By the end of this unit you should be able to locate and use resources that help to provide professional development opportunities.
- Identify relevant resources for professional development;
- Identify collaborative teacher networks;
- Discuss the advantages of collaborative networks
This unit is an example of online learning. It will be facilitated remotely using the LMS for participants to interact.This unit focuses on how teachers can enjoy lifelong professional development opportunities by linking to teacher networks and online courses.
Professional development (PD) goes beyond the term 'training'. The term implies more than uncritical learning. Professional Development includes both formal and informal means of helping teachers not only learn new skills but also develop new insights into pedagogy and their own practice, and explore new or advanced understandings of content and resources.
The definition of professional development includes support for teachers as they encounter the challenges that come with putting into practice their evolving understandings about the use of technology to support inquiry-based learning. Current technologies offer resources to meet these challenges and provide teachers with a cluster of supports that help them continue to grow in their professional skills, understandings, and interests.
In this session we will investigate collaborative networks for growth such as Partners in Learning (PIL), and the Rwandan Teachers’ Portal. These are online communities designed to allow teachers to discuss best practices about ICT, access digital resources and demonstrate best practices about how to integrate ICT. We will access some of these networks and share learning opportunities that support your own personal learning goals.
Conduct an Internet search and identify websites dedicated to supporting online collaborative teacher projects related to your specific subject/learning level. The following online community websites have been provided to assist you but should be considered a starting point. Use your advanced search skills, learned earlier, to find additional opportunities.
Click on the links below to read more:
Microsoft Educator Community URL
Global SchoolNet URL
Rwanda Education PortalURL
In the forum below, entitled 'Reflections on collaborative experiences', post a review of four opportunities you thought were interesting. See what others have found and reply to their posts.
Reflections on collaborative experiences Forum
Whatabout doing an online course after this one? There are many free courses available, some of which are MOOCs. According to Wikipedia a MOOC is a. 'A massive open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets, many MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions among students, professors, and teaching assistants. MOOCs are a recent and widely researched development in distance education which were first introduced in 2006 and emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012.'
MOOCs for Professional Development
Use the links below to find out more about the MOOC concept and then investigate what PD opportunities exist online. Particularly look at what courses are available on Coursera for teacher education. Sign up for one! After all this course is almost finished! In addition, conduct an internet web search on your own to identify learning opportunities that can help you achieve your own development goals (formal or informal learning, including MOOCs).
Click on the links below to read more:
Cormier, D. (2010). What is a MOOC?Page
Wikipedia. (2017). Massive Open Online Course URL
Coursera (Teacher Education MOOCs)URL
Reflect on your personal and professional development as a teacher. What should you study next? What are your professional goals? Using the forum below, discuss the merits of further online study.
Professional Development Discussion Forum
Wikipedia. (2017). Personal Learning Network URL
- Use the resources below to familiarise yourself with the concept of creating a Personal Learning Network or PLN. Any ideas on how you might create your own PLN?
Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network URL
2. Develop an individual personal development plan that outlines a timeline and development options that you would like to study to continue your professional growth after the ICT Essentials course.
- Use the computers at your disposal to conduct any research you might need to further your understanding and aid you in completing this activity.
- Reflect on your own professional development learning goals and consider what your ultimate goal in education is to be, be it a headmaster, district official, government education advisor or minister.
- Create a PowerPoint presentation and capture this information on your first slide.
- Next, conduct an Internet web search and identify three different learning opportunities that you wish to explore in helping you reach your goals. These may be formal or informal learning opportunities. In your PowerPoint presentation, create a slide that lists the basic details of each option (i.e. name of learning opportunity, website address and brief description of each).
3. Use the assignment submission tool below to upload your PLN.
Submit Portfolio Assignment #14
Assessment Criteria for Assignment #14File
The following Open Education Resources (OER) have been adapted to create this unit on ICT for professional development:
- COL/Guyana TL. (no date). Module 5, Unit 2: Use of ICT to Support Lifelong Learning. (CC BY)Available online at: http://colccti.colfinder.org/sites/default/files/guyana/pages/TL/Module05/Unit02/01.html
- COL/Guyana KD. (no date). Module 5, Unit 1: Life Long Learning I. (CC BY) Available online at: http://colccti.colfinder.org/sites/default/files/guyana/pages/KD/Module05/Unit01/01.html
- OER4schools. (2016). Unit 6: Into the Future. (CC BY NC) Available online at http://oer.educ.cam.ac.uk/wiki/OER4Schools/Into_the_future
- MoE Kenya. (2016). Collaborative Teacher Networks. KICTCFT. (CC BY SA) Available online at http://kictcft.nba.co.za/course/view.php?id=16
- MoE Kenya. (2016). Personal Learning Networks. KICTCFT. (CC BY SA) Available online at http://kictcft.nba.co.za/course/view.php?id=15
- Wikipedia. (2017). Massive Open Online Courses. (CC BY SA) Available online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course
- Wikipedia. (2017). Personal Learning Networks. (CC BY SA) Available online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_learning_network
Microsoft. (2016). PiL PD Course 6, Unit 2: Supporting Teacher Professional Development
- Nielsen, L. (2008). 5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network
All material in this ICT Essentials for Teachers Course unit is licensed by the Ministry of Education, Rwanda under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License with the exception of the resources listed below:
Microsoft's 'Supporting Teacher Professional Development'
Lisa Nielsen's '5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network'
All content not licensed under a Creative Commons license is all rights reserved, and you must request permission from the copyright owner to use this material.