The themes in that report are :
• Theme 1: Personalising learning - a shift away from the one size fits all model of education
• Theme 2: New views of equity, diversity and inclusivity
• Theme 3: A curriculum that uses knowledge to develop learning capacity - the new view of knowledge as something to be created (compared with the old view of knowledge as content, concepts or skills to be passed on)
• Theme 4: "Changing the script": Rethinking learners' and teachers' roles - Learners and teachers work together in a "knowledge-building learning environment"
• Theme 5: A culture of continuous learning for teachers and educational leaders
• Theme 6: New kinds of partnerships and relationships: Schools no longer siloed from the community - knowledge-building activities in authentic contexts; learning connected to the community, experts etc.; gain buy-in from wider community of educational shifts.
• Subtheme 1: The role of current and emerging technologies
• Subtheme 2: Role of collaborative practices.
Through my ongoing research and reflection prompted by the Mindlab course, in particular the positive impact of ‘flipped learning’ discussed in the ‘Digital & Collaborative Learning in Context’ paper, I now have a renewed urgency and drive in developing our school as a networked community hub. This directly relates to Theme 6; New kinds of partnerships and relationships: Schools no longer siloed from the community. We are a 1:1 iPad school and having community wifi would enable us to embed flipped learning as a part of our teaching and learning programmes. It would also enable us to be better equipped for community projects where authentic learning contexts can connect us to local experts and initiatives. These projects are currently bound by the conflicts of a school timetable as our school owned devices do not go home with students and many of our families do not have access to the internet at home other than through 3g on their phones.
When considering current literature that supports my thinking, I drew on the experiences discussed in the 2020 Communications Trust report “Schools as digital community hubs” (2014) which summarises the experiences of eight community wireless initiatives and draws lessons that other communities can consider and learn from when embarking on similar projects. The report provides 10 steps to success: third party facilitator, engagement of school, clear objectives, capital funding assistance, commercial partners, N4L interface, co-siting agreements, landowner agreements, impact of switching internet providers and ongoing local support.
I have not fully implemented this change directly as yet but have provided the research and shared my thinking with our Principal and Board of Trustees chairperson. Initial discussions have taken place with local council and community wifi providers. We have now added this future oriented thinking to our strategic plan and I hope to meet with the BOT before the end of the year to put SMART goals, Turkay (2004), in place to map out our next steps.
Bolstad, Gilbert, J., McDowall, S., Bull, A., Boyd, S., & Hipkins, R., 2012. Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching: A New Zealand perspective.
Communications Trust (2014). Schools as Digital Community Hubs, A report on governance, technology and commercial options.
Turkay, S. (2014). Setting Goals: Who, Why, How?