The last year has been spent developing my online identity… some would think it was a chance to be reborn. Others know it could make or break their livlihood. I have had 12 months to reflect, debate and develop how I want to be seen my the educational community. I have control over what I share with others in a professional setting. I have learned to keep personal and professional platforms separate. I value the conversations I have had with other members of the class about how they feel share out their learning, findings, and other sundries of knowledge. I feel as if I almost cheated on this assignment because I’m on the two year track. I do not have to plan out at this point, but I have to maintain and grow. I have learned through my coursework that it’s not that we are at the cutting edge with all of this new found information about digital citizenship and new literacies, but it’s Google that is controling what I search and see… paranoia aside, I do believe that I am going through this journey with an amazing group of instructional leaders and amazing peers. The ability to network with so many educators from across the state is irreplaceable.
After reading Sloep & Berlanga’s article “Learning Networks, Networked Learning,” (2011), I have discovered a very wonderful prospect. The members of the cohort for this program are the trendsetters that our schools need (both students and staff) in order to grow. We need members who have experienced learning in this online community of networks to prove the relevancy of this “new way” of professional development. The different aspects of Learning Networks are what we are working on exploring and developing as a group. The exchange of experience and knowledge, working collaboratively, setting up workgroups and communities, and offering and receiving support is what the IT&DML program is founded on. This has unconsciously crossed over for me in my own district.
I am currently working on providing training for teachers to use iPads in their classrooms. Not realizing what I was creating prior to putting the training in motion, I now realize I am creating our own Learning Network. I thought it was imortant when being charged with ordering technology for our school that there be equity in how students consume, collaborate and create with digital tools. It’s not fair that depending on the luck of the draw with creating student lists, that certain students get teachers that “embrace” technology and others get teachers who fear the words “interactive whiteboards.” Another unfair reality is that our teachers are not given enough time to process what they are expected to be assessed on (sounds familiar). TEVAL includes being rated on effective use of technology implementation and CCSS calls for the use of digital tools and development for mastery. I thought it was only fair that teachers have the summer to get familiar with the iPads so they can effectively use them in their classrooms. This was a volunteer only community of learners who got nothing but a reassurance that I would be there to support them any way I could. We had a one hour PD session at the end of the school year where I took care of logistics (log ins, how to load apps, how to access Google groups community). The teachers then had a month to play. We met in July to touch base, iron out kinks and then “assign” something that they would use in the classroom in the fall. the apps that I wanted to support were Educreations and Good Notes. We will meet again at the end of August to share out… no pressure, no requirements, but definitely a local group of support to help out when in need. I am split between buildings, so I need to build up the teacher capacity in-house in order to have teachers get the most out of their tools.
I will update you all again after our August meeting. I am hoping to share out what some of the teachers have created. To see a clearer image, clicke here: Digital Identity