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Researching Together: Engaging Minds . – the inquiry approach and the VELS. This presentation. Is not based word for word on this PowerPoint. Will provide you with some necessary information handouts to take away with you. This presentation.

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Researching Together: Engaging Minds

– the inquiry approach and the VELS

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This presentation

  • Is not based word for word on this PowerPoint.

  • Will provide you with some necessary information handouts to take away with you.

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This presentation

  • Encourages your input: comments, suggestions, concerns.

  • Aims to provide a starting point for your situation.

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  • Carmel Spry: Assistant Director of Studies and Head of English

  • Margaret Simkin: Head of Information Services


    The Hamilton And Alexandra College

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About us: Carmel

  • Appointed 2006. Background primarily secondary English in the Catholic and Independent sectors.

  • Current teaching load this year comprises Year 8, 10 and 12 English.

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About us: Margaret

  • Commenced 2005, background: mainly as a classroom teacher in secondary SOSE, Information Technology and English. Qualified Teacher-librarian.

  • Manages both the Junior and Senior Campus libraries teaching Library and Information Skills from ELC to year 6, and a Year 10 Geography class.

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About The Hamilton and Alexandra College

  • Is a Co- educational Day and Boarding School situated in Victoria's Western District.

  • Established in 1871, the school has a strong history and tradition of academic excellence.

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About The Hamilton and Alexandra College

  • The College has 460 students from Early Learning through to Year 12.

  • There are 2 campuses (Senior and Junior) approximately 1.5km apart.

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Technology provision

  • Each teacher is issued with a tablet laptop.

  • Each classroom has an overhead projector, docking station and Interactive Whiteboard

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Other technological access:

  • Two computer rooms with 25 computers.

  • Reference section of the Alexandra Library has 10 computers.

  • Two trolleys of laptops (15 per trolley).

  • Fully networked sites.

  • Numerous printers: B&W + colour.

  • Several scanners.

  • Still and DVD cameras.

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Other Junior Campus technology

  • Computer lab with 25 computers adjacent to the Library

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VELS and our situation

  • Independent schools have not had to base their courses on VELS to date.

  • Our strong academic tradition means there is a high level of concern about integrating domains.

  • Next year we will introduce VELS

    based courses into year 7.

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Researching Together: Engaging Minds

  • Anyone not already own the program?

  • Anyone using it already? Please feel free to contribute as we go along: we are beginners and can do with help!

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Collecting VELS information

  • Has been vital in terms of being ready to assist teachers with course writing.

  • Has been multi pronged: no need to reinvent the wheel!:

    New text books

    Sources from elsewhere

    Promotion where/when possible e.g. from SLAV website

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Timeline of our journey with R2G

  • Full details are on the handout but in summary:

  • In 2005 the flyer advertising the CD arrived. I thought about purchasing.

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2005 contd.

  • June 2005 Mary Manning spoke at a South West District Library Association meeting.

  • She made the point that VELS embodied cooperative planning and teaching and provided a pathway to information literacy. She briefly showed us R2G.

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2005 contd.

  • In November 2005 SWDLA hosted Anne Young from BSSC demonstrating R2G. She extolled the virtues of a consistent approach to assignment setting which integrated information literacy skills with assessment tasks.

  • Program was purchased.

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Semester 2 2006

  • We attended a regional one day workshop in Stawell. There were many advantages to taking this opportunity:

  • BSSC and SLAV expertise

  • Time

  • Hands on

  • One main focus

  • Applied to many different settings by the school teams in attendance

  • And being there together.

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2006 contd.

We then ran an internal PD session at the start of term 4 for interested staff showing what can be done with R2G and how to do it.

We demonstrated the unit we had devised at the workshop.

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Meanwhile in Geography

  • Margaret used templates to develop assignments.

  • Very basically initially using the concept of and incorporating thinking skills.

  • (Using R2G addresses some of the ICT standards as well!)

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Term 4 Geography

  • Then, encouraged by student response, a complete unit.

  • Setting up units takes time, don’t be too ambitious about how much you can write up in a term.

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A golden opportunity

  • Arose towards the end of the year when teachers began looking for an alternate program for Year 7 & 8 students

    in the last week of school.

    Fantastic Futures was proposed and then developed.

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Fantastic Futures: an integrated unit

  • Student Assignment

  • Preparatory Evaluation

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Advantages of putting Library time into developing this was:

  • Almost all year 7 & 8 teachers were involved.

  • They were happy to supervise

    but preferred not to have

    to organise anything!

    (End of year crazy time!)

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Like a Christmas present for teaching inquiry methods

  • Library and IT staff were available to assist students take their work wherever they wanted it to go.

  • Students got to see what we owned and how to use it.

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Hence in 2007

Individual teachers and student teachers are starting to use R2G or parts thereof. E.G Assessment rubrics.

A number of staff are aware that they can come to the Library for assistance with assignment planning.

Library intranet presence becoming established.

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The next piece for English

  • Was developed by Carmel for her Year 10 class.

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So where do you start?

  • Buy the CD.

  • Load it onto your network.

  • Explore it.

  • Start to use it like this:

  • Set up a folder which includes anything a teacher might need: VELS standards, PoLT, Word proformas from the CD etc.

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Sessions on R2G

  • Are being run by SLAV in August.

  • Plan now to attend one of the sessions with a proactive teacher at your school! Sign on asap!

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When working with a teacher

  • Hand them this copy (or direct them to something like this on the network so the hyperlinks work)

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And remember

  • R2G is enormous. You will continue to keep finding information and templates you can use.

  • When you begin you might find it overwhelming.

  • Once you start to use it you will easily become familiar with it.

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Go home and play with it!

  • Feel free to email us: