I have selected a large state secondary school from the UAE. The school’s current e-learning approach is characterised by a few individuals working by themselves to implement e-learning into their lessons.
Above: Representation of my findings. Please note some boxes shaded to the left of emerging, indicating that the school has been assessed at a pre emerging stage.
The Five Dimensions:
Leadership and strategic planning: After consultation with school leaders I assessed this dimension as emerging. The school has implemented leaders to investigate opportunities for technologies to use in the school. Although no formal plan is in action that includes technologies, a small team is investigating possible future e-learning goals but does not show a pathway to get there. In their standing policy which is generic from the Ministry of Education, reference is made to the use and reasoning behind the use of ICT and cybersafety and their new iniative to implement ICT in schools (Ministry of Education). A big push for ICT in schools is about to happen and leaders did acknowledge that engagement through professional development needed to identify ways to work with and through technologies for learning and help support peers within the school community.
Professional Learning: This dimension is at the emerging stage. Although there is not a strong culture of supporting learning with technologies, there are some teachers that are happy to mentor peers. This largely focuses on the skills needed to use the technology. With the lack of present support, mentoring and guidance there appears to be little inquiry into e-learning. Technology is still seen as an add on and not “as part of a teacher’s whole practice” (TKI). The school’s ICT Leader explains that prior to the present drive, little focus and opportunities for professional development for e-learning has been available.
Teaching and Learning: No sign of e-learning in the near future playing an important role in the whole curriculum. Leaders and teachers agree it will happen but “in
time”. This is a reality and it is restricted even further by the role of
agencies outside of the school organisation. Through a questionnaire of 20
teachers it was identified only ten percent used technology to engage students.
Of these ten percent of teachers, they
acknowledged it was not for deeper learning just as a filler or as the rubric
identifies, an isolated skill building exercise. Assessment is paper based and
strongly influenced through summative data. Identified as, emerging stage. Brunei
Technologies and Infrastructure: Assessed as emerging, this is where a lot of the issues and lack of motivation relates to. Strong infrastructure is not in this school, lack of space, time and connectivity impact heavily. Leaders could not tell me if there was a plan to improve these challenges. Administration is balanced 50-50 between using paper and technology. The ICT lead position is newly created and she has a team of two around her to address issues that may arise. These staff members have an interest in ICT but little to no technical background.
Beyond the Classroom: Identified as pre emerging this dimension is not seen as important in their culture. From an outsider point of view looking in, the possibility of “losing face” places the culture of education in a box. School leaders feel they do not need to engage with the family or community using technology. Many of the teachers are not qualified here and are hesitant about failing.
Overall Judgement: Emerging. I believe they are in a culture and a system that puts a stranglehold on technology but with the new focus, hopefully this will change. As investigating this and talking to leaders and peers it seemed there was a sense of tokenism towards e-learning.
Ministry of Education Strategic Plan 2012-2017. Retrieved from http://www.mosuae.com/strategicplan.pdf
TKI. Retrieved from http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Professional-learning/Professional-inquiry-into-e-learning
DISCLAIMER: This assessment was conducted as a personal learning exercise to gain an understanding of the eLPF and my assessments were restricted to public documentation, discussions and feedback via a questionnaire. As part of this exercise I acknowledge these findings are based on the evidence I had gathered and that I did not have detailed insights into all organisational processes