Ok so that’s the first term over. Now what? Maybe your thoughts are turning towards Professional Development (ok , Xmas holidays first , then Professional Development). What will that be? What will it look like? Do we have the time? who will deliver it? Will it meet our needs as a school, Will it meet my needs? and can we afford it? All of these are important and valid questions. But in my experience by the time you have solved the majority its too late.
So I am hoping I can help here, especially when it comes to the of technology in the classroom. This image is one of my favourites and I have used it many times it highlight how this situation is probably true today. A teacher aimlessly feeding in content to a device, a student operating it, with others being passively fed the information and not one of them seems engaged. Just don’t get me started on computers are just for boys, where are the girls in this. Try making some analogies for yourselves, how close to this ‘vision’ is your school’s use of technology?
To change things, professional development is obviously the answer. But, how much from this picture has that moved on in Professional development training. Often it is still somebody feeding information into PowerPoint and the audience being passive. We as a teaching profession have to adopt and utilise different approaches to our learning. Just as we expect our students to do with their’s. But , honestly how often do we really do that.
The TALIS report says ‘ Teachers that engage in some kind of professional development activity are more likely to use student-centred teaching’ , with the use of technology in the classroom being the second most cited training required behind special needs.
So here is a possible solution to at least contribute to solving the issues around Professional development in the use of Teaching with technology.
What you need is a course that is free to all, has a self assessment tool to identify your needs, available online, works at your own individual pace, has support and extension activities and meets UNESCO competencies for ICT in Education. Sounds too good to be true? Click here for fanfare. Look no further than our ‘Teaching with Technology’ Course available for free on the Microsoft Educator Network.
The Teaching with Technology (TwT) curriculum is designed to help educators understand how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can enhance the teaching and learning experience and enable students to acquire 21st century skills. Among many benefits, Teaching with Technology is free, aligned with the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, and self-paced (log back on at any time to pick up where you left off).
The self-assessment will help you create a personalized learning plan you can follow to master specific competencies. The results of the assessment can help you determine which courses you want to build into your plan and which are optional. Upon completing at least one of the six courses, you will receive a Teaching with Technology badge. Retake the self-assessment at any time to check progress on your learning plan and see the competencies you are developing.
The courses are:-
COURSE 1: Why does the UNESCO ICT-CFT promote technology literacy?
COURSE 2: Selecting ICT resources to support curriculum outcomes
COURSE 3: How do technology and pedagogy mix?
COURSE 4: Use basic ICT tools to support teaching and learning
COURSE 5: Organize and manage the use of ICT in your classroom
COURSE 6: Technology literacy and your professional development
So imagine a scenario where in your school prospectus you can state that ‘ALL’ staff meet UNESCO standards for ICT. Where every member of staff has this qualification. If some staff feel that they need some pre-training then access the Digital Literacy Curriculum, which could also be used to support parents and the wider community. If you or your staff need further extension of Teaching with Technology then there are the 21st Century Learning Design Materials. All of this this is available on the Microsoft Educator Network… for free.
Here is another thought…. maybe you are a teaching school or school looking to develop training with partner schools or even an independent consultant or education authority and looking for training materials. I could make Microsoft in Education Trainers. Just send me a tweet and follow @innovativeteach . This will give you access to support materials , workshops and materials to run workshops. I will be blogging on the various resources over he next few weeks.
So before you make any decisions on your professional development have a look at Teaching with Technology.