Developing a Blended Learning Environment for Technology Training
During the school year, my department (Instructional Media) delivers technology training after school on various topics and applications that are picked and scheduled before the school year begins. Teachers may choose which sessions to attend, however, the attendance is low because it is not required and all sessions are held after school. I would like to change the way my department conducts our training sessions to increase participation by making it easier for teachers to participate and make the tasks authentic for immediate application.
“Few teachers receive individualized professional development, though many are expected to personalize learning for students” (DeNisco, 2016, p. 22). Personalized professional development can take the form of micro-credentials which are digital badges teachers earn by proving their proficiency with self-reflection and examples of practical application. Many researchers found that micro-credentials and badges are a way for teachers and students to show their proficiency and abilities with various applications and skill-sets. Micro-credentials are used to show leadership in the workplace and evidence of continued learning amongst teachers and students (Acree, 2016; Berry, 2017; Berry, Airhart, & Byrd, 2016; Brown & Rhodes, 2017; DeNisco, 2016; Goerner, 2016; Schools, 2016; Zalanick, 2017a; Zalanick, 2017b).
My plan is to support our current badging system by developing online training for various approved apps and skills, then issue micro-credentials for completion of training and conduct in-person sessions as requested. I would start with an informal face-to-face survey of topics and apps that teachers would like to learn how to incorporate into their lessons. Then I’d assemble a lightweight or heavyweight team to decide how to best flip or blend the workday/after school technology training opportunities. My team will consist of representatives from all 6 campuses and my Instructional Media team to help develop and implement the plan.
More teachers participating collaboratively in the training process. (Currently, about 4-8 people attend our sessions).
Align sessions with the needs of teachers (and not exclusively chosen by admin, not in the classroom).
Develop a micro-credential system for our technology training. We currently have a badging system but there is no support or follow up to this system, it is purely self-initiated.
Achieve 50% of teachers as active participants in the micro-credential system.
Teachers help to choose the topics of training (Specific apps they want to use in the classroom and how to incorporate them effectively supporting sound pedagogy practices).
Teachers are excited to participate in personalized technology training.
Teachers walk away from in-person sessions with ideas they can implement immediately in their classrooms
Move to online “classes” that teachers can work through at their own pace (micro-credentials)
Teachers want to learn at their own pace.
Teachers would watch videos and bring in required resources before in-person training sessions.
People want to change the way our sessions are currently running.
Teachers would actively participate in the online training
Teachers want to learn what they need to improve their own learning, personalized learning
Acree, L. (2016). Seven lessons learned from implementing micro-credentials. Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at the NC State University College of Education. Raleigh, NC.
Berry, B. (2017). Micro-credentials: The badges of professional growth. Education Digest, 82(9), 21.
Berry, B., Airhart, K. M., & Byrd, P. A. (2016). Microcredentials: Teacher learning transformed. Phi Delta Kappan, 98(3), 34-40.
Brown, D., & Rhodes, D. E. (2017). Show what you know. Phi Delta Kappan, 98(8), 38. http://doi.org/10.1177/0031721717708293
DeNisco, A. (2016). Microcredentials provide highly personalized PD. District Administration, 52(7), 22. Retrieved from https://www.districtadministration.com/article/microcredentials-provide-highly-personalized-pd
Goerner, P. (2016). Give that expert a badge. School Library Journal, 62(12), 20.
Schools offer microcredentials. (2016). BizEd, 15(4), 64-68.
Zalaznick, M. (2017a). BADGING breakthroughs: Microcredentials awarded for in-demand skills give employers deeper detail about a student's abilities. University Business, 20(7), 36-39.
Zalaznick, M. (2017b). BADGING breakthroughs: Digital microcredentials show a bigger picture of students' and teachers' abilities. District Administration, 53(9), 49.