My gut said no… and then I thought about it

I thought it was a good idea to blog about this since it is related both to my pedagogical approach and my old man stubbornness.

We’ve had a discussion at school recently: What are the indicators of an effective reading programme. Many of us have said the same thing and we’ve created a document – this has ended up being very similar to the Effective Literacy Programme books put out by the ministry a few years back.

Today the deputy principal came through to check out our reading programmes based on the list we had co-constructed at the end of last term. When I went over the staffroom to collect luncheon her walk through notes were on the table ready for us to put in our Teaching as Inquiry folders as evidence for EDUCANZ.

I read mine and was immediately outraged. Under the heading of “Literacy rich environment – class written books, books, magazines, children’s work” I received this:

words and examples displayed – no visible student work

Instantly the old, stubborn me kicked in. What! How can I? All the work I do is digital (the class is now using Google Apps through Hapara). The work’s all online! It’s digital!! Plus, MY ROOM IS ENTIRELY MADE UP OF LARGE WINDOWS OR WHITEBOARDS. WHERE AM I GOING TO PUT IT!!!

After my brain calmed down and I returned to some kind of Boon equilibrium I started to think… How can I make this wonderful work my students are doing more visible? I know what amazing work they are doing, but parents or whanau have no idea. They’re not logged in, necessarily, to see the students working. How can I make this happen for them.

So that’s where I’m at. My Teaching as Inquiry brain has officially taken over my old man stubbornness. It now rules my practice.


I am now away to make a large computer screen to display some printed out work. It will be stuck over a window.

Mr B


2 thoughts on “My gut said no… and then I thought about it

  1. Interesting article. I’m finding that with digital learning students’ work can be made far more visible than if it’s written in a book, closed up, put in a desk and seen by no one. My niece’s class has one-to-one iPads. They use an app called ‘see saw’. Anyone with the password can log in and see their work. Recently her great-grandma left a comment – her grandparents sign in every week and give her feedback. She visited me recently, pulled out her iPad and showed me her ANZAC story that she was very proud of. There was no way I would have seen her work if it was in the classroom, even if it was on the walls. I think the first thing we need to do with digital learning is to redefine the audience. The teacher or the teacher and the class are no longer the prime audience as they were in the past. Work went up on the walls and looked great (and still does – I hate sterile classrooms), but I would question who actually looked at it after that. Digital learning broadens the audience and allows for much more interaction. It needs to be managed and worked towards and won’t happen overnight but I believe the possibilities are incredibly exciting.


    • Yes indeed. Redefining is key. I’m in the process of setting up Blogger so the kids can put their work up and share it through email subscriptions. Giving them the chance to get other learners, overseas relatives, and other (as yet) undefined audience to view and/or comment on their learning will be an exciting next step (for me and them!!).
      Thanks for the comms.


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