Thursday, 1 June 2017

Spark-MIT Innovation

As one of the MIT-Spark Innovative Teachers, I decided to have a go at creating a multimodal text database for the Manaiakalani and the Outreach clusters.  I have spent the past few months trying to formulate a plan for what this would/could look like, and what type(s) of information it would need to include.

This morning, I  was very fortunate to work with the Manaiakalani Outreach Facilitators to synthesize our collective understanding of the research provided by the Woolf Fisher Research Team, including Dr. Rebecca Jesson and Dr. Stuart McNaughton, from the University of Auckland.  We have been assured that if we provide our students with reading material that is both wide and deep, they will make accelerated progress.  To take it a step further, the modes of texts (journal, internet article, picture, graphic, video, song, etc) that we should be allowing our students to experience should vary as shown in the graphic provided by Dr. Jesson in a Professional Development session she did with the Pt England staff during the past year.

Time was then spent constructing a Google Spreadsheet system to be used as a collective database for teachers across our own cluster, and the outreach clusters to input information about their reading choices based on an original text/theme and supported by texts from each of the other text types in various modes.  

My Next Steps: During the upcoming weeks, I will be working to compile various examples multimodal texts to build the database.  I will also engage the participation of colleagues within my own school to help populate, use and offer feedback, while overseeing the database as it is populated by teachers across Manaiakalani and our Outreach clusters.


  1. I am loving your multimodal text database! We will certainly share and add to this at Stonefields school. As we are doing similar inquiries, it has been great to compare your journey with your learners with mine. Reflecting on this, a next step for me is to make sure I systematically include tension/challenge texts and student selected texts as part of the children's reading journey in the lesson progression. The above diagram you have included was a great visual for me.

    1. Hi Rebecca! It was definitely fate that the two of us just happened to sit next to each other at that very first CoL meeting! I really enjoy our conversations whenever we have a chance to get together. The above visual was directly from a presentation that Dr. Rebecca Jesson did for our staff. I'm glad it was helpful for you as well.