Common Goals, Technology Advancement, and Staff Development.
I have been deliberating many things as we prepare for the start of the school year. One of these items has been advancing the technological literacy of my staff.
With so much social media available, how does one prepare their staff to advance their technological skills commonly? In many instances, teachers investigate technology on their own, developing a unique skill set. What then happens is you have staff all over the map in terms of technological literacy. Combine this with the technological change factor, and you have inconsistency in how technology is applied in classrooms. School’s can plan specific PD sessions to develop the technology skills of teachers, but this can be very time-consuming.
I feel we need to develop our staff’s technology skills to a higher degree. I believe my staff want to improve their literacy levels as well. The best way to improve technology skills, I believe (at this time), is to develop a PLN.
If staff develop and use their own PLN, their technology skills and literacy can improve immensely. They have for me.
So, how do we do this? I think the plan may look like this:
1. Use the tools available to us. The school based PD session at the beginning of the year will be devoted to creating a PLN. I have messed around with the idea of having a session before teachers officially return as well but that is to be determined. If we did the latter, the school based time during start-up provides teachers with more time to investigate one or two areas of interest, read blogs, etc.
2. Common PPGP goals regarding technology: Each year our teachers need to state one or two personal/professional goals. When reviewing these plans with staff, I find most teachers have no problem stating one major area of focus. However, a second goal (for some) is more difficult. Probably, because their first goal is significant. The principal can then help with the second goal.
So let’s take advantage of this opportunity. Since most teachers want to increase their technology literacy, let’s use the PPGP to our advantage and have a common technology goal. I am not saying we do everything EXACTLY. Maybe our commonality is creating the PLN? From there, teachers have more autonomy to delve into their personal and professional interest areas. If we all have a PLN, the structure is created to improve technological literacy from within. Specialists may develop in certain areas, and that can help with staff PD in the future.
If we create the framework for self-improvement with a common focus, teachers can use technology to a much higher degree in their classrooms. I hope this would then develop into more specific, curriculum goals that will improve learning.
I suppose this is also why I wanted to do a session with our admin. group as well. Help to develop peers and collaborate, then work to improve your school.
Let’s get started…