N4L’s dynamic services team (the team who make Pond) have never claimed to be the experts on what teachers need. Instead their methodology has always been to work closely with educators to develop something that is entirely relevant to them and their needs. Last week the second meeting of educators and the development team happened in Hobsonville Point Secondary School to “pressure test” the progress our team had made to date with Pond and the direction they were wanting to go in.
Ten educators were present, with Gerard MacManus beaming in when possible throughout the day, to discuss and meet with four of N4L’s staff including Carolyn Stuart who brought her educational experience to the planning and implementation of the day.
To understand what was working for educators in Pond so far, the N4L team asked for their ‘magic moments’ to date. The responses that came back were varied and at times, surprising. Some people said what we’d expected, the introduction of buckets or how Pond was focused on the NZ curriculum and context. Others were more unexpected. The discovery of other educators who were producing amazing work and resources, or being able to identify gaps in resources available and knowing that you could fill that gap. Of course these ‘magic moments’ vary from person to person, but it did prove that different features are bringing educators back into Pond – inspiring and helping them discover resources, sources and people who can help them in the classroom.
Some of the direction that was confirmed by this meeting was the importance of Pond resources being shareable with students, the concept of opening it up to limited public view and an international audience meaning resources would be searchable and shareable but ability to engage over resources very limited.
The educators then spent time creating exemplary resources in Pond – buckets, learning ideas and resources. Collaborating and developing these resources. From this collaboration, the idea that Pond is key to integrated and blended learning was unearthed, it allows sharing cross curricular and cross stage, where ideas cross pollinate – especially with good tagging of educational suitability!
The final thought that came out of the day was this : It’s not about Pond, it’s about your school culture – sharing, collaborating and using technology to make a difference for the educators and the students.
Have your say in Pond by engaging and leaving feedback. You never know, you might be invited to the next meeting.