Category Archives: EDTC 6104

Digitizing Your Favorite Lesson

I hear from educators all the time that they cannot find the time to practice using all the new technology tools available, let alone collaborate around ways to utilize these tools in the learning environments they support.

black and white photo of clocks
Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

As educators, we are masters at making the most out of  ‘our 24’, but for time and sometimes sanity we revert back to using the same lesson we know works year after year. Yes, we want to use the new technology, yes, we know it will help our learners prepare for the 21st-century workplace, no, we aren’t out of touch with the realities of the digital revolution. Educators I know you are all planning, grading, coaching, teaching, communicating, for your students each and every day. I designed my 90-minute workshop for The ISTE 2020 EdTech conference with you in mind.

New systems, tools, and strategies of education have always excited me. I remember when a math teacher once shared with me how she removed all her desks and chairs. Students had to move around the room and work out math problems on dry erase boards. At first, the students gave her a piece (or two) of their minds when the test scores came back no one questioned her system. Her students were doing all the work in the math class, they were moving bodies and brains and guess what, the math stuck.  I love when a teacher comes back to me after trying a new strategy or tool with a sparkle in their eye. I have been known to literally jump with joy when a flipped classroom brought about deep student engagement others through would never happen. The digital tools in my workshop are meant to engage and support learners authentically. The digital tools in Engaging Your Learners Through Digital Tools  (YouTube video submission link) is designed to support teachers as they facilitate learners to collaborate, communicate, and create within learning communities.

This submission is designed around the ISTE Coaching Standard 3a-3g Digital Age Learning Environments. These standards are specifically connected to the learning in the workshop by:

  • 3a: Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.
  • 3b: Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.
  • 3d: Select, evaluate and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.
  • 3f: Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.
  • 3g: Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.
    • During the workshop, all participants will be exploring and practicing with different digital tools. They will collaborate in Face-to-Face and digital format to expand the learning while taking into account the learners they have in each unique setting. Digital communication and collaboration outside of the 90-minute workshop will be encouraged. 
  • 3c: Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.
  • 3e: Troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments. 
    • As the facilitator, I will be focusing on the coaching of teachers to use digital tools as a way to maximize the learning objectives for all learners. By anticipating the common problems of a digital environment and communicating how these problems can be solved with ease,  I will empower teachers to take risks and use these powerful tools. 

Participants will move to between three stations in 15 minutes increments to foster engagement while taking on a collaborative learner role.  

Soine and Lumpe (2014) provided a researched anchor in Characteristics of Effective Professional Development that grounded the creation of this workshop.

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This workshop supports active and engaged learning that can support the assessment of student learning. The tools support students who learn content in different ways; student choice opens up when these tools are used. By providing time to get your hands dirty during the workshop educators are able to start connecting the tool to lessons quickly. To meet the teachers’ needs and circumstances, time is spent on the exploration and application of the tool, not listening to how someone else used it. Collective participation is at the heart of this learning opportunity. Participants will collaborate with each other in stations as well as intentionally during reflection. The duration of the 90-minute workshop can be replicated with different tools and learning objectives during short and longer professional development opportunities. This workshop system is easy to replicate at other locations and with different digital tools to maximize the learning of educators at the workshop and beyond.

In short, your time is valuable. Trust me when I say that we appreciate a polite group who pretends to be listening at yet another conference. Thesparticipantsts are comfortable clapping politely and leave with a kind smile but I would rather you make a connection to the learners you support today and give you some time to practice using the tools we all know are important. I promise to jump for joy when you share how the shift towards using digital tools engaged your students and flipped your classroom.

woman jumping above stairs wearing graduation gown and a hat
Photo by Matthew T Rader on Pexels.com

References:

Soine, K.M. & Lumpe, A. (2014). Measuring characteristics of teacher professional development. Teacher Development: An international journal of teachers’ professional development. DOI: 10.1080/13664530.2014.911775

Tools Used in the 2020 ISTE Submission as of September 2019*

*modifications will be made to this workshop to meet the needs of digital educational support as technology tools emerge and evolve.

Community Engagement Project: Connecting with Parents Digitally

Background

For my EDTC 6104 Digital Learning Environments class, I choose to create a workshop on Connecting with Parents Digitally for my Community Engagement Project.

During my presentation I will be helping teachers improve their parent teacher relationship by learning the different ways they can digitally connect with parents. Some of these ways are:

  • Reminder apps such as Remind
  • Digital Portfolio tools such as Seesaw
  • Microsoft tools such as Skype Video Conferencing and Microsoft Translator

Workshop

Audience

Professional Development Workshop

Location- My Private School’s Main Campus

Date- Friday, August 30th, 2019

Attendees- All Pre-K Teachers, Directors, and Founders of all four campus’

2020 WAEYC Annual Conference

Location- Lynnwood Convention Center

Dates- October 22-24, 2020

Attendees- Early Childhood Educators

Length

  • Ideal length will be between 45 minutes- an hour for both my schools PD and the WAEYC conference.
  •  I will be taking time during the first part of the conference to do a poll everywhere which should take about 10 minutes for them to watch the video and answer the questions. 
  • The remaining time will be spent focusing on the presentation and showing them how to find and use the recommended tools from the presentation.

Digital Tools

One of the following will be required for the technology workshop:

  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Smart Phone

Goals

The goals of the workshop will be to teach and demonstrate how to use technology to:

  • Keep Parents aware of the happenings of the classroom and/or school events
  • Build a home-to-school connection with parents
  • Bring new digital communication apps into the classroom

Active Learning

  • I have planned a flipped classroom activity for when the participants enter my workshop. Participants can find a link to a video they will watch as well as a poll everywhere questionnaire I would like them to fill out. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • At the end of the presentation they will get to collaborate in a Padlet on how the digital apps they learned about today affects the home-to-school connection between teachers and parents. 

Addressing Teacher Needs

I will provide all attendees with a link to the powerpoint presentation, the padlet, and the poll everywhere results for them to access after the presentation.

FAQ:

  • How do I help parents create accounts on the apps presented?
  • How do I set up my class on the apps presented? I.e Remind, Seesaw
  • How do I record videos and send photos through the apps?
  • What payment is needed for these apps?

I will also be providing links to the FAQ’s found on the apps website that can help give them a step-by-step guide to answering most of these and other questions.

Collaborative Participation

  • We will have a group discussion on the Poll Everywhere results which will help determine where everyone stands with incorporating digital communication in their classroom. 
  • Attendees will also be working together to set up accounts on the digital apps presented and test run some of them with one another to get a feel for how they work. 
  • Attendees will also comment on a Padlet near the end of the presentation and we will share ideas and feelings on how digital communication can help build a strong parent connection.

ISTE Standards

Educator Standards

  • 1. Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.
    • 1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
    • 1b. Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator Standard 1 by allowing educators to explore different technology communication applications and tools. During the workshop educators will also participate in a professional learning network where they can be actively learning practices that can be implemented into their classrooms.

  • 2. Educators seek out opportunities for leadership to support student empowerment and success and to improve teaching and learning.
    • 2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator 2 by offering educators an opportunity to identify and evaluate new digital communication applications and tools for educational settings. Educators will also get a chance to explore and adopt any of the new digital resources/tools for their classroom/school.

  • 4. Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems.
    • 4a. Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
    • 4d. Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator 4 by presenting educators an opportunity to collaborate with each other and improve their relationship with parents digitally. Through our collaboration, educators are discovering new apps/tools, sharing ideas with one another, and ultimately solving the problem of how to achieve effective communication with parents.

Coaching Standards

3. Digital Age Learning Environments

  • 3a. Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3a by introducing educators to digital communication tools and resources in a collaborative learning environment. Educators will collaborate in a hand-on workshop that will prepare them to implement digital communication apps to create a technology-rich learning environment within their school.

  • 3b. Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3b by allowing educators to add new and effective digital tools and resources for parent communication to their tech libraries. Within the apps/tools presented, Seesaw allows students to be active learners within a technology-rich learning environment and promotes student voice within the classroom.

  • 3c. Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3c by providing educators with an opportunity to come together and collaborate in a learning network environment. Within the workshop educators will collaborate on ideas and choices to better integrate digital communication into their classrooms. This is a great way for educators to get a hands-on experience in a professional development setting.

  • 3d. Select, evaluate and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3d by introducing educators to a variety of new technologies that will assist in building strong parent relationships within their classrooms. Among the apps presented, Microsoft Translate is a great assistive technology to help support student learning by providing a way for educators and parents to communicate with their native languages effectively.

  • 3e. Troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3e by incorporating a hand-on experience for educators to explore and dabble with the new digital apps presented in the workshop. This gives time for me to evaluate and assist any problems that may arise within the programs being explored.

  • 3f. Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3f by presenting a variety of digital communication apps/tools that educators can choose from to adopt within their classrooms/school. I have chosen apps that I have used before in my classroom and have found to be effective tools when connecting with parents. All tools presented within the workshop can also be found within common sense media’s database as effective communication tools for the classroom.

  • 3g. Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3g by teaching educators different strategies and apps that help build effective communication and collaboration with parents. The workshop focuses on 4 different apps that provide educators an opportunity to build a strong effective relationships with parents within their classroom/school.

Supporting Documents

PowerPoint Presentation/Video:(Click Start Slideshow for Voice-Over) :

https://1drv.ms/p/s!AhUaoqeEVJkEiFTGkOlSeM3EUUOq

Poll Everywhere:

https://pollev.com/brittanybump776 or Text BRITTANYBUMP776 to 37607

Padlet:

https://padlet.com/bumpusb/7ak24e42g5aa

Reflection

Throughout the process of creating this community engagement project, I have gained many skills and knowledge that will help me grow further within my career as an educator and a digital coach. I will be presenting my workshop during one of my school’s professional development days and submitting my workshop as a proposal to WAEYC’s 2020 annual conference. Even if not accepted for the WAEYC conference, I feel proud of the knowledge I have gained throughout this project and hope others can also benefit from my hard work.

Professional Learning Networks: Connect, Relate, and Create

The digital world offers many ways of connecting with fellow professionals beyond your typical day and location. Instead of waiting for the weekly professional development meeting or your planning period to connect with your school bestie, educators can access Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) and get suggestions, answers and numerous perspectives within a few minutes. Innovating Pedogogy (2016) states, “Where the pedagogy is successful, social media can give learners reliable and interesting content, as well as opportunities to access expert advice, to encounter challenges, to defend their views and to amend their ideas in the face of criticism”. Within the PLN we connect, relate, and create at any hour and within the constraints of school and district guidelines. How does this way of learning support our students and our practice?

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PLNs are different than the yearly Professional Learning Community (PLC) teachers often participate in for one main reason; they expand beyond a community and are accessible by an often uncontrolled group of professionals who vary in buy-in from curiosity to experts. We are now connected to each other by our professional digital identity.  The theory of connectivism explains this new way of learning. According to (Mattar, 2018), “Connectivism or distributed learning is proposed as a theory more adequate to the digital age, when action is needed without personal learning, using information outside of our primary knowledge”. Within the PLN teachers are able to access knowledge that from educators who have similar questions, roles, and hopefully answers regarding what you want to learn about. You can read more about how PLNs can be supported by PLCs in Vicki Davis’s Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs

ISTE Coaching Standard 3.G states that coaches should focus on the “Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers, and the larger community”. The PLN is a prime example of The Tripple E in action. “The Triple E Framework, developed in 2011 by Professor Liz Kolb at the University of Michigan, School of Education, was created to address the desire for K-12 educators to bridge research on education technologies and teaching practice in the classroom”.  Educators are able to extend their own learning, enhance the experiences of students through the shared perspectives of others while engaging with like-minded professionals from all over the world. 

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So just how should we use digital communication and collaborative technologies in professional learning? It is as simple as joining and responding to the Facebook group, or as complicated as participating in the live Twitter Feed discussion. These experiences are better when they have someone to set the tone of the collaboration, monitor and manage the material posted when conversations get heated and play digital housekeeping from time to time.  

“In a recent survey, Teachers Network found that 80 percent of teachers said network participation encouraged them to remain in the classroom, while 90 percent said that networking improved their teaching practice”. Edutopia expands on the PLN possibilities in Resources for Growing Your Professional Learning Network. These opportunities have been around for years are full of knowledge if you know how to access it. PLNs have the power to support you and your school bestie as you design that next unit, or offer support as you take a big risk by using new technology to support the learning in your classrooms. The power will feel endless; I encourage you to experience some of the positive consequences of this digital world we live in.

A few final words of advice based on personal experience:

  1. The power is in the collaboration, and quality collaboration is based on respect. 
  2. Ask clear questions so others can help you find quality answers and solutions.
  3. Do not judge someone who takes a moment to vent, instead offer solutions and perspective. Kindness always wins and sometimes it is easier to turn to a social network platform than people you have to work with every day.
  4. 4. Give back! Take a few moments to share your thinking when someone reaches out. It is important to fill the bucket that you are willing to take from.

Enjoy the endless opportunity to Connect, Relate, and Create.

References: 

Creative Commons. (n.d.). Triple E Framework. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.tripleeframework.com

Davis, V. (2015, November 11). Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/modern-professional-learning-plc-pln-vicki-davis

ISTE | ISTE Standards for Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Mattar, J. (2018). Constructivism and connectivism in education technology: Active, situated, authentic, experiential, and anchored learning. RIED. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia, 21(2), 201. https://doi.org/10.5944/ried.21.2.20055

Sharples, M., de Roock , R., Ferguson, R., Gaved, M., Herodotou, C., Koh, E., Kukulska-Hulme, A., Looi, C-K, McAndrew, P., Rienties, B., Weller, M., Wong, L. H. (2016). Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Open University Innovation Report 5. Milton Keynes: The Open University.

Teachers Network – Free Lesson Plans, Educational Resources & Videos for Teachers, Educators & Instructors. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2019, from http://teachersnetwork.org

Implementing Global Experiences into the Classroom

While taking Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6104 Digital Learning Environments course, we are asked to investigate the following ISTE Coaching Standard:

3. Digital Age Learning Environments:  Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.

Within ISTE Coaching Standard 3: Digital Age Learning Environments, I focused my research on the following indicator:

3g. Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.

What digital resources and technologies can teachers use when implementing global projects into the classroom?

In the past I have researched how to build diversity into the classroom by using Skype as well as conducted my own global project using Skype Collaboration. Feel free to go read more about my research and experience with using Skype in the Classroom; for this blog post I choose to focus on other platforms and/or technologies that can assist educators in implementing global projects into their classroom.

When beginning my research I found this wonderful article written by Julie Lindsay called, “5 levels for taking your classroom global”. In the article Julie introduces 5 different levels of how educators can implement global opportunities in their classrooms for the students. I decided to go along with the 5 levels and find resources that will help educators implement global learning into their classrooms.

Level 1: Online interactions 

This level applies to asynchronous communication and involves sharing online learning via digital platforms for others to interact with. Examples include class and individual blog posts as well as digital artifacts posted online for others to view and comment on.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 1 Apps

Buncee – “Create and share projects or participate in the global pen pal program.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Padlet- A virtual cork board for sharing projects.” (Asia Society, 2019)

SeeSaw-Platform for digital student portfolios” (Asia Society, 2019)

Level 2: Real encounters 

The goal of this level is to connect in real time using whatever tool is available to those connecting. Synchronous interaction means learning is instant and participants can ask questions, share media and build understanding of each other in a very short time.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 2 Apps

ePals“A community of collaborative classrooms engaged in cross-cultural exchanges, project sharing, and language learning.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Empatico“Is a free online tool that connects students aged 7 – 11 to
classrooms around the world using video conference technology.”
(Asia Society, 2019)

Global Nomads Group“Videoconferencing, virtual reality, and other interactive technologies bring young people together across cultural and national boundaries to examine world issues and to learn from experts in a variety of fields.”(Asia Society, 2019)

Level 3: Online learning 

“The aim of this level is to encourage learning through digital interaction and sharing of artifacts. It applies to the development of online communities to support curriculum objectives and may be localized (between classes and schools in the same geographic region) or be more global. The learning focus is asynchronous interaction, although some serendipitous synchronous communication may take place, such as a chat facility for participants.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 3 Apps

PenPal Schools“A thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that builds global awareness and collaboration skills by facilitating authentic, cross-cultural PBL experiences.” (Common Sense Media, 2019)

Level Up Village- “STEAM curriculum that connects students to partners around the globe.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Level 4: Communities of practice

“This level is designed for specific learning objectives as a global community of learners. Communication can be both synchronous and asynchronous. The community of practice would normally have a shared objective, such as a global collaborative project and probably a set timeline that dictates workflow and communication patterns.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 4 Apps

Global Read Aloud“Pick a book to read aloud to your students during a set 6-week period and during that time try to make as many global connections as possible.” (GRA, 2019)

Hour of Code– “The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.” (Hour of code, 2019)

Level 5: Learning collaboratives

The purpose of this community is a little harder to grasp, but it’s basically about fostering learner autonomy for online global collaboration. Each member of the collaborative (educator, student, community partner) has the confidence and ability to initiate collaborations and co-creations within the collaborative. The learning paradigm is redesigned to encourage students to take leadership roles and, in doing so, co-create solutions to global problems and challenges.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 5 Apps

Global Kids– “Using interactive and experiential methods, the program aims to educate youth about critical international and foreign policy issues. Through its professional development program, GK also provides educators with strategies for integrating a youth development approach and international issues into their classrooms.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Taking It Global- “A global online community that seeks to inspire, inform, connect, and empower youth to take action in to improve communities locally and globally. “ (Asia Society, 2019)

Resources:

Asia Society. Technology Tools for Global Education. Retrieved from https://asiasociety.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/technology-tools-for-global-collaboration-edu.pdf

Common Sense Education. Pen Pal Schools. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/website/penpal-schools

GRA. The Global Read Aloud. Retrieved from https://theglobalreadaloud.com/

Hour of Code. (2019). What will you create? Retrieved from https://hourofcode.com/us?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-b7qBRDPARIsADVbUbXNYZXmUVzHJlKNdHLXPrCTk6KtwuY9Xvsg3OEEnwwlUxf78jaNqa8aAqgrEALw_wcB#

ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Lindsay, Julie. (2016, July 19). 5 levels for taking your classroom global. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/In-the-classroom/5-levels-for-taking-your-classroom-global

Be a Troubleshooter to Transform Your Technology Integration

ISTE Coaching Standard 3 Digital age learning environments

Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.

E – Troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments

Question: How can coaches best support teacher and student stamina when learning how to incorporate new technology into their classroom?

Throughout the Digital Education Leadership (DEL) program at Seattle Pacific University, I have noticed that my own learned helplessness when using new technology was much more ingrained than I had realized. When our cohort was asked to use Coggle to create a Mindmap from our readings during the first quarter, I became frustrated and told myself multiple times that I am just the type of person who is better at using pencil and paper for this task – more specifically, “that is just who I am”. The rigidity around the idea of “that is just who I am” morphed into a learned helplessness that I could not do it well because it wasn’t suited to what I was already proficient at. I am incredibly thankful that throughout learning the Coggle tool and being a part of the DEL program, I realized that by tapping into a growth mindset, I eventually saw and appreciated the value of expanding my skills and not stopping as soon as I had to put effort into something new, uncomfortable and challenging. Luckily, the DEL program coached me through these challenges by having an atmosphere of support and patience with what it takes to learn these skills. This is exactly what I expect and hope my students will aspire to every day in my classroom.  How unfair not to grow with them and this had led me to expect it of myself, first and foremost.  Coaches and the educational environment we are all part of needs to have this same patience and perseverance in order to gain the stamina to succeed in the always evolving technology rich culture we all live in.  

Many of the issues that surround implementing technology in the classroom result from a fixed mindset from educators, administration, district demands around testing, parent fears and students who have been exposed regularly to one ‘right way’.  When connectivity and basic hardware/software issues pop up, it is easy to sweep away what you were attempting to implement in the name of needing to teach a standard. This challenge becomes not worth the time, effort and resources. Sure, time may be spent differently than you anticipated but in the long run, you and your students will learn critical life long skills that our students need to learn for the 21st century and beyond. Our stamina around implementation of new technology, as coaches and educators, is critical to the success of these skills for our students.

When looking at the Life and Career column of these 21st century skills, these are the skills that will help all the other skills take root, grow and maintain footing in all contexts.  Each one of these has been critical in my own growth with implementing digital education and technology and to grow with my students while moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. While researching ways to inspire stamina for other educators as a coach, I came across a great article about common issues that arise when using technology.  This list can help coaches teach educators what to do with common problems while using technology in their classroom. I would also extend this idea into creating a living document (a document that is always changing, being added to and being updated) style list with the classroom community adding to it as issues arise. The classroom community, as a whole, is part of problem solving the issues that are sure to come. There have been many times that a student shows me how to solve an issue occurring in class…what an invaluable opportunity for students to become leaders and mentors and this has the opportunity to create a safe environment for solving problems and collaboration between students and adults. In addition, this can help students and teachers to move past learned helplessness and into an eagerness to solve problems as they arise.  

In the Edutopia article, Avoiding Learned Helplessness, Andrew Miller lists out ways educators can shift students into a growth mindset. Miller states, “We, as educators, are often responsible for learned helplessness, and we have a responsibility to change it. How can we empower our students to be self-directed learners?”

  • Curate and Create Learning Resources (Wakelet if a great resource for this!)
  • Using Questions to Drive Learning
  • Stop Giving Answers
  • Allow for Failure

“We need to take responsibility for empowering our students, and to scaffold the process of self-direction. Self-direction doesn’t happen overnight, especially when many of our students have been trained through specific structures of their schooling to be helpless. Although we can take steps as individual educators to avoid learned helplessness, we need to reexamine the systems of schooling, from curriculum to assessment and instruction, to allow for empowerment rather than always getting the right answer.”

~ Andrew Miller

Miller reminds us that specific structures of schooling trains students to be helpless.  In order to counter these structures, consider the idea of Productive Failure (Maun Kapur) as a way to shift from learned helplessness to seeing challenges as an opportunity for authentic learning and a more engaging learning experience that frees students up to wonder, problem solve and have multiple opportunities to try out ideas.  This applies heavily to how teachers can view troubleshooting technology issues, as well, and showcase this pedagogy to students.

“This pedagogy [Productive Failure] requires students to manage an open-ended process of challenge and exploration, so they may feel less confident in the short term. The approach helps them to become more creative and resilient over time.” “For productive failure, the order is reversed, so students try to solve ill-structured problems first, and then receive direct instruction.”

https://iet.open.ac.uk/file/innovating_pedagogy_2016.pdf
https://sites.msudenver.edu/sips/sip-6-4-productive-failure/
A peek into Manu Kapur speaking about Productive Failure

Throughout researching how to build stamina for teachers and students, I keep coming back to the idea that we as educators need to model a desire to approach challenges.  The more we run from using digital resources and technology because there are bound to be issues, the more we are modeling learned helplessness for our students – exactly what we are trying to steer them away from! At the heart of this ISTE 3 Coaching Standard 3E, is the word troubleshooting. The Marian Webster definition of a troubleshooter is:

a person skilled at solving or anticipating problems or difficulties

Coaches have the opportunity to inspire the stamina it takes to implement new ways of teaching by providing resources that give educators the skills to anticipate problems or difficulties rather than focusing on how to do it ‘right’ the first time. Solving and anticipating problems and difficulties are key aspects to be ready to grow as an educator and meet students in the educational world they are growing up in.

How have you lost or gained stamina when using technology in the classroom? When have you given up? When have you pushed through? Who have you seen rise to technology challenges and who has helped you to push through? Have you seen students push through issues/challenges with perseverance and stamina and what was the sequence they went through? In what ways have you been successful or not successful with teaching growth mindset to students? Have you tried approaching learning from a Productive Failure pedagogy? Learning from each other, connecting with the challenges of stamina, perseverance and growth mindset for students and ourselves and being inspired by each other is how our community can become stronger and more supportive. I would love to hear your perspective!

Resources:

Diplomatic Courier. (2017, Jan. 29). Interview w. Manu Kapur at GTS 2017. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fosOJ_4Fqxk

ISTE Coaching Standards. (2019) Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches 

Kapur, Manu.  Productive Failure.  Retrieved from https://www.manukapur.com/productive-failure/

Metropolitan State University of Denver. (2018, Feb. 07) SIP 6.4 Productive Failure: Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?  Retrieved from https://sites.msudenver.edu/sips/sip-6-4-productive-failure/

Miller, A. (2015). Avoiding Learned Helplessness.  Edutopia blog: Teaching Strategies. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/avoiding-learned-helplessness-andrew-miller

Murray, Jacqui. (2013) Solve Those Tricky Classroom Tech Problems. Tech Hub. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/how-solve-tricky-classroom-tech-problems

Famularo, Lisa. (2011, April 29). Developing 21st Century Leaders: Creating Paths to Success. National Partnership for Educational Access.  Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/NPEAConference/integrating-21st-century-skills-into-teaching-and-learning-preparing-all-students-for-success-in-college-career-and-life

National Institute of Education: Singapore. (2016) Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers. Retrieved from https://iet.open.ac.uk/file/innovating_pedagogy_2016.pdf

Curating, Managing, & Selecting Digital Tools to Support ALL Learners.

“Instruction should have clear goals that are separate from the means for completing the task, and these goals also should be thoroughly understood by the teacher and clearly communicated to students” (Basham & Marino, n.d., pp.11). This is what we hope for daily. We spend hours designing lessons, reviewing curriculum and examining formative assessments to support the clear goals that will propel our students to the finish line of learning. If our students learned the same way, we would be able to formalize this process within a cookie-cutter approach; our students may enjoy a cookie but they are not cut from the same mold.

Baham and Marino continue to anchor us in the educational needs of our students with the statement “Instruction should be intentionally planned so that it is personally challenging for all learners” (Basham & Marino, n.d.). Educators will wax and wane about the time it takes to create learning experiences like this; when the topic of a lesson plan enters the conversation they get tight-lipped about sharing a comment along the lines of knowing material and content, to a level that a lesson plan can not match. In short,  a teacher’s brainpower and instinctive understanding of what their students need to master the learning outcome should not be challenged but rather built upon.

man sitting beside clear glass window
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Facilitating learning takes time, and yes even the teacher who chooses to not plan may have a wonderful day or two in the classroom. But our learners are complex human beings with needs to be met. As educational settings and the workplace require complex thinking skill sets, we can no longer assume students have learned the material by grading a vocabulary test. In the spirit of a creative, student learning-centered classroom out compliance-based lessons will no longer cut it.

ISTE Coaching Standard 3 speaks to the instructional planning needed to support our diverse student populations within the Digital Age Learning Environments that mirror the working lives they will lead. 

  • 3B – Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.
  • 3D – Select, evaluate, and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.
  • 3F – Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.

A theme emerges within these standards. Teachers are given the control to manage, evaluate, and select the proper tools to support today’s student. How do we go about doing this if the technology is changing at such a rapid pace?

Wakelet is a free digital tool that supports the curation of tools for use tomorrow, next week or next year. Instead of trying to file the ideas away in our head we can now organize our resources, articles, and tools to support today and tomorrows student. The lesson plan may not always work but Wakelet provides flexibility and categorization that teachers can easily ” maintain and manage” (ISTE 3B), evaluate and make not of how to use the tools (ISTE 3D), and finally, collaborate with other educators to “enhance teaching and learning”(ISTE 3F). The values of Wakelet support the students we are growing in our classrooms; empowering readiness behaviors that will create and  empower the future leaders and creators we facilitate.

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If Wakelet is going to organize the tools for us, how do we know the tools will support our students?

The Tripple E Framework provides a model to intentionally support teachers as they look at tools for the classrooms they teach. One tool may not work year after year, as different learners need different supports in order to be empowered to grow outside the mold of compliance.

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The framework model can be applied through the use of a rubric to check the applicable practice for your current students through a stop light rubric assessment.

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The intentional assessment of  tools coupled with a formative assessment of student learning has the possibility to maximize student-centered learning opportunities we know engages all of our learners. The Triple E Framework Rubric, is supportive of the teacher who works from instinct and data to support the learning.

If I could turn back the clock and utilize these tools with the teachers I have coached I would do so in a heartbeat. The use of The Triple E Framework combined with Wakelet and the anchoring ISTE Coaching 3 Standard, provides a rich learning opportunity with check points that will enhance your lesson plan.  May we all be empowered to grow within the digital world and utilize theses tools in the classroom.

Choosing Digital Tools for the Classroom

This quarter as part of Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6104 Digital Learning Environments class, I investigated the question: “What are the best practices for choosing digital tools and content for the classroom?” My goal was to find information on what educators are wanting from digital tools and to learn how to choose digital tools that fit within your classroom/ school environment. Through research, my focus for this investigation was to cover the following ISTE Coaching Standard:

3F. Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.

Finding the “Right” Tools

When beginning my research I found an article written by Meg Hamel where she compares how to find the “right” tools to planning a meal for your family.

“To make a great meal for your family, you’ve got to factor in budget, individual schedules, food preferences or sensitivities, flavor, and nutritional value. The same kind of planning should happen when beginning a search for edtech products. Administrators and teachers must build a shared understanding of the specific goals for teaching and learning for their school.”

Meg Hamel goes on to recommend building a list of “What you have versus what you need” and to evaluate what has been successful within your classrooms and which areas could need more digital support. In a study by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Bill, 2015) shows that most teachers see the value that using technology can have in the classroom and prefer tools that:

  • Are consistent, inviting, and easy for teachers to use
  • Are intuitive and easy for students to use.
  • Saves teachers time and is simple to integrate into instruction.
  • Allows both teachers and students to continually tailor tasks and instruction based on individual student skills and progress.
Chart from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on What Teachers Want from Technology

The chart above is sorted by grade level as well as by subject that shows the different ways digital technology can be used in the classroom. As you can see the higher the grade, the more digital technology goes from simply a new way of delivery to more of a supportive role in the classroom. (Bill, 2015) Teachers also shared how technology could be tailored for more student-driven or teacher-driven learning in the chart below:

Chart from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In the link below I also provided some recommended apps/resources by Liz Kolb who sorts her digital tools into four categories: Social Use, Higher-Level Thinking, Value-Added, and Authentic Context.

https://www.iste.org/explore/Toolbox/4-tips-for-choosing-the-right-edtech-tools-for-learning

Through my research I also found two edtech databases that help teachers narrow down what they are looking for in an app/resource. These databases are Edsurge and Common Sense Education. After learning more about these databases, I feel they can be helpful in choosing new technologies and assist teachers in finding an appropriate resource without feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of digital choices they have to choose from.

Resources

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (K-12 Education Team). (2015). Teachers Know Best: What Educators Want From Digital Instructional Tools. Retrieved from http://k12education.gatesfoundation.org/resource/what-educators-want-from-digital-instructional-tools-2-0/

Hamel, Meg. (2017, September 24). The Secret Sauce to Choosing Edtech? Find Tools By Fit, Not Feature. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-09-24-the-secret-sauce-to-choosing-edtech-find-tools-by-fit-not-feature

ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Kolb, Liz. (2016, December 20). 4 tips for choosing the right edtech tools for learning. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/Toolbox/4-tips-for-choosing-the-right-edtech-tools-for-learning

Evaluate and Curate!

ISTE Coaching Standard 3: Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.

B – Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments

D – Select, evaluate, and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning

F – Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure

With so many digital tools and resources available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones are best for all students, integrate well into standards/curriculum and are considered acceptable to use by your district and/or school.  A survey by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation revealed that teachers rely primarily on recommendations from other teachers when deciding on what technologies to incorporate into their classroom. This led me to the question:

What are evaluative practices that I can use to curate digital resources and tools and where can students and teachers access this curated list easily? 

Having a checklist of questions to guide teachers through the evaluation process for digital tools and resources is a great way to start evaluating. This Digital Tool Protocol Overview can be a starting point for how to evaluate the tool or resource you would like to use.  In addition, adding questions that focus on culturally sustaining pedagogy, culturally relevant pedagogy and culturally relevant teaching can be added in as a teacher, school community and/or district can fine tune how they want to evaluate digital tools and resources.  In the article, Building Culturally Responsive Classrooms With Digital Content, Dr. Karen Beerer states,  Cultural responsiveness through “going digital” is about being able to answer yes to these questions throughout all classrooms in your school:

  • Is instruction relevant to students’ lives and the world around them?
  • Is your teaching preparing students to be future ready?
  • Do the instructional resources enhance students’ learning?
  • Do the instructional resources reflect the students in any way?
  • How is what you’re teaching going to impact or change students’ lives?

Beerer also mentions “…seven ways educators can use digital content to implement culturally responsive teaching effectively’:

  1. Integrate digital content into your instruction.
  2. Ensure the digital content is high-quality.
  3. Use digital activities such as high-quality graphics, games, virtual labs and robust math and science challenges to motivate students.
  4. Build students’ vocabularies with a variety of different digital resources such as videos, animations, and images.
  5. Engage students in experiences, such as a virtual field trip to the North Pole, that they wouldn’t ordinarily have, or perhaps may never have, to build understanding of others.
  6. Close the “belief gap”.
  7. Know your students and the communities you serve.

Beerer goes into each of these principles in detail, explaining more in-depth how each principle connects to students and the classroom community.  Teachers can use these questions and principles as best practices to meet all students in their classrooms, including students with disabilities, under-served populations, students of color, ELL students and neurodiverse students.  Including these ideas into tech evaluations is critical to best meet your students where they are at and to make learning accessible to all.

One of the most exciting parts of using digital tools and resources in a classroom is the chance for students to take agency over their own learning. I found this video very inspiring as a reminder of how to tap into the curiosity, creativity, diversity, culture and heart of every student.

Brian Lozenski states, “Diversify the avenues that we offer for students to participate.” I really connected with Lozenski’s idea of ‘reversing the poles’ by focusing on ways of participating versus knowledge acquisition instead of the other way around. It made me reflect on how digital tools and resources could be used to inspire “ways of participating” in education not “just acquiring the knowledge”. A digital tool or resource could help to open a pathway of inquiry, connection to self and environment and in turn, lead to more student driven learning and excitement. 

After teachers evaluate the digital tools and resources they want to use, implementation is next. It is important for teachers to give themselves and students time to become familiar with the tool.  Re-evaluate the tools and resources as time goes on to determine if what is being used is, in fact, best for students. I like the idea of SELFIE, a digital technology feedback tool that has been put out by the European Commission.  Schools can use SELFIE to get feedback from students, teachers and staff about how digital tools and resources are working well or not working.  Also, it is anonymous and free making it available to all and participants can feel safe in knowing that they can give an honest opinion.

Then what? If educators generally look to others in the field of education for resources, tools, ideas and insight, how can we broaden the community educators have to draw from in order to start or improve their digital age learning environment?  Digital education coaches and educators who are using technology regularly could curate a list of resources to share with other educators – locally and globally. A resource that I have found very helpful this year is Wakelet

A bulleted list of digital tools and resources is often overwhelming (and boring!).  Educators are busy and need a place to go to easily find a tool or resource that works for a specific grade or subject matter. With Wakelet, the curated list can include videos, photos, written descriptions and be broken down into categories that then have multiple resources. This makes the experience more inviting and engaging for those interacting with the content curated.  There is also opportunity for students to interact with the tools and resources a teacher has compiled. This opens the possibilities for students to choose what they would like to use which supports student choice and interest. I highly recommend this digital tool because it is easy to use, the opportunity for connecting with others and it is free!

In order to get to the evaluation and curation stage of digital tools and resources, finding the best ones to look more closely at is another task in and of itself.  Here are a few starting points so you can start evaluating and curating!

Resources:

Beerer, Karen. (2017, Feb. 20) Building Culturally Responsive Classrooms with Digital Content. Retrieved from https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/02/culturally-responsive-classrooms-digital-content/

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (2015). Teachers Know Best. What Educators Want From Digital Education Tools. Retrieved from http://edtech-production.herokuapp.com/reports

Common Sense Media. Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

Dynamic Learning Project. Retrieved from https://dynamiclearningproject.com/strategymenu

European Commission. SELFIE. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/education/schools-go-digital_en

Feedspot. (2019, July 5). Top 75 Educational Technology Blogs and Websites for Educators. Retrieved from https://blog.feedspot.com/educational_technology_blogs/

Lozenski, Brian. (2012). Bringing Cultural Context and Self-Identity into Education: Brian Lozenski. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX9vgD7iTqw

Johnson, Karen. (2016, March 15). Resources to Help You Choose the Digital Tools Your Classroom Needs. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-03-15-resources-to-help-you-choose-the-digital-tools-your-classroom-needs

Wakelet. Retrieved from Waklet – https://learn.wakelet.com/

Culturally Responsive Teaching, Art, and Digital Learning Environments

Our first module for EDTC 6104 was anchored around ISTE coaching standard 3, which states, “Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.” After doing some of the required readings I wanted to focus on the “all” in the standard. Specifically, how culturally responsive teaching could guide my work supporting all scholars.

 “Culturally Responsive Teaching is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning” (Landson-Billings, 1994).

I’ve come to understand culturally responsive teaching as mindset, a way of being or thinking; a foundation that guides our practice and manifests itself into doing. This understanding brought me back to the ISTE coaching standard 3; I wondered how culturally responsive teaching and digital age environments intertwined and how I could model or coach others in creating digital learning environments that nurture scholars culture, potentials, and abilities?  Approaching culturally responsive teaching in terms of a mindset, it can not be boiled down to a specific list of strategies, lesson plans or curriculum due to the individuality and diversity of each classroom. It can, however, ground our teaching and learning environments digitally (or not). Art is one grounding approach that can meet culturally responsive teachings goals.

“Arts education is one way to provide a culturally relevant experience for students because the arts allow individuality to flourish (Acuff et. al, 2012). Further, the arts provide an avenue for expression that moves beyond the realm of the written word, thus potentially allowing for complicated themes related to race and culture to be addressed. Reif and Grant (2010) state that the benefit of employing the arts to make meaning in classrooms is clear, and that overall, students who engage deeply with the arts have, “better reading and language skills, mathematics skills, thinking skills, social skills, motivation to learn, and a positive school environment” (p. 102).” (McCarther, Davis, 2017, p. 110).

Modeling or Coaching Art and Digital Learning Environments

There are many approaches to art that can be used to honor scholars’ voices and expressions. For the duration of this blog post, I will share ways you could model or coach teachers on infusing art and the digital world, and provide some ways to do so through a culturally responsive teaching lens. 

Blended Learning and Art

Blended learning and art complement each other very well. For the matter of understanding blended learning, because I have found there are many different interpretations of it, I broadly define it as an educational program in which scholars learn in some part through online learning. Art through blended learning can take on many forms, and there are many avenues that you could take. Learning from teachers or coaches who have implemented blended learning into their art instruction may help you visualize and plan how it could be used to support scholars in your classroom. 

Watching Instructional Videos

Through this approach, students watch directions, methods, etc. presented and are able to self-pace and review or reflect on such. If you are creating the video yourself ScreenCastify is a great application to explore. There are also many blogs and videos already created, it may be worth taking a look before you create your own. 

4th grade students using I-pads to watch art instructions and practices. (Codilla, 2016).

Online Formative Quizzes

Depending on your learning goals you could use a blended approach to assess whether students have a foundational understanding of the material before beginning the art assignment or project. See here for an abundance of online formative assessment tools you could use. 

Middle school teacher uses online formative assessments before her students begin working on art (The Arts, 2018).

With Technology Possibilities are Endless

Scholars can also use technology to read about, observe, study or analyze: art, artists, methods or literature before during or after working on an art project. Some examples include: 

  • Scholars choose an artist or method to study that can be as simple as introducing to them to selected artists or as in-depth as unit studies based on specific artists or methods. There are many resources for such work, Emily’s blog post on the Ultimate Guide to Home School Artist Study has some resources that could get you started. 

  • Many museums also offer virtual viewing options. Here are some museums that have digital showcases, lesson plans, and so many possibilities. 

  • National Gallary of Art

  • 10 Amazing Virtual Museum Tours

  • Virtual field trips and skype- Microsoft in Education Skype in the Classroom has virtual field trips, guest speakers and resources to connect you with artists and more virtually. 

Curated Youtube video playlist of famous artists biography and artwork (Free School, 2014).

Showcasing and Interacting with Art

Using technology to showcase and interact with artwork opens the door to possibilities of honoring scholars voices, interpretations, and ideas. It allows windows and mirrors into scholars lives, it also provides a place for students to interact and reflect on their own and others art and interpretations. Common Sense Media has compiled reviews of digital portfolios in which you could research and find one(s) that best meet the needs of your class: Student Portfolio Apps and Websites

High school teacher and students use Artsonia to showcase their artwork (Millis High School, 2019). See more on her blog post Digital Art Snapshot

Involve Families in Learning

Involving families in their child’s learning is a core part of almost any culturally-responsive teaching approach. Parents act as the main educators in many societies and can provide cultural context. (Guido, 2017)
 

Using a class website, Seesaw, Flipgrid, Class Dojo, Google Classroom or any other online platform (it could be the platform you chose as a digital portfolio) that showcases scholars artwork encourages family engagement. This opens the door to family participation and features voices from scholars lives’ outside of the classroom. 

 

Learning First, Technology Second

Research shows that technology has more impact on K-12 student learning when it supports student learning goals (Tamim, Bernard, Borokhovski, Abrami, & Schmid, 2011). Another point supporting this claim found in a research article examining the role of technology in preservice teachers art education found, “Students achieved success when they learned the technology specifically to enable them to develop their artistic projects in creative, diverse ways.” (Black, Browning, 2011). Blending technology into your art education can have many benifits, but remember to first begin with compelling, imaginative and conceptual ideas to create your learning goals and drive instruction, then infusing technology to support the learning second. 

 

Culturally Responsive Teaching Art Integration

There are many art projects and ideas out there which align with the goals of culturally responsive teaching. Deirdre Moore’s blog post, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Arts explains four strategies for culturally responsive arts integration in the classroom:

  1. Connect through story

  2. Highlight art and artists from various cultures

  3. Ask questions (and listen deeply)

  4. Create to learn

 

Additionally, if you’re wanting to try integrating arts, blended learning (or both) into your classroom or school talk to your colleagues, coaches, district professionals and most importantly get to know your students: their culture and their wants, needs, and goals.

References:

 

Black, J., & Browning, K. (2011). Creativity in Digital Art Education Teaching Practices. Art Education,64(5), 19-34. doi:10.1080/00043125.2011.11519140

 

Blended Learning: Art Teacher JoAnne Vogel Creates Classroom Clarity. (2018, January 19). Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://magazine.micds.org/blended-learning-art-teacher-joanne-vogel-creates-classroom-clarity/

 

Codilla, W. [Wil Codilla]. (2016, November 4). Blended Learning in the Art Room [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0dFwlnwj7w 

 

Free School. (2014, November 10). Vincent van Gogh for Children: Biography for Kids [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/qv8TANh8djI

 

Guido, M. (2019, May 06). 15 Culturally-Responsive Teaching Strategies. Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.prodigygame.com/blog/culturally-responsive-teaching/

 

Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing Co.

 

McCarther, S. M., & Davis, D. M. (2017). Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Twenty-Plus Years Later: How an Arts Approach to Teaching and Learning Can Keep the Dream Alive. American Educational History Journal, 44(2), 103–113. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.spu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=eric&AN=EJ1158560&site=ehost-live

 

Millis High School. (2019). Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=65964 

 

Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2011). What Forty Years of Research Says about the Impact of Technology on Learning: A Second-Order Meta-Analysis and Validation Study. Review of Educational Research, 81(1), 4–28. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.spu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=eric&AN=EJ920988&site=ehost-live

Learning, First & Digital Tools, Second

Teachers are experts. We work on our craft, we study our content in depth,  and many of us are fortunate enough to teach the same grade or class year after year, perfecting the content lessons with care and detail. Within the current learning realities we need to move past the ‘on the page’ learning to support and propel our students for the world they will live and work in. 

TPACK  speaks to the merger of the Technical Knowledge, Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Knowlege. When all of these converge you have a learning environment that supports the 21st-century learner. 

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As educators, our new goal should be to focus on the learning first and the digital tools that are going to get our students through and to the learning second. This type of thinking will require us to think differently about our perfected curriculum and instead encourage us to apply some flexibility in our classroom and learning management systems (LMS) used to facilitate learning. 

ISTE specifically addresses these needs in Coaching Standard 3: Digital Age Learning Enviroments.3a: “Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments”, giving teachers the control over how to manage the classroom environments within the complexities of the school resources and outside digital world realities.    

Professional development (PD) is paramount to the success of our educators in this ever-changing environment. Could PD be designed to support teachers as they evolve within the rapid changes of learning that often feel impossible to keep up with?

AVID Center has presented a Digital Integration focus on the instruction of learning. The Digital Teaching and Learning (DTL) Strand/Path to Schoolwide training addresses these very issues while focusing on the 4 A’s of Learning First and Digital Tools Second.

The 4 A's Visual

I am fortunate to be one of the staff developers who will support the learning of educators this summer during AVID Summer Insitute. ISTE coaching standard 3c builds on the realities of today’s classrooms by explicitly asking that we  “Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators”. This is what I hope to do for all my learners this summer. 

What do teachers want from professional development? (K. Johnson, 2016) states, “A growing body of research is singling out two kinds of PD with the potential to check all these boxes and impact student achievement: coaching and collaborations”. The reality is that in order for the PD to be meaningful it must have more structure than teachers sitting around dreaming about what digital tool they could use or worse hearing a horror story of the one time a colleague used a digital tool only to have the entire lesson fail due to lack of resources or ability to meet the digital glitches that often come with the risk-taking. When this happens, teachers often go back to the lesson plan they polished through years of hard work and leave the technology integration for the next guy.

The 4 A’s is not a continuum, instead, it is a pedological focus that meets students and teachers within the specific realities of the classroom and LMS environments. The DTL  course design embeds opportunities to experience and supports the premise of a focus on consistent and constant learning instead of always knowing the one and only answer that students will come to after memorizing a lecture or reading a chapter. Yes, this takes away some of the ‘expertise’ we love to own as a teacher but I hope it engages and empowers future thinkers to design and test solutions to the problems we continue to experience through the freedom to become an expert as a student. 

No one can say that they will be an expert in all areas of the digital world of education. Instead, educators should approach the facilitation of their learners as co-creators and learners. When teachers build on what has worked in past learning environments with the freedom to modify to meet the needs of the current learners the end learning goal remains the same while the path towards success is ever changing. Over the next two weeks, I hope I am able to coach my learners to use the 4 A’s in their classrooms. May the have a lightbulb moment for the students who they couldn’t seem to reach last year. May they find a digital tool that can propel the learning beyond the objective. May we all learn and grow together and come back energized and excited for what lies ahead during this time of rapid and exhilarating change. 

References: 

Digital Integration / Instructional Educational Technology | AVID. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2019, from https://www.avid.org/digital-integration

ISTE. (n.d.). ISTE | Standards For Coaches. Retrieved July 10th, 2019, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Johnson, K. (2016, December 27). 5 Things Teachers Want from PD, and How Coaching and Collaboration Can Deliver Them—If Implementation Improves. Retrieved July 14, 2019, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-06-28-5-things-teachers-want-from-pd-and-how-coaching-and-collaboration-can-deliver-them-if-implementation-improves?utm_content=bufferfa66c

TPACK.ORG. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2019, from http://tpack.org/