Professional learning – a journey

Many faculties at my school purchased iPads to be used as student devices this term. Our aim is to use these iPads in combination with the other ICT tools we have already (1:1 laptops, interactive whiteboards, flip cams, etc) to further move into 21st century leaning.

I am now in the process of organising teacher professional learning to make sure that teachers can maximise the learning benefits of these iPads. To do this I have been browsing through many blogs and websites that detail how others have done this. Many of these blogs and sites contain information like “102 ways to use your iPad in the classroom”. In the professional learning I have attended for iPads, they have also mainly focused on apps. Now that’s all well and good as teachers need to know what apps are out there, which apps have been tried by teachers and how they have used those apps in their classrooms. According to this article, there are four stages to teachers’ integration of technology in teaching learning:

Stage 1  – Preliterate end users – Teachers with minimal experience with the technology – The challenge here is to help these teachers see the benefits of technology in making their classroom instruction and administration easier

Stage 2 – Software technicians – Teachers who have used apps, software and/or the piece of technology for personal use

Stage 3 – Electronic traditionalists – Teachers proficient in using technology to extend traditional classroom instruction such as electronic worksheets and drill and practice quizzes

Stage 4 – Techno-constructivists – Teachers who utilises technology to allow students to construct their own understanding, create products and solve problems

At the moment I think I do stage 1, 2 and 3 quite well when I design professional learning for other teachers. However stage 4 is much trickier. How can I design professional learning that will help teachers on a journey to become techno-constructivists? It will require teachers to confront and reflect on their perspectives of how students learn, which are framed by many previous experiences and assumptions.

How would you approach this? Have you done this before? Share your ideas and thoughts 🙂

2 thoughts on “Professional learning – a journey

  1. One of the big challenges when implementing iPads into a school environment is to move the discussion away from apps. The focus needs to be on education (as with all technology integration).
    Consider the educational tasks and develop various workflows that will enable students to work through to completion. Workflows combine a number of apps to enable a process. This is much better than focusing on individual apps. I recently blogged about this. http://shanepilkie.com/2012/10/22/beyond-apps/ Once this type of thinking is established, students should also be creating and sharing workflows.
    You may also like to consider the SAMR model which looks at relative levels of educational transformation due to technology. It provides an alternate view to the four stage model you mentioned above.
    Encourage your teachers to exploit the creative potential of the ipads. Discover new and varied ways to share student learning. Move away from paper-based classrooms. Be creative in how students share their learning.

    • Thanks Shane for your insights. I just think a lot of professional learning focus on software or apps and not on pedagogy or HOW students learn or the needs of 21st century learning. I will have a look at your blog 🙂

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