Although ICT has revolutionised how we do entertainment, business, industry, primary production (horticulture and agriculture), science, labour markets, imports and exports,and finance in New Zealand, we don’t have any reliable and valid indicators to show that it is revolutionising student learning outcomes.
Thinking about this makes me wonder about the indicators that we use to measure the use and impact of ICT in teaching and learning by teachers and students in ictpd cluster schools.
I have shut myself away from the tyranny of the urgent today (how to get the washing dry in the absence of a drier, outside line, heated towel rail, and or any sun coated surface in front of a window that is unoccupied by a cat) and dedicated myself to writing an ictpd cluster milestone report against the MoE’s Performance Measures.
I am puzzling over - What are our “change goals” in ictpd cluster schools? and What “change outcomes” do we want?
Reporting on the MoE's Performance Measures used to be a fairly straightforward task - only demanding a facility in creating MS Excel pivot tables to interpret the mis/information contained on the spreadsheet that you received for your cluster’s often parlous response to the online surveys. How things have changed. The mid year online surveys became increasingly unpopular with cluster teachers who felt the survey questions were dislocated from the activities in the cluster schools – the questions were charged with irrelevance and the test constructors accused of “technology as an agent” thinking. As clusters developed a sense of their own agency repeated requests to respond to questionnaires they saw as designed to meet the reporting outcomes of others led to anarchy. The mid year surveys were dropped. This left the challenge of measuring what is going on in the cluster, (that might be a result of the professional learning offered) up to the cluster .
As a consequence, I am besieged by two different thoughts
- Are the Performance Measures identified by the MoE reliable and valid agents of change in an ictpd cluster?
- How do clusters report reliably and validly against the Performance Measures identified by the MoE?
I’d have no trouble, if the reporting was against the Peformance Measures for creating "A Slow Snog With A Distant Relative"
“We're going to leave you with tonight's cocktail recipe. This one's called "A Slow Snog With A Distant Relative". For this you'll need two measures of brandy, three of rum. One measure pink gin, one white. A dash of lemonade, a sprint of orange-juice, a spoonful of crushed Sugar Puffs, two hard-boiled eggs and an open-toed sandal, size nine if you can get it. Hit it, Mr Laurie, if you'd be so very kind.” A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1986)
But figuring out what kinds of changes in knowledge, skills, competencies, attitudes, personal use and professional practices are required from cluster teachers (and students) in the use of ICT to produce the MoE identified Performance Measure outcomes is dodgy
I am not even certain that all of the MoE's Performance Measures are modifiable by interventions like those the ictpd cluster professional development programmes provide.
I can feel myself falling back on the following Charles Aldrich inspired circular reasoning
- Training in ICT skills is not important, teaching and learning is.
- Teaching and learning is not important, doing the right thing with integrating ICTs in classroom planning is.
- Doing the right thing with integrating ICTs in classroom planning is not important, having enhanced 21st Century student learning outcomes is.
- Having enhanced 21st Century student learning outcomes is not important, meeting the Performance Measures is.
- Meeting the Performance Measures is not important, meeting the needs of the MoE’s milestone reporting is.
- Meeting the needs of the MoE’s milestone reporting is not important, having ictpd cluster funding next quarter is.
- Having ictpd cluster funding next quarter is not important, having the right people in ictpd cluster schools is.
- Having the right people is not important, enhanced 21st Century student learning outcomes are.
- Having enhanced 21st Century student learning outcomes are not important, having the right training in ICT skills is.
Adapted from Clark Aldrich’s blog post on Learning philosophies and evaluation strategies
I am off to find an open toed sandal, (size nine), and two eggs I can boil.