Saturday, November 21, 2015

Professional Development and the Major Project

Part of the major project that Genna Rodriguez and I are working on with the development of a Scope and Sequence of the Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning (7C's) is to develop professional development presentations for teachers in our school division. Professional development is a key element in order for adoption of these essential skills among teachers and students, which puts the focus on the transferable skills students need to learn for success in the 21st century. One of the goals of our division is to provide coaching in educational technology for all levels of users in Technology adoption. So part of our Educational Technology coaching model is to help teachers see beyond the flash of digital tools, and instead on how the tools can leverage and improve learning.

So far we have developed and delivered the following sessions:

Teaching with Technology - Session focused on integrating digital tools based on effective instructional practice. Instructional practice focuses on the work of Marzano, Pickering and Pollock, from the book, Classroom Instruction that Works (2001) as well as Dean, Hubbell, Pitler and Stone, in Classroom Instruction that Works - 2nd Edition (2012). With this session we took the work that had been previously developed by individuals in our department, and combined the concepts to fit within our "7C's". More information on this session can be found on one of our department resource sites, "Technoteaching".

Digital Citizenship and the Balanced Approach to Literacy for Primary Teachers - This session focused on 4 elements; 1) Help teachers "unpack" the Digital Citizenship Continuum, and the 3 pillars of learning 2) Develop lessons that focus on curricular outcomes with the authentic integration of Digital Citizenship; 3) Explore the Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning and how the 7C's can help students develop life long digital skills;  4) Within the context of each of the Essential Skills, explore strategies for integrating a variety of digital tools in Balanced Literacy and develop "Balanced Literacy Tech Task Cards" for student learning stations.

Here is an example of a lesson with Digital Citizenship created by Kristina Boutilier who attended our session: "Divergent Perspectives" and gave permission to share this lesson on our website.

Digital Citizenship and the Balanced Approach to Literacy for Middle Years Teachers - This session is very similar to the Primary Session, with the focus being on essential skills for middle years students based on the technology they would regularly incorporate into learning.

Digital Citizenship and the Balanced Approach to Technology Integration for High School Teachers - This session will be delivered next week, with the difference being we are going to focus on digital integration for all the 7C's, but from the perspective of a variety of subject areas. Rather than focusing on creating Tech Task Cards, we will focus on how the 7C's can connect learning from multiple subject areas. In connecting with other teachers in our division, we have a curating expert, Gaetan Hammond a Teacher Librarian, to help explore research and organizing skills with teachers for part of our session. We are fortunate to have such fantastic experts to assist us in their speciality. In addition to exploring curating, we hope to examine with teachers how they can empower their students to create and remix with digital tools as a way of sharing learning, communicate and collaborate with digital tools, and explore formative assessment tools (like Plickers, Kahoot and Quizzes) for increasing communication about learning.

Sandbox by katmeresin, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licenseby  katmeresin 
The biggest challenge will be helping teachers see the benefits to integrating these tools, especially when some may feel like they do not have the time to investigate how to digitally integrate. These feelings of lack of time are compounded when a teacher may only see those students for 1 hour a day. In any case, our approach is that teachers should choose the tools which help leverage the 7C's, that they find to be easy to integrate and that help learning. To assist teachers with coming to their own understanding of how to use these tools to leverage learning, we will be giving them time to collaborate and "play" in digital sandbox.

In addition to planning PD, we have been continuing to develop the Scope and Sequence for the other C's as well as research other approaches to integrating technology into learning.
Our potential new logo! Thoughts? 

Found a few great articles to incorporate, which include:

Finally in addition to this planning, Genna redesigned our logo incorporating images from our powerPoint presentation into the "gears" of the Essential Skills. We would love some feedback. Keep the old or use the new design?


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