ISTE Standard 4: Professional Development and Program Evaluation Performance Indicator B states that a focus on “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.” It should be a regular occurrence in our learning as educators. Just like the K-12 learners, we have standards to focus our learning and growth to meet the needs of the learners we support and the world in which we work.
Using what I have learned from the DEL program as data and experience to advocate for the utilization of blended digital learning, what would be a collective technology-based learning initiative that I could share with the 150 pre-service student educators I support and how can leadership support the regular the use of this system?
During my research for Module four within the DEL program, I discovered the Digital Chalkboard: Were California Educators Collaborate. This resource is full of lessons that support students within all content and grade levels. Many of the lesson and unit plans for educators to use with students involve technology used to support the learning. However, after running a few searches of my own I noticed a peculiar trend. Within this dense resource, there are very few professional development resources. I find myself wondering- does that lack of representation in the professional development section explain a bottleneck in digital integration of best practices within faculty professional development? Why do we go back to the ‘old way’ of teaching for ourselves, yet regularly challenge ourselves within the classroom application to provide opportunity for our learners to practice using digital tools to communicate and express learning?
Could the answer be found within our school and district leaders? Bishop, D, Lumpe for The Evaluation Report – Transforming Professional Learning in Washington State states,
“The WA-TPL project helped create systemic change around teacher involvement in professional development. New ideas and approaches to teacher leadership emerged during this process…This alignment between teacher evaluation and professional learning activities further supports the shift that has taken place in many districts towards engaging teachers in a more systematic, yet individualized approach to improving their practice. When these systemic changes occur, a transition from isolated professional learning activities to a more comprehensive and connected plan is formed”(pp. 41).
Teachers are always told to model, debrief, praise, and model again- after all, this is often how we learn and practice the application of learning. How can leaders ensure the intent to practice and model is happening as an investment in the support of educators. Leaders need to take this modeling one or maybe two steps further and model the use of digital tools to support the blended learning they should regularly observe in classrooms.
California’s Chalkboard site is full of potential, if the intent were to build adult learning in the same ways we share classroom resources;, we would be practicing what we name as highlight motivating and engaging blended-learning.
The realities of the schools participating in the WA-TPL project gives hope to what could become of technology-rich professional development. As I find ways to share the resources on Chalkboard with my pre-service educators I will be highlighting why sharing resources within a digital space is best practice. My pre-service learners can use the digital tool of the Chalkboard resource to learn about a multitude of topics in one location that is designed by and for one’s peers. By highlighting the resources that address K-12 learning using digital tools I hope that the professional development resources would grow in digital integration formats. This could lead to content around technology tools used, to impact foundational and career readiness learning. I firmly believe that we are already learning beyond the faculty staff meeting, when we name and curate the practice using digital tools like Chalboard and learn from peers like those found in Washington State, we can systematically engage our educators in digitally based professional development that is collaborative and relevant.
Bishop, D, Lumpe, A., Henrikson, R, & Crane, C. (2016). Transforming Professional Learning in Washington State – Project Evaluation Report. Seattle Pacific University: Seattle, WA.
California Department of Education. (n.d.). Digital Chalkboard. Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://www.mydigitalchalkboard.org/
ISTE | ISTE Standards for Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved February, 26th 2020 from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches