Exploring Learning Models for Teachers’ Technology Practices

In November, I declared that I am interested in learning about models of professional development. I undertook a step to inventory my terms and define exactly what I was looking at — PLC, PLN, ProD, PK, TLCP — but none besides ‘cohort’ resonated with the kind of learning that feels lasting.

We attend and run workshops, tech sessions, PD Days. We deliver speeches, write manuals and record video tutorials. We forward emails, make announcements at staff meetings, offer prizes as disconnected extrinsic motivation.

When I do think about the types of learning I prefer, I recognize that it is all of them — but only by my own choice. Sometimes I choose the quick demo. Sometimes, I enjoy the video lecture in longform (this one is THE BEST!). Sometimes, it’s the discussion board I need, or a really great infographic to help me organize the ideas.

I rarely like to go at the pace of others, unless our objective is shared. I am sensitive to the tone and approach of those who I consider ‘knowledge authorities’. I prefer to be around people and live in communities, whether in tandem or in parallel.

So how do these preferences turn into models for mass influence? Much has been written about types of leadership and about Professional Learning models. For example:

TPACK Model, showing the intersections of knowledge types

Here are some of my thoughts for this year’s Cohort21 Investigation: What relationships exist among teachers, with respect to education and change? What aims are being targeted when teachers improve their technological practices? How can we do it so that it is meaningful and sustainable, and what systems, organization or principles ought to become involved?

My action plan is to investigate models of improving Teachers’ Technology Practice as relate to all aspects of our professional lives. 

I’ll let you know what I learn.™

Moving from Intuition to Data: Action plan for a “Technology Program” evaluation

We’ve laid the plan and know where we want to go as a school. So how can we tell if we are moving in the right direction? And where are we in our progress?

My Cohort21 Action Plan is about moving from intuition to data.

By performing a Program Evaulation for the use of Technology in our school, I will help to measure our progress in the achievement of the goals of the St. Clement’s School strategic plan (2012-2017).

Professional Learning

Part of the professional learning I will undertake is a combination of :

  • Research Methods
  • Program Evaluation
  • Strategic Planning, and
  • Coaching for Program Development.

Research Approach

First, I will need to learn about Research Methods. Dr. Leanne Foster will help guide my approach to this project, to make sure that it focussed to the aims of the SCS Strategic Plan (2012-2017), holds reliability, validity and meets the purpose for which it is designed.

Next, I will brainstorm questions and create surveys that will meet these domains of inquiry:

  • Enhanced Learning Environment (Tools, Tasks, Places)
  • Professional Culture (Levels of Use, Learning / Adoption / Collaboration, Digital-Age Work)
  • Implementation Standards (Variety, Consistency, Quality)

Then, I will use the survey data to create focus groups in which I can hold conversations about the domains of inquiry.

Finally, I will share my data and some analysis with school administration. I will also blog as reflection on the results and my approach to the project.

Evidence of Learning

My learning will be evidenced through the triangulation of:

  • the successful creation and administration of two surveys: one for staff & faculty and another to students
  • the summaries of curated focus groups
  • the personal reflections in my Cohort21 blog

 Invitation for Participation and Support

The more we share, the richer we become. – Jim Strachan

I invite your perspective. This project can be enriched through the collaboration of those who have experience with Program Evaluation, frameworks and resources which might aid in the creation of meaningful surveys, or critical insights into this project and its approach. Please comment in the space below or contact me directly.