Welcome to the VIC Branch of ACEL.

On behalf of all us here at ACEL we wish to start by extending our thoughts to each and everyone of you, your families and schools in this unprecedented time. It is a difficult and unsettling situation for citizens across the world as they deal with the confusion and uncertainty amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and in this time we express our support, admiration and solidarity with our fellow educators for their continued leadership and guidance to our students through such an unparalleled situation.

Together with my fellow ACEL Branch Presidents we wanted to ensure we outlined our response and actions in regards to upcoming ACEL activity for our members and guests.

As you are likely aware, information about COVID-19 is being updated rapidly and the response both locally and internationally continues to escalate significantly. Accordingly, ACEL have decided to postpone all events and workshops that were currently scheduled between March and June 2020. New dates and updated information for each event will soon be announced and all current registrants will have their registration automatically moved to the new dates. Each registrant will also be contacted individually by ACEL with further direct information.

ACEL online services, publications and support will continue to operate without interruption with additional resources and webinars being implemented over this time for continued PD support as part of your membership package.

ACEL regret this reschedule or previously promoted events and any impact hence caused to our valued education network. However the health and safety of our members, staff and partners is our number one priority and we believe this to be in the best interest of all.

Thank you to all and we look forward to coming together once again via workshops, events and awards ceremonies once this period has passed us.

 

Yours sincerely,
Coralee Pratt
ACEL VIC Branch President




From Pandemic to Possibility
For anyone, and everyone, working in a school over the past few weeks, it has been an unprecedented time. Whether you are a teacher, a leader, or support a school organisation in IT, digital learning or student care, you will have done extraordinary things.

I want to offer a perspective on the extraordinary from our own experience, and from our own context, in the hope it might be useful, or at least interesting.

One thing we have learned is that we are all in it together.

The internet is awash with either helpful advice or sage predictions for the future of learning and teaching. As a school we are are reading most of them.

We don’t want to add unnecessarily to the volume of often insightful advice, but here are some things we have learned about being agile, being online and being in the future.

Based on what we have seen in our school and what we see globally, the future for education — starting now, today — will be a time of extraordinary flourishing.

The shape of the day
One thing everyone encountered immediately — and maybe within the first day, or less — of teaching online, was that the shape of the teaching day can no longer be the same. We think that beyond the current situation we will rapidly pivot from real-life/online blending to online/online blending as a core part of our practice.

Being Agile
We have as a school been working on upskilling on new work systems, specifically Agile. We, probably like many schools, have been hosting daily, often several times daily, Zoom standups to share emerging best practice across our teams, subjects and our school. Some of our teams have built Kanban-style boards to capture learnings and to show and manage work in progress.

In our own case, we urgently needed to create a portal to support our transition to online, and specifically to ensure our school community got the best possible up to date communications. Our digital learning team, using Agile principles and tools, were able to deliver an MVP in six hours, followed by daily iterations.

Curriculum design
Perhaps the critical challenge is curriculum design. Just as previous ways of working are not sustainable, just as the shape of the day will likely need to change, curricula will and must change. And this is where we see the flourishing will take place. Inventive, creative, resourceful teachers, in partnership with their engaged, independent, resourceful students, will act in concert to change the curriculum for online, and forever.

On the future
Everyone, it seems, has a view of the future. Some will be wildly inaccurate, some will be almost-truth, and some will be accurate. Here, for what it is worth, is ours.

We think that out of necessity, but also out of desire, learning and teaching will flourish, not diminish.

We will, very quickly, drop the word ‘online’ completely so what we do from now is just learning and teaching.

We will see a flourishing of new types of tools that support learning and teaching because the edtech industry will seek out new opportunities to deliver value when the economics of the new education play out.

Schools, and the best school leaders, will — as they have been doing — challenge some deeply-held assumptions and adapt.

And teachers will become agile superteachers, channelling their passion for teaching into new and innovative learning experiences embedded in new and innovative curricula.