'Educating our Students and Each Other' - Originally posted in: 'Effective Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age' on Monday, September 28th, 2015
On Friday our TLLP, Effective Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age, was officially launched. The project hopes to build teacher efficacy through collaboration and is divided into two phases: Phase 1 includes team members selecting digital technologies and learning tools that fit with the diverse learning needs of their classrooms and align with the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board Learning Plan. While teachers are implementing their chosen tools they will share their successes and failures (learnings!) through social media regularly, including blogging their experiences in this group at least once a month. Phase 2 allows team members to mentor a peer within our school who is interested in learning how to implement the tool that they've become an "expert" in. My role as team leader is to provide the team with support and resources at every turn while organizing and chairing our meetings, running our twitter feed and doing my best to navigate through the logistics of securing additional technology for the team to implement (when all is said and done, the team will have exclusive use of 16 laptops and 8 tablets).
Our students are living in a world that is very different from the one that we grew up in. Even if we are able to "keep up" with the changes in technology that we are living through, we are still challenged to prepare our students for a world that futurists can only speculate about, a world filled with realities that we most certainly do not have right now. The very least that we can do, as educators, is prepare our students and teach them with the technologies that we DO have here and now! This belief is the driving force behind our project. Our goal is to improve as educators and to help our peers (in our school and beyond) to improve as well. If we improve, our students will ultimately benefit.
Professional diversity is an asset to our TLLP team; we have teachers from primary, junior and intermediate divisions as well as special education and an itinerant teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing. We are also happy to have our Special Assignment teacher onboard along with a satellite member from St. Francis of Assisi within our board and are working on adding a Speech and Language Pathologist to the team. Multiple perspectives, including those of our administrators will add depth and meaning to our project - collaboration is key.
Based on our pre-project survey, we have a team of teachers who are comfortable using technology in their classrooms and passionate about improving their capacity. The area where most team members felt they could improve was in their ability to mentor a peer; the project will most certainly give them the chance to grow in this area of professional development.
We'll be blogging here regularly and, now that the philosophy and methodology have been outlined, you can follow the experiences of our team members by joining or following our group. Thanks, team!