Journey to the learning network

Teacher professional learning new normal

As the global pandemic continues, traditional physical classrooms often face the pressure of closures during sudden periods. Although physical classroom teaching, there are many advantages for the overall development of students, such as group, social interaction, and immediate interaction between teachers and students, those are not substituted by online learning. However, as educators, we must understand that it is necessary to teach through the Internet and digital technology to protect students’ learning opportunities and rights under the current new normal. It is the responsibility of both teachers and parents to recognize and understand how to use these technologies to maintain the effectiveness of learning. 

In the city where I live, there are a lot of complaints about not teaching in physical classrooms. They also have negative and negative attitudes towards using digital technology to study. It is a difficult difficulty for students, teachers, and parents alike. But instead of complaining, I think we should be more active in finding solutions to the difficulties. Maybe a lot of these negative emotions come from ignorance. In fact, before the pandemic, although digital teaching and educational technology were increasing, not many professionals or teachers knew and mastered these technologies. As Lynch’s article pointed out, In the past, teachers may only spend minimal time or relatively few opportunities to recognize and learn this knowledge. Still, today, if teaching is to be effective, it is necessary to know how to integrate technology and teaching (Lynch, M 2019). More importantly, as education technology is changing rapidly, how to integrate the right technology? We need a clear direction and framework to enable teachers and administrators to develop or increase this knowledge and capacity through effective professional development and training.

I try to analyze two resources I choose and synthesize the following areas for a coach or school administrator as a basic framework to design practical professional learning for teachers. Of course, there are more multi-professional frameworks in pedagogy, but I hope to provide a more direct and practical direction that can implement immediately.

Comprehensive Lynch’s and GoGuardian Team articles Below are the different areas of technology that can assist teachers in improving teaching effectiveness:

Digital literacy:  This is an important topic, and the current misunderstanding of educational technology among educators is mainly due to the lack of awareness of digital literacy. But the students use many different digital technologies and the Internet every day, and behind all this is an inseparable relationship with Digital literacy. As Lynch suggests, not knowing digital literacy is equivalent to not knowing how to read and write, which can have a massive disadvantage in learning. (Lynch, M 2019) Therefore, in the development of the design profession, no matter which direction and technology, this topic must be included and must not underestimate.

Virtual reality: Many complex and abstract ideas can be compelling through expression. Whether to lead students to travel through historical civilization, explore space, or conduct scientific experiments, virtual reality can bring great help. Allows students to have great opportunities for participation and interaction. Coupled with the recently popular concept of the metaverse, this may be a topic that must face in future life and work.

Cloud computing:  Lynch suggests that education can be unlimited through cloud technology, especially educational collaboration. Teachers can use cloud technology to free all teaching resources from local time constraints so that students can share the learning resources they need anytime, anywhere. (Lynch, M 2019) In addition, as far as I know, with the advancement of cloud computing technology, many tools that used to be very expensive to buy have become more popular and cheaper because of this technology. Through these digital tools, students and teachers can significantly enhance their creativity. Therefore, in the professional development of teachers, it is necessary to establish a sufficient understanding of cloud computing.

Makerspaces & Gamification:  Provide spaces, places, and rewards through video game formats such as team duels challenges. Encourage and attract students to learn about new-generation things and technologies. Computer games have become a must in students’ daily lives and entertainment. Incorporate what they have been in daily contact with and like into teaching, and increase students’ interest in learning. At the same time, it can also encourage them to accept more things and challenges and solve difficulties.

Social media: On the surface, everyone may think that social media is mainly used to communicate between teachers and students or parents and rarely think about teaching. But in fact, social platforms can help teachers manage and distribute different types of teaching information and related materials very effectively. It also allows students to express their opinions and their creations and even get to know students’ reactions and ideas in real-time. Go Guardian Team article, The idea of YouTube teacher is proposed to encourage students to subject matter content and teachers to own subject matter. (GoGuardian Team, 2020)YouTube is a free video-sharing platform, especially during the pandemic. Mastering how to use this tool is of great help to teachers.

But the most important thing is to think about how teachers can be encouraged to build skills and knowledge in so many areas that will be useful to them in teaching. Wilichowski points out, “Ensure technology enables but does not drive in teacher professional development.” (Wilichowski, T., 2021) 

Certificate, Qualification Reward:

Selecting certificated or affirmative professional development programs through which teachers can obtain recognized qualifications in education technology is one of the effective ways to encourage teachers to actively participate in relevant training. Such as Microsoft Innovative Educator Programs (MIE) and Google educator certification. Teachers can choose different categories in these plans according to their interests and actual teaching needs and build relevant knowledge, skills, and teaching tools needed in the teaching process. In addition, it is possible to obtain relevant qualifications, which is also of great help to the professional and career development of teachers themselves. Schools and institutional administrations should consider using these programs as a platform for teachers’ professional learning and believe that it will positively impact teachers and students.

Finally, I must thank my PLC, Vivian, for introducing the Micro-credential Explorer tool. This platform can assist teachers or institutional administrators in analyzing the relationship between different fields and technologies in designing professional learning and formulating the original professional learning plan. More importantly, this tool already provides many professional learning resources for teachers. I believe that it can help teachers have a clearer understanding of the teaching technology and related knowledge they need in teaching. It is also possible to directly link to relevant study programs and courses through this platform. Many of the courses presented here also have certificates and qualifications that align with the previously mentioned approaches to increasing the incentives for teachers to engage in professional learning.

Resources:

2020, Professional development technology for teachers and administrators. GoGuardian Team

https://www.goguardian.com/blog/professional-development-technology-for-teachers

Lynch, M., 2019 6 Areas of technology professional development for teachers and education administrators. https://www.thetechedvocate.org/6-areas-of-technology-professional-development-for-teachers-and-education-administrators/

Wilichowski, T., 2021, How to enhance teacher professional development through technology: takeaways from innovations across the globe. https://blogs.worldbank.org/education/how-enhance-teacher-professional-development-through-technology-takeaways-innovations

Microsoft Innovative Educator Programs https://education.microsoft.com/en-us/resource/18485a7b

Google educator certification https://edu.google.com/intl/en_ALL/teacher-center/certifications/?modal_active=none

Micro-credential Explorer, https://digitalpromise.org/initiative/educator-micro-credentials/micro-credential-explorer/?a=Audience&b=Coach&c=Collaboration

2 Comments

  1. Yanira Gale

    Hi Jason, I like your perspective on being “more active in finding solutions to the difficulties.” This is a great read! I appreciate the suggested areas of technology that can help improve teaching effectiveness. Do you think that the metaverse might become a new classroom setting?

  2. Vivian

    Hi Jason, thank you for sharing the different areas of technology that assist teacher in improving teaching effectiveness, especially in the area of using social media as a teaching tool. It is so true that social media is often being viewed as a communication channel rather than a teaching platform. In fact, it is very important to take a different perspective as it has became an important part of our life. In order to have these digital tools to be more accepted into education world in Asia, do you think a framework to assess these tools will be a start to have teachers to change their perspective? Thank you! Great read:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

css.php