We are about to delve deeper into BYOD in our board after a successful pilot in 2 schools – teachers AND students in one elementary school, and teachers only (for now) in one of our secondary schools. We are about to open it up much wider this September and it will continue to grow. At the same time, we are about to begin our fourth year of Blended Learning, using the provincially-licenced D2L platform. So the time is right to provide much more support to a wider audience of teachers than just the pilot groups. How can we do this? Since we can’t financially support board-wide PD for all of our teachers, we will have to rely on online modules and resources for self-directed, self-selected learning.
Where do we start? We have an ICT web page on our website where teachers can access lots of ideas and tutorials, but having finished my Masters in Educational Technology from UBC, I can see that this can result in fragmented, disconnected, and ineffective integration of technology in our classrooms. We need to go much deeper and revisit some basics in pedagogy for the 21st century learners ( yes, an overused term, but it makes my point!)
I am impressed with the graphic organizer found on M. Kharbach’s website called Educatorstechnology. He has identified 33 digital skills every teacher should have, but more importantly, has identified what skills the students need using our understanding of pedagogy.
From here, I want to include the digital tools that teachers can and should use to help students develop these skills to their fullest potential. But first, I want to ensure that teachers understand why they should use these tools – not just for the sake of using technology – but for the optimum learning potential for the students. Sometimes, the best tool is NOT technology – but let’s make sure that the teachers understand the learning potential (and pitfalls) of each tool.
So this is my focus for this year – finding the time to develop this framework and start the creation of learning modules that start – not with the technology – but with the skills the students need, followed by the skills the teacher needs – then the possible tools that can help.
More to come….