Connecting, Networking and Blogging.

When applying for a position at St Luke’s prospective applicants are invited to read a role description. The second line usually reads… As connected and networked learners teachers are required to nurture faith filled, curious children to become creative contributors and innovative problems solvers for a changing world.” Notice the first part of this sentence,

As connected and networked learners”

One way to ‘connect’ and ‘network’ is through blogging. Teachers at St Luke’s have recently undertaken the commitment to blog. Most teachers at St Luke’s have not blogged and are therefore understandably a little nervous about venturing into the unknown world of blogging.

As a means of support, our first step was to gather as a collegial group to reflect on the purpose of blogging. We referred to:

The resulting discussion confirmed…

“… our purpose for blogging is to reflect on our learning and growth by documenting our professional work.”

Our next step was to start a blog. WordPress was deemed the starting platform of choice but with the understanding teachers could choose their own platform. As such, working through the WordPress options teachers chose a name for their blog, used a simple theme to design their blog and selected plugin options. Teachers are now ready to honour the “Sharing Our Work” edict of Austin Kleon.

We anticipate the benefits of blogging will be that each one of us will:

  • Think and write more clearly
  • Connect with thought leaders
  • Teach more purposefully
  • Respond to positive and constructive feedback

Two interesting developments within 24 hours of this collective commitment to blog have been:

  1. one teacher deciding to use Instagram as their platform of choice. This immediately challenged the few experienced bloggers in the room who see Instagram as a microblogging platform at best. No doubt there will be learning for all seeing how ‘Insta’ can support reflection through documentation of professional work.
  2. Our first blog, In the Beginning, was written by Meg Stone and appeared within 6 hours of our workshop. Meg gets the prize for first post!

The remainder of the teachers have until 6 April. 

Next steps? To see support staff blog as well so we can Put it in the Soup!

Regards

Greg

A Digital Artefact – Bringing Social Skills and Enterprise Skills to Prominence

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As many of you are aware, for the last 9 months I have experienced the privilege of leading an emerging preschool to post school learning community known as St Luke’s Catholic College. Although we are at the very early stages of our evolution as a learning community, we are responding to the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta transformation agenda, led by Greg Whitby who challenges all school leaders to act with “the fierce urgency of the now”.

Part of the now is to develop the social skills and enterprise skills required for a changing world. A recalibration of jobs and lifestyle is taking place before our eyes. According to many experts, the changes have only just begun, so much so, “Five million jobs will be automated by 2030,” – SMH 4/3/17. Our Kindergarten class of this year, our Year 12 graduates of 2029 (that’s if there is such as thing as Year 12 by then) will walk into a very different lifestyle dependent upon very new jobs and new ways of working.

Increasing automation means different types of jobs, jobs that require people to ‘write code’ or use algorithms to attend to consumer needs. If people wish to be employed in the future, or better still create their own work, it appears that many will need coding skills and higher level computational thinking skills. Most importantly, young people will require the social and emotional dispositions to respond to the inevitable moral dilemmas and ethical challenges that will come with vastly improved technology, both for work and for lifestyle.

Part of preparing our young people for their independent future is to bring their parents along on the journey, a journey which requires us all to understand the importance of the social skills and enterprise skills required for a changing world. Parents need to be informed of what the future will look like, a future that will see their child engage with multiple jobs across multiple industries, some of which may not yet be known. The ability of a child to collaborate with others in responding to challenges across the globe, or thinking critically to solve problems within their local community, will require adept capabilities as articulated by the Australian Curriculum General Capabilities.

To assist parents at St Luke’s, we developed this digital artefact which affirms our commitment to bring social skills and enterprise skills to the fore. I hope this may be of benefit to the wider community as well.

Feedback welcome.

Greg