Monday, September 2, 2013

The Progressions Dilemma

For years I have resisted the urge to develop e-Learning progressions at my school. By this I mean a document that lists the various ICT skills students need at each year level. Why am I so resistant? I don't like the idea of listing what students need to know because some teachers will see the list as exhaustive or prescriptive and do nothing else over and above this. You also need to think of your audience and pitch the level of expectations so they are achievable for all teachers and students. How does this cater for more confident and capable learners? But I am growing older and this year I found myself bending to the will of the majority. The truth is that there is little consistency across our school in what our students can and can't do when it comes to e-Learning. Teachers can't assume anything when the students arrive in their classrooms in January - some students can't remember their login while others blog daily and create amazing content at the drop of a hat. I am one lonely voice - it seems most of my colleagues at my school think we need e-Learning Progressions to improve consistency and increase skill levels overall. And they could be right. We won't know until we try so that's what we are working on at the moment. We are currently working through issues such as how specific the progressions will be - will they list generic skills or particular applications? Will they be divided into year levels or curriculum levels or something entirely different? We have tried to gather examples of how other schools are grappling with this but if anyone would like to contribute their two cents worth we would be grateful!