The first Teacher Professional Learning day as part of the DET Seed Grant, ‘Entrepreneurial Futures: Tracking the impact of the tech schools and 21st century employability skills on students, teachers, and school communities in northern and western regions,’ was held at the RMIT city campus on Wednesday 19 June.
The day was underpinned by the project team’s desire to build greater collaboration, greater sense of community, and common identity among the partner Tech Schools. These schools in the Whittlesea and the Banyule/Nillumbik Tech Schools are diverse, and while having commonalities in their approaches, have a localised implementation of the Tech School initiative. The broad intent of the day was to enable Tech School Ambassadors along with a colleague from each of their schools to learn more about 21st century learning and to experience use of technologies such as chocolate printing, simulated environments and virtual reality.
Aims of the day:
- To encourage opportunities to talk with others, to share experiences, and open up collaborations in the future
- To discuss how the Tech School initiative is being implemented at each school, to identify differences and commonalities and common issues
- To foster a community of practice in which teachers can collaborate and build a shared space
- To increase teacher knowledge of STEM – and possible applications in their own schools
- To increase knowledge of and involvement in the initiative by opening participation to a teaching colleague.
All participants had very positive reflections on the day. For the most part these comments related to having the opportunity to talk to others. As one participant commented, “It was great to have a relaxed day filled with sharing and observing. I really liked how we moved around a lot.” Comments also related to seeing other school plans in operation, and transparency in these ideas. As commented, “It was good to hear from the other groups, their challenges and what worked.”
Patricia, Alison and Kathy