It’s alright MA, I’m only trying..

Over two years ago I made the choice to suspend my MA for family reasons. I don’t like to discuss my family online so only minimal detail is shared here. However, now the postponement deadline has passed and I face a decision of whether or not to complete my Masters in Education: Leading Innovation and Change.

Sitting in Ealing library (incredibly busy BTW – hard to get a seat at a computer or non-computer desk – the world is changing) in an attempt to plan the next two weeks work leading to 6000 words of academic prose, this post is to warm up my brain. I restarted the MA in September, convinced that SOLO taxonomy was the most fruitful research I could do because it would also help refine my learning design skills. However, shortly before the end of term, in the two week period I had selected to execute my research, a full inspection was announced, providing a hectic week of preparation and delivery whist 13 guests gathered evidence to judge our school. The inspection went well. We await the formal feedback next month.

You may have sensed my hesitation – or should I call it inertia – toward my MA. It’s there. The momentum I generated achieving distinction in my first year has evaporated. I am looking to recapture the gas. This is a very busy year. My eldest has his finals at Oxford. My middle one has his A2s. My youngest has her final year GCSEs. My partner has all this and her couragous daily negotiation of medical matters. And we have a household to run (drudge – meh!). On top of this, I have to design an ongoing scheme of work to team teach ICT in as many different departments as possible, manage the people and resources involved and execute the delivery. I also have to lead the school’s implementation of Frog as a replacement VLE which has so far included nine hours directed staff training, launch to 850 pupils and integrating the VLE as a hub of daily communications.  So, without further ado, what am I going to research?

My chosen line of enquiry

This year my school made the decision to cease discrete KS3 ICT lessons, and to teach ICT across the curriculum as a serious venture. It is a fantastic project, and innovative that the school has put siginificant staff resources behind it; sadly this has not been backed-up with hardware investment. Last term my fellow ICT teacher and I worked with nine different teachers in English, RE and Geography. In the New Year we are working with another five teachers in Music and PE. I have to complete the evaluation of this work from both the teacher and pupil points-of-view. Therefore, it makes enormous sense to make this process of evaluation and feedback the content of my action research project. The other choices are to re-initiate the research I have started on SOLO or to look at implementing Frog from a school-wide viewpoint. I have decided on the ICTinSubjects project because it requires an enormous amount of work anyway, it demands proper evaluation and feedback, and when the time comes to review the project as a whole, the more evidence I have to inform the best course of action the better (1: go back to discrete ICT; 2. a combination of discrete ICT and ICT in Subjects; or 3. to continue as we are). The more rigour I can bring to that evidence, which should be centred around learning, the better it will be for my school. Finally, I have the pleasure of running a workshop on my work with ICT in Subjects at the Teaching and Learning conference in March 2013 at Berkhamsted School and this will help me prepare for that as well.

So, it’s alright MA, I’m only trying…

It’s alright MA, I’m only trying..

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