The final quarter of Seattle Pacific University’s Digital Education Leadership (DEL) program includes a practicum in which students usually take on a special project and document the process in a final blog post. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we have been allowed to use our “regular” work experience as our practicum.
In this post, I will describe my own learning as a technology specialist, as well as insights from teachers and the Instructional Technology Curriculum Leader (ITCL) I worked with during the past three months of emergency remote learning. Though we are still in the thick of things and don’t know the long term effects this closure will have on students, I think it is important to reflect on the experience as best we can, and I am grateful for the opportunity that this practicum provided.
School leaders who encourage innovation and model scaffolded risk-taking help create a culture where teachers feel confident and supported in trying new technology-infused instructional practices. Without this type of leadership, even high-quality professional development may not result in changes to actual classroom practice.
When powerful digital formative assessment
tools are woven into professional development, they help teachers reflect on
their own learning while giving them the practice and confidence to use these
tools in their own classrooms.
In this post I would like to explore how data can be used to support key adult learning principals for professional development, including practical, problem-centered instruction and autonomy. This supports ISTE (2011) Coaching Standard 4b: 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.
Like many people, I had my doubts about online education prior to joining the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University. Would it be rigorous enough and personalized? Would others take the degree seriously once they knew it was an online program? I had taken a number of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and appreciated certain aspects, but didn’t want them to be the model for a graduate program.
Once you experience well-designed, smaller-scale online learning, however, you realize the value and potential – not just the convenience, but also the way it can promote deep learning and quality collaboration. In this module I would like to explore how online learning can be successfully applied to professional development by providing personalization, access to distant communities and experts, and the opportunity for long term learning and support.
The Community Engagement project for our Educational Technology Leadership class this quarter consisted of coaching a teacher to help them improve a lesson by focusing on areas that promote 21st century skills including:
Education protocols are guidelines for efficient,
respectful and productive discussions about teaching practices. Though many
different education protocols have been developed, all attempt to provide
participants with a safe space for sharing and improving their own or others’ teaching
and coaching practices.
Essential questions provide context for individual understandings or skills. They connect the small to the large, the known to what still must be explored. If designed well and integrated into instruction, they help students think bigger, communicate better, analyze and synthesize what they learn and transfer that knowledge to other subject areas both inside and outside of school.
Formative assessments are a key component of grounding students in 21st century skills. By providing feedback while students are learning instead of waiting until the end of a lesson or term, learners can recognize what they are and aren’t understanding. Similarly, educators can adjust their teaching methods to better meet their students’ needs.