One of the biggest takeaways from my time in the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University is that teachers are students, too. When diving into effective mentoring and professional development, some of the most successful strategies are those that are also used in the classroom. Many back-to-school workshops remind teachers to get to know their students and provide differentiation in every learning experience. In other words, providing learners (adults included) with a pre-assessment (formal or informal) to determine where they are in order to reach where they need to be.
Edutopia has a great article and video that touches on the importance of assessment before learning even begins:
In an earlier post, I wrote about my journey in reviewing and redesigning a university’s Library Media Endorsement (LME) certification program. Here, I continue that work by drafting a Needs Assessment survey for potential students. As I mentioned in my last post, the program is not yet finalized, so I am omitting the name of the institution and it will henceforth be identified as “University.”
Before writing the Needs Assessment survey, I did a bit of background research, attempting to see how other schools have assessed their incoming … Read More
When I talk to people about the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University, I often end up saying, “Well, there’s homework, but it’s not really homework. I do work, but it’s directly related to my responsibilities as a librarian and an educator. So, it’s homework but it’s not really homework. It’s bigger than that. It has more significance than ‘homework.'” While this has been proven throughout the duration of the program, it couldn’t have been more true than when I was offered the opportunity to redesign a Library Media Endorsement certification program… As part of my “homework.”
My classmates and I were recently tasked with conducting a program evaluation. Students learned “how to conduct needs assessments, develop technology-related professional learning programs, evaluate the impact on instructional practice and student learning, and communicate findings to the institution” (Course syllabus). Dr. David Wicks, Chair of the Digital Education Leadership program, came to me with a wonderful opportunity to redesign a university’s Library Media Endorsement (LME) certification program. Because the program is not yet finalized, I am omitting the name of the institution and it will henceforth be identified as “University.”
The project was designed to evaluate … Read More
This quarter in the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University I am focused on the fourth standard of the ISTE Coaching Standards, Professional Development and Program Evaluation:
Technology coaches conduct needs assessments, develop technology-related professional learning programs, and evaluate the impact on instructional practice and student learning.
Over the last several weeks, my classmates and I have learned how to implement a successful professional development program and I have identified the following elements as being most useful when evaluating a professional development program:
Sadly, professional development is generally “something that is ‘done’ to teachers” (Pilar, 2014). Teachers need opportunities to explore their own interests and venture into those topics at a personalized level that works for their individual learning styles. In a study conducted by the Center for Professional Education, it was found that “90% of teachers reported participating in some form of professional development, and they also reported that it was not helpful in their practice. Thus, professional development is happening, but it is not effective” (Blattner, 2015). Imagine a place where teachers drive their learning by expressing their interests, learning at their own pace, implementing their discoveries and reflecting on their current and future practices. … Read More
ISTE Standard 5 inspiration: Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.
How can I as someone who wants to show teachers what I use on a daily basis regarding technology do that and develop the leadership and technology skills of others? This issue is one of the roots at which I am going back to school for my doctorate. How do we provide useful, exciting tech professional development that also allows teachers their leadership possibilities?
Using the article I found consolidates the idea of “Technology Teacher Leader” into five steps. The first step is that educational tech leaders should know their instructional strengths. This step alludes to the fact that I am an ELA/SS teacher, and my colleagues would be more willing to listen to me about software that connects with my field of practice. For example, I use Turnitin.com a ton and feel comfortable doing professional development for my fellow teachers on some of its more advanced options and tools. When it comes to the collaborating with administrators, I think this is one of the most difficult steps. Especially if you are new to the school or district because they do have their teacher leaders already set up and you have to go out of your way to prove to them that you can be trusted, and know what you are talking about. I wish teacher interviews were more interactive and relevant to how teaching really is because then I could have demonstrated my skill in a lesson or something instead of being timed and answering perfunctory questions.
The third and fourth step, to establish procedures and prioritize needs understand your school community is where I would look to the ISTE standards and perhaps reach out to the Twitter universe to see how other teacher leaders have successfully established procedures. Because my school is Redmond and we are pretty heavy handed with the Microsoft products it is sometimes hard to vocalize my support for Google and Apple. It is also difficult to suggest anything that isn’t already sanctioned by the district because admin and teachers are so scared of litigious parents and a lackluster support for the union. Especially when teaching teachers, skills training is good, but leadership development is best because this requires an instinct to try new things and explore what is out there. That takes time and support because sometimes we might try something that turns out badly but we still want to support that from our administration.
Moreover, all five points are valuable and informative I enjoyed reading about the fifth step, and how “teaching “how to” skills is a common theme for technology training, but only when instructional applications are made to the curriculum does actual development begin. The role of the technology specialist is part staff development: helping teachers expand their instructional repertoire with technology. With these new skills come the opportunity for encouraging teacher leadership.” And as CollisonK said during our forum discussion, “This is so very true. Given the nature of our job, teacher training can be difficult as teachers can often find the process a bit infantilizing.” It is important to demonstrate implementation and seamless weaving from the technology to the classroom.
Ledesma, Patrick. “Technology Experts in Schools: Teacher Leaders or Technicians?” Education Week. Teacher Week, 23 Oct. 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2016. http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/leading_from_the_classroom/2011/10/technology_experts_in_schools_teacher_leaders_or_technicians.html
Last semester I began my exploration of the ISTE Coaching Standards through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University. This semester I continue that inquiry, while paying particular attention to the fourth standard, Professional Development and Program Evaluation. This standard, more so than any other, delves deep into the topic and addresses several areas of importance:
Technology coaches conduct needs assessments, develop technology-related professional learning programs, and evaluate the impact on instructional practice and student learning:
a. Conduct needs assessments to inform the content and delivery of technology-related professional learning programs that result in a positive impact on student learning
b. Design, develop, and implement technology-rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment learning experiences using a variety of research-based, learner-centered instructional strategies and assessment tools to address the diverse needs and interests of all students
c. Coach teachers in and model engagement of students in local and global interdisciplinary units in which technology helps students assume professional roles, research real-world problems, collaborate with others, and produce products that are meaningful and useful to a wide audience
d. Coach teachers in and model design … Read More