Friday, 17 February 2017

Meeting the @SPARK M.I.T crew!

Today my colleague Hinerau and I travelled to the Spark headquarters to begin our journey as M.I.T inquirers into issues that we are interested in.

In our first session we introduced ourselves and it was interesting to hear how our Manaiakalani outreach programme allows for 'Sparkers' to join us and share in their digital journals.  We met Lynne LeGros, who is the CEO of the Spark Foundation and shared the other initiatives that Spark are involved in like being the creators of the 'givealittle' pages etc.  It was lovely to hear the stories of how they are involved in the community and their invaluable support of our Manaiakalani M.I.T initiative.  Lynne also alluded to the fact that we will have a Spark support person assigned to us throughout this journey which is exciting to know.

After morning tea, we each shared what our inquiries were and thanks to some invigorating grilling by Dorothy senior, we felt like we were getting to bottom of our inquiries - I definitely needed this time to sort mine out.

One of many hypothesis that I'd discovered is that kids in our cluster that are coming to year 9, come with skills that we don't utilise.  The sharing component of our 'learn, create, share' model is definitely under-utilised at our school, and with the majority of students arriving at year 9 having blogged for years and years, my mission is to figure how we can roll it out in our school so that it becomes the norm.

Is it the teachers? Is it the lack of knowledge or will or a bit of both?  Is it the culture of learning that we have?  Wait, but do we know that blogging works and does it raise achievement?

I think part of it is that teachers at the college don't understand the purpose of blogs.  Many feel that it is about exposing their inner thoughts and emotions to the world and they feel vulnerable.  I totally understand how that feels and this being only like my fourth blog ever, it has taken me ages to write because the self barrier I've imposed comes from a misunderstanding of the purpose of blogs or the audiences I am writing for.

 I need a new photo!

After a scrumptious lunch, we were asked to revisit our inquiries and make sure that we were happy with what we'd originally had written on the website.  Andrea from Point England pointed out that she liked my photo which was nice but totally irrelevant to the what we were supposed to be doing and distracted everyone who were probably looking at my photo and thought 'what the heck, she doesn't even look like that!' haha.

Back to the issue at hand, when looking at my inquiry,  I'm happy with it for now and know that I will come up against a couple issues, but after today, I feel confident that the support we have will allow us to give it ago - let's do this Sparkers!!!
Getting our inquiry hats - Spark M.I.T 2017

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