4.5 Professional Learning Facilitator EDTC6107 ISTE Standard for Coaches

Professional Learning Facilitator

Photo from Computer Science Teacher Association

ISTE standard for Coaches 4.5, The Professional Learning Facilitator, states: “Coaches plan, provide, and evaluate the impact of professional learning for educators and leaders to use technology to advance teaching and learning.”

Performance indicators:

  • 4.5.a. Design professional learning based on needs assessments and frameworks for working with adults to support their cultural, social-emotional and learning needs.
  • 4.5.b. Building the capacity of educators, leaders and instructional teams to put the ISTE Standards into practice by facilitating active learning and providing meaningful feedback.
  • 4.5.c. Evaluate the impact of professional learning and continually make improvements in order to meet the schoolwide vision for using technology for high-impact teaching and learning.

Supporting evidence for ISTE standard 4.5:

One Needs Assessment report, two Professional Development presentations, and four blog posts demonstrate my understanding and proficiency in ISTE Standard 4.5.

A Needs Assessment was created to determine the professional development preferences and needs from our community of teachers, in regards to the integration and use of CANVAS LMS. The findings helped plan, evaluate, and improve professional development offerings while meeting the unique emotional and professional needs of the teachers, as adult learners. (ISTE Standard 4.5.a)

According the Andragogy learning theory by Malcom Knowles, adult learners need:

  • to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction,
  • active learning and experiential activities,
  • learning experiences that have immediate relevance, and
  • problem-centered learning experiences.

Questions were carefully crafted to give teachers a voice regarding the planning of the PD sessions. The sessions that were planned, considered the input provided by the teachers during the needs assessment, and included workshop style sessions that promoted active and experiential learning. The sessions included activities that fostered collaboration and had an immediate application to teachers’ professional needs. The sessions also included problem-centered learning experiences. Furthermore, after the presentation, teachers were given opportunities to reflect on their work. They shared examples on how they incorporated the newly acquired knowledge into their CANAVAS lessons.

In my blog post, The Role of Needs Assessment in Professional Learning, I provide research-based examples to explain the value of using needs assessment in the design of professional development. Professional Development sessions were planned and designed based on the results of the Needs Assessment report. I was a presenter for two of the sessions.

The Blended Learning Google Earth Project presentation focused on the benefits of blended learning and collaboration. This presentation started with the following question displayed using polleverywhereHow often do you collaborate?” After teachers reflected upon their collaborative practices, they watched a portion of the video from Hattie about the impact of collaboration. Collaboration is an integral part of ISTE Standards: Students 1.7 “Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.” Educators 2.4 “Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems. Coaches 4.5 “Coaches establish productive relationships with educators in order to improve instructional practice and learning outcomes.”

The presentation provided educators ways to improve their lesson designs through blended learning by using CANVAS tools to increase collaboration, to empower students through choice and by providing a safe place for them to express themselves creatively (ISTE Standards for students). In my blog post Creating a collaborative learning experience in CANVAS I explain in more detail, different ways educators can create opportunities for collaboration: student-student, teacher-student, & teacher-teacher. This is consistent with Standard for Educators 4 “How can educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems?”  When educators have a vision, they can create a strategic plan with lessons that will engage, inspire, and transform student learning.

During this session, teachers also gained a better understanding of the benefits and teaching strategies that increase collaboration, and how CANVAS can support and enhance collaborative interactions. Teachers had the opportunity 1) to reflect on their own lessons, 2) to give examples on how their lessons could be improved, 3) to collaborate and give each other feedback. Because one of the components being presented was discussions in CANVAS, teachers were added to CANVAS as observers. The Peer Observation model allows teachers to observe and learn from strategies that the modeling teacher is using with students. The benefit to being an observer in CANVAS, is that the observation helps to build the capacity as the collaboration is on-going and long-lasting. (ISTE Standard 4.5.b).  The observer not only can see the discussion interactions in action, but also has access to all the resources in CANVAS, which provide a much richer experience. The observer also receives the announcements and reminders, as do all students.

My blog post Professional Development through Peer Observations, I include research-based models of alternative professional development, including peer observations. In this post, I also address best practices for evaluating the impact of professional learning in ways that are aligned with student outcomes, and sustained professional growth, while meeting the needs of adult professional learners. (ISTE Standard 4.5.a). For example, in the article Teachers as Adult Learners: A New Perspective (2003), Lawler explains that “adults are interested in immediately applying their learning and making connections between their educational experiences and their lives.” The participating observing teachers can immediately apply the strategies to their own discipline, and the activities and resources from CANVAS can be easily shared.

The second session I presented was Fostering classroom discussions using CANVAS.  The presentation included an overview of discussions in CANVAS, followed by a guided demonstration where teachers observed how to create a discussion and had time to create discussions for their courses. Then, teachers had time to collaborate with other teachers in their department to come up with relevant questions and prompts that they could immediately use in their classes. Finally, teachers shared some of the questions and prompts. There were teachers representing all departments, which made this part of the presentation particularly rich and valuable as we were able to hear a variety of questions from many disciplines. After the presentation, I inquired and received feedback on my presentation in order to evaluate the overall experience of the audience, as well as to use for reflection on my own performance. I am also creating a questionnaire to gather feedback from the teachers’ use of discussions in CANVAS in order to evaluate the long-term impact of the session (ISTE Standard 4.5.c).

In my blog post, Evaluating Professional Development, I discuss research-based strategies and elements that need to be included when evaluating the impact of professional learning programs. I also discuss ways to make continuous improvements in order to meet the schoolwide vision for using technology for high-impact teaching and learning (ISTE Standard 4.5.c).

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