In the DEL program course, Professional Development & Program Evaluation, we’re challenged with exploring best practices in educational technology professional development all while referencing the ISTE Coaching Standards. Coaching Standard 4: Professional Development and Program Evaluation specifically has us consider how educational technology coaches design, develop, and implement technology rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices, learning, and assessment.
Attribution: Maria Stevens
Why? One of the goals of the district instructional specialists, is for the team, guided by our new Director of Curriculum & Instruction, to develop a professional learning template to use when designing learning opportunities for teachers. Previous professional development had an inconsistent framework and sometimes little support and follow through that teachers needed back in the classroom. We are looking to provide consistent tasks, protocols, and engagements in whatever subject area or even length of learning time to provide the best and most long-term learning outcomes for teachers.
Process. We began the process of learning together when the entire team attended a two-day “Leading Adult Learners” workshop. The workshop allowed our team to explore concepts around adult learning and resistance interwoven with concrete strategies we can use in our own leadership roles. We learned more about ourselves being leaders of adult learning and understanding adult styles and preferences. We also learned concrete strategies to support group development and create efficient training.
This initial training came from Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman’s professional development research and field work around leading adult learners. They suggest 3 stances for leading groups: Present, Collaborate, or Facilitate. The diagram above is the framework to better understand our approach. As an instructional group, and specifically, as a technology specialist, it’s most important to understand learning outcomes and purpose for the material presented and ask the question, “Do the learning outcomes help teachers and learners utilize educational technology effectively?”
Learning is individualized. Our group used Lipton & Wellman’s text and the above Diamond Pattern of Interaction as a guide for strategies and structures to create individualized learning opportunities in our professional development draft. Our team’s big take-away is that we are creating opportunities for on-going processing and exploration as a staff or in smaller PLCs but that learning must be relevant for each individual. Especially, when it comes to utilizing technology, I need to understand what teachers know and what they need for their students.
Draft. Our working template reflects all parts of the learning process: goals & outcomes, strategies & skills, and a plan for on-going support & implementation.
Next Steps: Over the course of the rest of the year, we’ll review and adapt the template and reflect on the process in the professional development courses we offer to teachers. In order to utilize educational technology effectively, I am modeling technology in teaching as well as providing opportunities for teachers to learn with technology like we expect from our students. For example, I use Google Classroom LMS to teach the professional learning so teachers can learn with and teach Google Classroom to their students. For each course, I include the protocols and strategies used as well as technologies practiced. I also provide space for teachers to think how they strategies and resources practiced can also be used in the classroom with their students.
ISTE Standards. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards
Lipton, L., & Wellman, B. (2009). Leading Groups: Effective Strategies for Building Professional Community (Publication). Retrieved https://www.nesacenter.org/uploaded/conferences/FLC/2009/spkr_handouts/WellmanLeadingGroups.pdf
MiraVia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.miravia.com/index.html