How has the evolution of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) built technological confidence and competence in a Remote Indigenous Community?

Year: 2017

Author: Ewing, Neil

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

How has the evolution of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) built technological confidence and competence in a Remote Indigenous Community?

Throughout my career as a teacher, adult educator, administrator and leader, opportunities presented to work in many rich professional learning environments. The focus; promoting wellbeing of teachers and teacher aides within a Remote Indigenous Community (RIC) school. With the formation of valued relationships forged through experience (visioned through understanding indigenous culture, lifestyle, immersion and communication) within communities over time, I discovered hidden talents, opportunities and desires within members in this RIC.

Therefore, this study explored opportunities for RICs sustainable learning environments skills through the development of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The concept enabled participant confidence and competence as PLCs are a relational and effective teaching strategy. It became the ideal strategy as Indigenous Australia's enthusiasm for computers is high but the fact remains that adoption rates of computer technology throughout indigenous communities is low. Therefore, recognising a possible aide (PLCs) that equips communities with a strategy possibly yielding success and forward movement within technology to improve confidence and competence.

A descriptive participatory action research (PAR), case study and narrative facilitate as the primary methodology, locating the researcher as the primary facilitator. These approaches enable multiple views for holistic understanding. Planning and strategic techniques require utmost attention to unlock researched advantages when using this approach which suggests empowering participants and their progression is the centre-point of success with integrating technology and training perspectives.
A discussion of major themes within this study aligned with literature and operational training course results. PLCs generated new possibilities and processes to help training methods and promote confidence and competence with technical understanding in Normanton Community.

The PLC lead training course developed expressions of self-determination, confidence, collaborative learning, leadership and self-efficacy with some limitations. Through discussion and reflection, along with researching other support strategies PLCs were strengthened through Metaphoric Process and Causal Layered Analysis (CLA). Students progressed remarkably well and became instructional leaders as they gathered the knowledge and understanding needed to guide their aspirations and career goals with the emergence of unearthed confidence and competence with technology.

Results revealed consistency in participant satisfaction and demand in gaining knowledge and skills within technology. PLC, Metaphoric Process and CLA facilitated successful training scenarios and constructed clear pathways to training sequences unlocking confidence and competence which support local and regional alignment through technical awareness within computer education in RICs.