Source: Clock, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1zNUboC; Coaching, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1E2f9Fn; Social Media, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1Byn0Lw; Puzzle, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1FIofFU; Finger, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1zNUgbX; Globe, Clker, http://bit.ly/1CVSonk; Stick Figure, Clker, http://bit.ly/1JoIB83; Sneakers Quote, Sean Crevier, @busedcrev; Sophia, www.sophia.org; Teacher Tube, www.teachertube.com; INACOL, http://www.inacol.org/
Hello, and welcome everyone. I hope you're having a great day. In this lesson, we're going to look at what you will need to promote student learning in a learning management system. Let's get started. I have had so many wonderful roles as an educator over the past two decades, but I think the one I grew from most was the two years I spent working as an induction coach with first year teachers. I can point to a couple of reasons why.
First, the training I received to be a mentor was by far the best professional development ever. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was life changing. The collaboration amongst the members of our team and the quality of our instructors where the main reasons why.
The second reason was the actual practice part of the, job when I was out in the field, working with teachers. During our weekly conversations and observations, I learned as much from them as they did for me. I definitely wouldn't be the educator I am today had it not been for that experience.
In order to successfully implement a blended learning approach, the instructor needs to be comfortable and confident in order to meet the needs of the learners. Getting to that point is no accident. Professional development in the area of using a learning management system is definitely needed. And it cannot be a one and done approach, but rather an ongoing one, because online learning technology, and even pedagogical approaches, are often changing.
In order for a teacher to be able to become proficient in using a learning management system, there are some features of the professional development that I would recommend. Let's take a look at some of them. First, developing web 2.0 and 21st century technology skills. We have arrived at a place with technology where the tools we have available to us are incredibly interactive and intuitive.
The way we use them in schools should most definitely reflect that. If we want our students to be college and career ready, we must find ways to incorporate these practices, but it has to start with the teacher.
Promoting motivation of individual learners in a blended learning environment. The devices that we use in education are far more than shiny objects to play games on. They help us to organize, create, communicate, and empower our learning. The motivation needs to come from us and the content, not the technology.
This quote I have seen on Twitter says it all. "Asking kids to be motivated by technology is a lot like asking them to be motivated by their shoes and socks. It's hard to be motivated by something that you use every day without giving it a second thought."
Adapting and modifying instruction to address different learning styles and the needs of students. There's never been a better time for personalisation of learning. Developers are introducing new products that will help us to do this every day. For example, speech to text software can help students who struggle with writing, reading levels can be adjusted by many online sites now, and there are also tools such as answer masking and line reading that can help with assessments.
Developing learning activities that enhance student interaction. What that means today is coming up with ways to promote the four C's, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and the fourth one, which gets special attention here, communication skills.
Developing improved communication skills, including such mediums as email correspondence, blogging, and engaging in discussion board postings, as well as recognizing the tone of writing, are important skills to have in our profession, particularly in an online venue.
Improving time management skills is important for all teachers, but in the age of instant communication for blended learning teachers, it takes on even more importance. We can now accomplish tasks virtually with our colleagues, with tools such as Skype, Facetime, and Google Docs. It's our responsibility to make the most of these tools.
When we take on the exciting challenge of teaching in a blended learning environment, I can almost guarantee that you will be reminded of your first year of teaching in a classroom in general. You may be scared, insecure, but also excited and eager to learn all you can learn.
I told you the story earlier about my mentoring experience, and that really impacted me greatly. Even after 20 years in the field, finding a colleague to learn from is invigorating. As a new administrator, I'm always picking the brain of other administrators I meet.
Mentoring from a teacher who has more experience in blended learning can provide an experience that will help you to obtain quick answers to questions related to specific situations in the classroom. Whether you are a mentor or being mentored, you are likely to be part of a supportive professional learning relationship, because we all have something to offer.
The International Association for K-12 online learning is a primary source for teachers to develop knowledge and skills on blended learning. They live up to their philosophy by offering a virtual school symposium each November, Teacher Talk and leadership webinars on a monthly basis, and a variety of publications to enhance teachers' development. That's not your only option however other professional development opportunities take place through wonderful sources, such as Sophia and TeacherTube.
Let's review what we covered in this lesson. We began by talking about professional development in the learning management system, and described some skills that we should learn about. We talked about the importance of mentoring. And finally, other learning opportunities to develop professionally.
Now some food for thought. What was the best professional development that you were ever involved in, and what made it so great? As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skills. That's all for now. Thanks so much for watching. We'll see you next time.
(00:58-01:22) Professional Development
(04:51-05:20) Taking Control of Professional Development
(05:21-06:09) Summary/Food For Thought
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