Australian National Curriculum Website

I have appreciated the fact ACARA has put all of its curriculum materials online and has consulted widely with stakeholders to ensure its website is functional and workable. I remember at one stage ,when it was all being developed , it was with a sense of celebration that we actually had managed to find the current version of the document we were looking for! Yes, it had been a team effort at a faculty meeting I was chairing and it was the preservice teacher who won that challenge. Since then it is has worked more effectively because a number of the curriculum areas are now settled. I really like the notion of general competencies because in a national curriculum we ought to be looking at things which are common to us all and all learning areas and developing those basic blocks of knowledge. We do want students to be literate, socialised, digitally competent, aware they live on a globally connected planet and that diversity is our strength and so forth. Having this material so easily accessible online is helping us to create common ground and because ACARA comes on Facebook and Twitter it is easy for us to engage with them and know what they are currently doing. That kind of information is important. Teachers need to know that this is real and happening or there is always the tendency to slide off into a local bubble. ACARA is encouraging us to think digitally and nationally by being present online. Sharing and consulting is setting a good example and will ensure we do have consistency across states. It isn’t that easy because it requires a different perspective and constant input. Technology allows the drip feeding to occur! It also means we can address issues more effectively. ACARA is very approachable because it is visible and not some vague organisation somewhere thousands of kilometres away. There is also an ACARA iPad app and that has been a very useful addition to the ACARA digital tools and presence.

Top 10s

top 10 brands

Image: Interbrand rankings

Even though I believe teaching/ education is not just vocational training and it is truly about lifting people up  and bringing  them out so they can build a successful life of their own, I have always believed it important to keep an eye on what the world looks like. These days it is about brands, companies and predictions. I am bringing you some top 10s. The picture ,left, shows you the top global brands this year. The  Interbrand web page itself shows the top 100.

This year’s Top 10 companies are:

  1. Wal-Mart Stores
  2. Hon-Hai Precision Industry
  3. G4S
  4. Volkswagen
  5. PetroChina
  6. Compass Group
  7. Agricultural Bank of China
  8. ISS A/S
  9. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  10. McDonald’s

There is an interesting article on seeklearning which looks at   the jobs which are in demand in Australia in 2015 and they are in the areas of

Lastly the NEWDAILY discusses what they think will be the jobs in demand in the next 10 years in Australia and the rationale  behind the thinking and projections :

Top tertiary qualified jobs in 2025

1. Registered nurses
2. Advertising and sales managers
3. Software and applications programmers
4. Accountants
5. CEO and Managing Directors
6. Secondary school teachers
7. Primary school teachers
8. Private tutors and teachers
9. Contract program and project administrators
10. General managers

Top vocational and trade jobs

1. Aged & Disabled Carers
2. Child Carers
3. Electricians
4. Nursing Support & Personal Care Workers
5. Construction Managers
6. Real Estate Sales Agents
7. Welfare Support Workers
8. Metal Fitters & Machinists
9. Plumbers
10. Education Aides

educate etymologyImage : Online Etymology Dictionary

 

 

To round off the list, you need to look at the jobs which we are asking of anyone who migrates to Australia. You can look at hem on the Migration Occupations In Demand List.

 

SOLO Taxonomy

The SOLO taxonomy , first described by John Biggs and Kevin Collis  in Evaluating the Quality of Learning: The SOLO Taxonomy (New York: Academic Press, 1982 )may be an older form of assessment rubric but that does not mean it is irrelevant. Some things stand the test of time. New Zealand schools seem to be using it still because it can demystify easily what is being achieved in terms of learning outcomes. Current assessment rubrics and assessment criteria can be complex and even though they can identify performance standards and achievements , they can also confuse and corrupt thinking so the assessor is no longer sure what they are talking about. I have been in that situation myself as a teacher. You look at the assessment criteria which can be long lists of long sentences and then you look at the work. You can discuss it with others and, because it is language based, it can then become a discussion on meaning , semantics and interpretation. In the end you are no further along the path to knowing how you should assess that piece of work. I have also been in the situation where assessment criteria are so vague you are not sure how to award the mmm…ok or the mmm,yes, well or the mmm, that looks pretty good to me. SOLO keeps it simple. You can use those rubrics to work out whether the understanding and ingestion of knowledge has occurred and then whether it has been moved forward by the learner. As John Biggs says on his site:

SOLO can be used not only in assessment, but in designing the curriculum in terms of the learning outcomes intended, which is helpful in implementing constructive alignment. SOLO can also explain why those who use low complexity arguments in political or marital disputes usually win – in the short term. But in politics that’s all you need.
solo taxonomy

Image:Myross bush school

Solo is how you keep the picture straight when you feel you are trying to process other ways of assessing work , learning or you are mapping out learning tasks and units and you have lost clarity. It would also be a good way to discuss assessment with parents because it is a clearer model than others . Starting with SOLO would clarify issues before you move on to more complex discussions. It  is  not just that, though. SOLO is a quick way of noticing whether someone is on the learning continuum or not. Can they use a smartphone? Do they know how to use iMovie? You can quickly work out whether you or anyone else needs help in learning.

Take up a challenge.

cleaning challengeI am always doing Twitter challenges. They were coming up on a fairly regular basis but now I go looking for them. Why?

1. They challenge me!
2. They make me achieve
3. They make me rethink
4. They are fun
5. They make me grow

happy teacher

Image : Presto Plans Blog

Currently , I have moved away from the education challenges and am doing Buzzfeed’s Spring Cleaning Challenge. In Adelaide it has to be the Autumn Cleaning Challenge and not a bad time to do it. You get one room a day. It takes 10 days and you are given instructions and tips. It is quick. It makes a difference and I loved dusting with socks on my hands for today’s challenge.

The education ones I have done have made me really think about what I am doing. They have kept me very focussed but the biggest impact they have had on me is to remind me that I am the one who can make a difference. I can do things which change my day, others , what I am doing. I have done the #30goals (@30GoalsEDU) #gratitudechallenge and most recently the #pcps_teach challenge about the impact of Twitter on me professionally. There are all sorts of challenges you can find on the internet or Twitter – fitness challenges, health challenges, photo challenges, February challenges. Each day you have something to do. The longest are a month. My cleaning one is for 10 days. In 10 days I shall have changed myself and my home. That’s why I like challenges. They make a difference.

Effective ICT in the classroom

Sarah Hardie made this VideoScribe video in 2014 as part of her university degree to illustrate why ICT is so important to engage the 21st century learner. I wonder if she is teaching now and whether she is implementing her ideas? If she is, I wonder if she has changed any of these thoughts? There are some sound issues with the video but Sarah talks so much common sense and makes some good points and observations . As a young person with fresh eyes on ICT in the classroom and how to use it effectively she has done three things. She has demonstrated a real willingness to master visual communication with quality software. She has advocated for students and then she has looked at ICT from a professional viewpoint and created some sound arguments to support an ICT approach in a classroom not a mere use. The only thing I’d dispute is that students are expert in technology. They are experts in certain sites , apps and techniques but they do not generally have a broad range of ICT capabilities and skills. It is important to update skills , explore different devices and to constantly share what you know with others. People tend to become experts in particular ways of using technology. The constant conversation about the best app, best software, have you seen this, do you know about such and such has to be there . Teachers and students need to form learning partnerships because that is how it works…connecting and setting up a feedback loop so there are constant ICT conversations.

She is meeting aitsl professional learning standards:

1.6 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learning.

Not a bad effort for one video at undergraduate level. I wonder what grade she received for it? YouTube has given her 771 hits and that is a really sound feedback result.