4b. Design technology-rich professional learning

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

Throughout this year, I have been the Educational Technologist at my school. A learning program that worked well for promoting digital age best practices and has used principles of adult learning was a PTA presentation I did for the parent community as well as other educators who wanted to join in as learners. I designed, developed, and implemented a technology-based information session around the use of Seesaw, an online learning platform, in our school. I invited parents, administration, and educators to join together to learn the why, how, and what behind Seesaw by interacting with it from a student perspective. It was a wonderful experience to see adult learning taking place that would then support student learning in the classroom. 

In my blog post, Doing – The Most Important Digital Age Best Practice for PD, I mentioned the quote by Aristotle,  “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”  Below are snippets from my blog post highlighting connections to ISTE Coaching Standard 4b.

The most powerful and long-lasting PD experiences I have had were rooted in doing.  Doing an activity or lesson from start to finish, using a new technology tool by doing activities within it, doing new curriculum from a learner’s perspective, doing assessments of student work in real-time with a coach.  

https://www.nten.org/article/using-adult-learning-principles-in-technology-trainings/


In order for digital/technology-based PD to be efficient and result in actual teacher implementation, finding out what teachers need support with is key. In the article, To Bring Learning into the Digital Age, We Must Empower Teachers, Bev Perdue states that, “A 2016 survey of 1,327 teachers revealed that 85 percent “believe digital tools that provide immediate, ongoing information about student understanding will increase learning.” Unfortunately, most teachers also said they feel they lack the skills and knowledge they need to effectively incorporate digital tools and personalized learning practices in their classrooms.”  

Educators need the opportunity to learn how to use a specific tool, how to teach students how to use a tool, how to navigate a platform, how to blend technology into the current curriculum, etc.  Once this is known (and it is clearly recognized that not all educators are starting from the same perspective and ability level) PD can be crafted intentionally for the audience attending it. From there, PD should be hands-on.  Have educators do the digital work or use the technology tools that will be asked of from their students.  This could be practicing teaching each other how to use a tool or getting on an app/platform like Seesaw, Skype, Adobe Spark, etc.  It cannot be a ‘sit and get’ style PD when it comes to interacting with digital tools and digital education.

Resources:

Hooper, Nicole. (2018). NTEN. Using Adult Learning Principles in Technology Trainings. Retrieved from https://www.nten.org/article/using-adult-learning-principles-in-technology-trainings/

Perdue, Bev. (2018, June 3). Getting Smart.  To Bring Learning into the Digital Age, We Must Empower Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.gettingsmart.com/2018/06/to-bring-learning-into-the-digital-age-we-must-empower-teachers/