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Olivia Graham & Melanie Matthews present at ULearn17
Photo by Rachel Whalley

Connecting to expert teachers virtually

Rachel Whalley —

Kudos to Melanie & Olivia who presented at ULearn this year. They shared findings from their study of how the VLN Primary is working in their school.

Melanie & Olivia presented in the research stream on the Grass roots project they conducted in their school, Wairakei Taupo. They also took part in the Connected Conversations panel where they streamed live to #notatulearn17 followers. You can see this panel conversation in the accompanying video. Melanie & Olivia's presentation starts at 16.10 minutes.

In their analysis they found three key themes where learners benefit from learning online:

  • Life long learning in a connected world
  • Student agency and personalisation of learning
  • Digital citizenship

What they also found were two key areas that they needed to work on:

They found there was a disconnect between what was happening with the children's learning in the online classes and their face to face learning. They felt that they needed to interweave the two and could approach this through children's goal setting within their ILE around the key competencies. 
They also identified the need to provide more support for students to enable them to develop their digital capability that is necessary for an online learner. They felt this could be achieved by including their Year 5s as well as their Year 6s. In this way they would develop students who were leaders to assist those younger students learning online for the first time and develop a culture of sustainable support for learners. This tuakana/teina approach is also backed up in Rick's research on learner support.

This is  really valuable research to add the our body of knowledge about  online learning and Grassroots reports are now available on the MoE website here. Wairakei Schools report is attached below.