I continue to investigate how I, as a educational technology leader and coach, will support ISTE Standard 4: Professional Development and Program Evaluation
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.
In the upcoming all district professional development day, Learningpalooza, how do I ensure teachers’ interests, needs, and voice are included in the sessions I am facilitating?
The topics for the sessions I am facilitating are ones that, when working with individual teachers, motivate them to try, give it a go, then come back and ask for more. Because I am introducing best practices using specific technology applications, I need to create opportunities for teachers to construct their own learning based on students they teach and allow them to construct their own learning using the technology. Anne O’Brien understands that “giving teachers the opportunity to construct solutions to the real challenges they face in the classroom, rather than sit in generalized professional development sessions” gives them the agency, the empowerment to then in turn provide students the same voice in their learning.
Also important to consider when planning are the teaching styles of the professionals learning in the sessions. In his book, Teacher-Centered Professional Development, Gabriel Diaz-Maggioli said that teaching styles are the result of interacting personal, professional, knowledge, career, institutional, and curriculum factors. As professional learning facilitators we need to understand how teachers learn. Their depth of knowledge and experience needs to be acknowledged and shared.
One of 4 ways Josh Parker recommends to create room for teacher voice and collaboration is to meet around student work, curriculum standards, or instructional strategies. He suggested that to make conversations productive, it’s imperative to keep students, standards, and strategies at the center of every meeting. Planning for the sessions revolves around technology tools that support student learning standards and strategies that the technology tools I am teaching will support.
When we create spaces with teachers, for teachers, in the service of improving student outcomes, we have a foundation for creating common practices.
ISTE Standards. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards
Diaz-Maggioli, G. (2004). Chapter 1. Professional development today. In Teacher-centered professional development. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/104021/chapters/Professional-Development-Today.aspx
Knight, J. (2013, July 21). Autonomy, accountability and professional learning – radical learners. Retrieved from http://www.instructionalcoaching.com/autonomy-accountability-professional-learning/
Learner-centered professional development. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.online-distance-learning-education.com/learner-centered.html
OBrien, A. (2016, July 05). Five ways to increase teacher agency in professional development. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/five-ways-increase-teacher-agency-professional-development-anne-obrien
Parker, J. (2016, December 15). Big ideas need big spaces: Creating room for teacher voice and choice. Retrieved from https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2016/06/07/big-ideas/