I am continuing to build my Demo Course, entitled “The Technology-Savvy Educator,” which is aligned to one of the ISTE Standards for Teachers (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008). Specifically, I am designing this Course as a seven-week course of study, which will be available on CourseSites, intended for teachers who would like to deepen their understanding of how to use visual media tools like G Suite for Education, YouTube, EDpuzzle, Kahoot, and Quizizz to enhance their students’ learning and creative capacity. I am imagining that this Course, or at least portions of it, will be useful for EdTech trainers, TOSAs, and, technology mentor teachers.
Although I’m building this course and its learning activities primarily for the teachers I work with in my local school district, much of the Course overlaps with the ISTE Standards. So, I am hoping to reach out to ISTE for support, partnership, and advice as I continue to develop it. I have been an active member of ISTE since I took my current job position as a District EdTech Specialist, and I attended the 2016 ISTE Conference & Expo in Denver. I am already registered to attend this June’s annual event in San Antonio (International Society for Technology in Education, 2017). Although the deadline for session presentation submissions has passed, a “New Ideas” window opens next week, and I hope to pursue the possibility of presenting my Course, which will be completed just in time, at a poster session at the conference.
I’m also excited about the possibility of meeting peers from around the world who share a similar professional interest in developing EdTech professional learning resources for teachers. Who knows, perhaps I might be able to find one or more partners, either within ISTE or among the professionals who might drop by my poster session, who might be willing to coordinate efforts to create a larger set of technology training resources. Or, conversely, maybe such a grassroots tech training project may already exist that I would like to join. It may even be possible that someone involved with either ISTE or one of its affiliate organizations may notice this very blog post and reach out to me to get the ball rolling…
If your job includes training teachers to use technology, whether formally or informally, you know it can be challenging to find colleagues with whom to partner and collaborate professionally. Teaching can already be a lonely profession because most teachers spend the bulk of their work days in classrooms full of children, with very limited opportunities to communicate with other adults. This problem is compounded for tech trainers, many of whom must split their training responsibilities with part-time or full-time teaching jobs, and/or may have no one with a similar job at their school site–or even at their entire district.
I am blessed to share an office with two of the very best EdTech Specialists anywhere who are my partners. Plus, I have dozens of other colleagues within my District Office including Instructional Coaches, Ed Services staff, and Technology staff. In fact, my two partners have helped me present one component of my new Course, the YouTube Diner, at the CUE National Conference last month in Palm Springs. They even went along with my crazy idea to wear costumes at our poster session.
Even if you’re fortunate like me and have terrific partners to work with, we all need to reach out and build the broadest Professional Learning Network that we can. After all, our work is far too complex–and too important–to be done in isolation. The great thing about technology is that you don’t really have to travel to a faraway technology conference to connect with colleagues. All you need is an internet connection and a willingness to reach out!
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). ISTE standards for teachers. Retrieved from http://iste.org/standards
International Society for Technology in Education. (2017). ISTE 2017 conference & expo. Retrieved from https://conference.iste.org/2017/