This week for our Module 3 DEL inquiry we were focusing on ISTE Standard 4: Professional Development and Program Evaluation, performance indicator b: “Design, develop, and implement technology rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment.”
One of our guided questions, “what digital age teaching best practices should be included in professional development and how should this be accomplished?” got me wondering what “digital age best practices” meant? When I think of the term “best practices in our digital age” I do begin to shift my thinking, to encompass practices that may support students or adults learning in our current digital realities. Understanding these realities was my first step in helping to paint a picture of why and how the digital best practices came to be.
Technology shifts in education that are making a big impact on student learning have been changing at faster rates than expected (Forbes, 2017). Forbes outlines 6 big digital transformation shifts happening in classrooms today. These shifts changes reflect the current landscapes that our society needs and values. Additionally, the job market needs in the United States showcase the needs for computing learning and integration in schools.
I think it is safe to say that digital best practices must be learned and taught by educators to support the needs of our students and the current realities they are facing.
So What are Digital Best Practices?
The ISTE standards, are standards for the use of technology in teaching and learning, that help educators address best digital practices. Additionally, Loti which stands for Level of Teaching Innovation is an organization who outlined nine digital best practices that “align to the National Education Technology Standards (NETS-S, now ISTE), demonstrate significant results on standardized tests, employs existing classroom digital tools and resources, and fosters results that are generalizable to any k-12 classroom”.
As I reflected on these digital best practices and how they could be included in professional development for educators I came across an article by Jennifer Gonzalez at the Cult of Pedagogy. She acknowledges that schools are experimenting with personalized approaches to professional development, and as part of this wave of personalized PD she covers a one such method called the Pineapple Chart. She defines a Pineapple Chart as “a system that allows teachers to invite one another into their classrooms for informal observation. The chart is set up in some location where teachers go on a daily basis: the teacher’s lounge, the copy room, or wherever teacher mailboxes live in your school. On the chart, teachers “advertise” the interesting things they are doing in their classrooms, activities they think others might want to observe.” This can range from complex lessons to very simple ones.
She continues on to explain that “when a teacher sees something on the chart she (or he) is interested in, she goes to that classroom at the designated time, sits down in an out-of-the-way spot, and watches. That’s it. No note-taking is required, no post-observation conference, no write-up. Just a visit. She can even grade papers or catch up on email if she wants, paying closer attention when the moment calls for it, but getting work done in the meantime. She can stay for five minutes or a whole class period. The key word here is informal, and it’s the best way for teachers to learn lots of skills and techniques just when they need them.”
In an interview with the principal at Gator Runs Elementary School, the principal stated, “Since the chart has been going, she has seen teachers trying new things more quickly. “Last year we noticed tools and strategies spreading throughout the building after Pineapple Chart visits. Kahoot, Nearpod, Plickers, in-class flipped lessons, SeeSaw, and performance scales in addition to unique procedures, classroom management and teaching strategies.””
What I love about the Pineapple Chart is that it is always available, free, personalized, and stress free. I think it would be a great method for PD at my school and would provide teachers with opportunities to learn easily, at times that are good for them. More specifically to this post, I could see this being beneficial for helping teachers learn and see digital best practices being done in classrooms and hopefully being tried on their own- just like at Gator Runs Elementary.
Work Cited: Gonzalez, J. (2016, September 25). How Pineapple Charts Revolutionize Professional Development. Retrieved February 17, 2020, from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/pineapple-charts/ ISTE Standards for Educators. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2020, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators Moersch, C. (2011). Digital age best practices: teaching and learning refocused. Retrieved from: http://thecurrent.educatorinnovator.org/sites/default/files/files/94/Digital%20Age%20Bes t%20Practices.pdf Newman, D. (2017, July 18). Top 6 Digital Transformation Trends In Education. Retrieved February 17, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2017/07/18/top-6-digital-transformation-trends-in-education/#5efd660d2a9a