to integrating technologies into teaching and learning. Ultimately this means embracing technologies as part of quality teaching and learning approaches to for Junior Secondary learners by blending digital and traditional learning models so that the most effective learning methodologies are used in our classrooms.

Educational Queensland's Contemporary Practice Resource provides further information for school leaders and teachers around how to enable this at a whole of school and classroom level. The resource which was used to inform the article, supports school leaders to engage their school communities in considering the learning models, learning spaces, digital technologies and professional learning needed to continue to move schools towards digitally-rich learning environments.

The underlying message of the article is that school leaders can only ensure sustainable approaches to embedding digital learning practices in their schools if they continue to address the agenda within the broader context of current educational initiatives

References
Department of Education, Training and Employment. (2013). Contemporary Practice Resource. Brisbane, Queensland: DETE.

Education Queensland (2012). Junior Secondary Agenda 2012-2015. Retrieved from https://oneportal.deta.qld.gov.au/EducationDelivery/Stateschooling/JuniorSecondary/Pages/JuniorSecondaryAgenda2012-2015.aspx