Connected Learning

Jarrod Lamshed


Learning Through New Media

We constantly hear reports in the news of diminishing literacy standards in our kids. If you believe what we are being told, we will soon live in a world where most people won’t be able to read or write effectively. Is this really the case or is there a different problem?

In a world of devices where kids are constantly stimulated with access to multimedia based learning, I believe we are missing the mark with what we are asking kids to produce. Our teaching programs still require kids to produce old fashioned essays and written reports. These tasks have their place, but if we are only asking for these, we are failing to teach our kids new forms of literacy.

Asking kids to research and share learning through creative tasks allows our students to work with the technology and tools that they have grown up with. Often, using one device, our students have access to a complete film making suite. They have access to postcast creating tools and equipment to record and share their own music. The technology they have in their pockets is far more powerful than anything we had when we were at school.

So why aren’t we using it? We wouldn’t have a week at school without traditional writing tasks, so why not let kids turn these into something that has meaning for them? The movie making process requires planning texts, story boarding, script writing, editing and constant revision of text. Kids enjoy the process and can produce much deeper learning than our traditional tasks allow.

The following two films were written and produced by grade 6 and 7 students from my class for entry into film competitions. I think they are good reasons to give kids a camera, some structure and a little bit of trust and see what they can do.

KWN 2011 from Jarrod Lamshed on Vimeo.

Beneath the Surface from Jarrod Lamshed on Vimeo.


AITSL Teacher Standards

This week, myself and three other staff at Hackham East have been involved in filming an “Illustration of Practice” for the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). Based around our boys education program the filming took place over two days, aiming to create a 20 minute documentary looking at classroom management.

In theory, the idea of having a film crew follow you around is terrifying. In reality, it’s even more terrifying! Once the fear subsides however, the process becomes extremely valuable.

This filming opportunity came at the same time I decided to turn my blog into a Profesional Learning Portfolio. Both of these processes involved me needing to unpack the AITSL Teacher Standards. For those who are unfamiliar with the standards, the following is from the AITSL website:

The National Professional Standards for Teachers comprise Seven Standards which outline what teachers should know and be able to do. The Standards are interconnected, interdependent and overlapping.

The Standards are grouped into three domains of teaching: Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement. In practice, teaching draws on aspects of all three domains.

Within each Standard, focus areas provide further illustration of teaching knowledge, practice and professional engagement. These are then separated into Descriptors at four professional career stages: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead.

Exploring the standards has helped me to reflect more clearly on my teaching practice. It has shown me the areas that I reflect on naturally and highlighted those that I take for granted. It has challenged me to think critically about how I do my job and in doing so has improved my teaching.

In our job we can never be ‘good enough’. As teachers we need to be continually improving. I believe that the Teacher Standards are a powerful tool to help us do this. To use this tool effectively, however, we need to open ourselves up to critical self reflection and to the honest feedback of others. For me, this has been a challenging but rewarding process.

While AITSL were filming at Hackham East, I was also asked to film a “Teacher Feature” about our class use of social media. They also took photos of our classroom to share on the AITSL Facebook page.  The photos can be found here, and the ‘Teacher Feature” is posted below.


Visiting Teachers

One of the hardest and most frustrating parts of being a teacher is managing the fall out that regularly happens when you are out of the classroom. Last year we introduced a plan in our classroom that we had a lot of success with. This year we are running with this plan again.

If I am expecting to be out of the classroom, our visiting teacher plan jumps into action. Our class student leadership team is prepared to introduce the visiting teacher and to run a lot of the days lessons. If I am away unexpectedly, the same plan is used. There are a variety of day plans complete with resources that can be used on any given day. All of these plans stick to our daily routines.

If students arrive and I am not there, a student leader gets the folder and leads the day. I am really proud of how willing the boys are to take on this responsibility. It’s a great chance to show visiting teachers exactly what our class is all about. As a part of this package, we have also added a welcome video to the visiting teacher guide. Press play below to have a look.

Visiting teacher Guide from Jarrod Lamshed on Vimeo.


Dear teachers…

A few weeks ago I posted some comments made by students in my class during our discussions about how schools are set up and run and how we learn. These comments have created a huge amount of change in our classroom and received a big response when posted online.

Over the last couple of weeks, my students have taken these comments and turned them into a letter to teachers. They then took this letter, created a fim script and produced the following movie.

Dear Teachers from Jarrod Lamshed on Vimeo.

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