ISTE Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership- Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.
My question that connects with Standard 5 is: How can I use technology as a tool to continue to grow as an educator, to model effective use of technology, and to learn new ways to integrate technology into the classroom? With so many digital tools available and professional learning networks, my goal is to continue to access these resources to grow as a professional. Hopefully, this type of professional development will improve my implementation of technology and enhance my instruction.
In order to learn new ways to integrate technology and share information with others, ISTE Standard 5 recommends joining a local or global learning community. According to Koehler & Mishra (2009), “Teachers practice their craft in highly complex, dynamic classroom contexts that require them constantly to shift and evolve their understanding. Thus, effective teaching depends on flexible access to rich, well-organized and integrated knowledge from different domains” (p.61). Twitter is one online resource teachers can use for professional development. Twitter allows teachers to share information in 140 characters or less and search for information related to their content area. Although, many people use Twitter to post personal updates, it can also be used effectively for professional development. My classmate, Darryl S., explained another way to learn how to integrate technology in the classroom is to attend Apple workshops that help teachers learn how to use tools such as the iPad. He also recommended the Internet TESL Journal, which provides links to educational articles and specific links related to the use of the internet. It includes lesson ideas and activities for students. This is a great resource for accessing information specific to language learning, but also provides tools for professional development that can be shared with others.
Finally, teachers need to learn how to organize the resources they learn about so they can be used efficiently. Social bookmarking sites such as Diigo, Evernote, or LiveBinder may be helpful in this process. My initial research led me to Diigo. Diigo allows teachers to search for information online about certain topics using tags. Teachers can join groups that focus on a specific topic, collaborate with educators, and learn new information that members have contributed. It also allows teachers to highlight and annotate any webpage they find online. They can send any webpage that has been bookmarked and highlighted to colleagues. My classmate, Andrea N., suggested the resource, Evernote, which also allows teachers to annotate information from multiple web pages. Audrey M. suggested another organizational tool called LiveBinder. LiveBinder allows teachers to organize multiple resources. Teachers can create different binders for different purposes such as professional development and teaching tools. This tool would be a great way to organize all of the resources my classmates have shared throughout the quarter in the Google+ community. Binders can be created for students that include resources on a certain topic such as PowerPoint presentations or Prezi materials.
With the amount of information available online, it’s important that teachers are seeking opportunities to connect with colleagues and create personal learning networks. This type of professional development is ongoing and can be accessed at any time. Utilizing digital tools allows teachers to be lifelong learners, take leadership in the use of technology, and enhance their instruction.
Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.