I have found myself in the unenviable position this week of having to write an application to apply for the TLR post of Lead Learner: Using New Technologies to Enhance Learning. This is, for all intents and purposes, the same job that I’ve been doing for nearly four years, with a fancier title than eLearning Coordinator. However, in applying for the post, I was asked to consider it from a forward-facing perspective, rather than retrospective and focusing on what I’ve already accomplished. Whilst the application only went in this morning, and I’m yet to find out if I will even interview for the post, I’ve decided to share some of the ideas and resources that I used to compile my application in the hope that someone else gets some actual use out of it.
One of the key components of the application revolved around flipped learning – not so much what it is, but how we get ourselves to the point where this is an everyday reality. Having said that, I’m reasonably confident that those on the interview panel won’t have a clue what flipped learning actually is. I made sure that I included a very brief explanation of flipped learning, helped along by this TeachThought article. I’ve also printed a copy of the handy infographic provided in this article to include in my portfolio, should I go to interview. David Kapuler has curated a useful Pinterest board all based on the flipped classroom, which is certainly worth a browse.
The school is interested in pursuing flipped learning as another method of personalising learning for students. This SSAT publication, Personalising Learning: Learning to learn and the new technologies, whilst published in 2005, has some excellent discussion about how and why technology should be used to personalise learning.
I’ve also referenced the SAMR model, which I’m sure I’ll need to further explain in an interview:
I’ve talked about giving students more autonomy by allowing them to choose their own workflow. Whilst I haven’t specifically referenced the melding of Bloom’s Taxonomy with various apps, I’ll probably include this diagram in my portfolio:
I’m aware that there are a good number of people who dislike ideas like this, and indeed it contradicts some of the points that I’ve made about the use of technology being about the pedagogy, not apps, but I think it will be helpful to demonstrate some ideas about redefining workflow and will provide some concrete examples for the interview panel. Aysin Alp’s blog about successfully integrating technology into the classroom was also useful here. Managing technology use in lessons is also important, and Edutopia have a short article about striking a balance between successful use and distraction.
Based on a section of the SSAT document I referenced earlier, I made sure to include reference to investigating creating a Digital Leaders group. For this I went back to Daniel Edwards’ post about why schools should have digital leaders and tips on getting started. I will be including the following from Mark Anderson in my portfolio as stimulus for discussion.
I’ve discussed the need to commit to training for staff, preferably in a differentiated fashion. Our staff run the spectrum from complete technophobe to early adopters, and we need to fight the attitude that technology is optional in lessons. Part of this is helping staff to become more confident – something that Mark Anderson has written about. Pernille Ripp has also written about this attitude.
I wrote about a few other things, mostly specifically related to the EdTech situation at our school, and not particularly relevant to anybody else. I did, however, make mention of my PLN and how useful that is for a variety of different reasons, including helping to provide information on purchasing choices (thanks @ICTEvangelist for the tip about the Mini Mac!), resources and just generally discussing various aspects of using EdTech.
Some of the other background reading included, but was not limited to:
- Edudemic’s “The 7 Biggest Advantages of eLearning”
- TeachThought’s “Approaching the Golden Age of Learning Technology”
- Edudemic’s “Why Teachers Should Use Education Technology”
- Edudemic’s “2 Pros and 2 Cons to Education Technology”
- Emerging Ed Tech’s “20 Warning Signs You Are Behind the Times with Instructional Uses of Technology” – some of it is a bit of a laugh but it’s still food for thought.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list and was a bit of background reading/research in order to put together my application. There’s plenty more information available, but hopefully this is a starting point for anybody who may need it.