This is the latest in a series of blogs by a partnering cohort teacher.
By Tom Daley, Bridgeport High School Principal
Today I received an email from Schoology offering a free eBook focusing on the opinions of 10 EdTech professionals about the best EdTech trends from 2018 and predictions for 2019. The body of the email mentioned AR/VR experiences, podcasting and the “why” behind technology integration, instead of just the “how”. Normally, I am too busy to even give these emails a second thought. However, this particular email hooked me and I decided to take a look.
As mentioned, the ten EdTech professionals discussed their favorite trends of 2018 and what they expect in 2019. They mentioned student agency, coding, AR/VR, AI, demonstrating understanding in authentic ways (video, blog, podcast), student data and privacy, and next gen learning spaces. Their entries were brief, but impactful. If you happened to have received this email, I suggest you take the five minutes to read all of the entries. It will be well worth your time.
The one particular entry that I want to focus on is from Catlin Tucker who is an educator, trainer, coach, speaker and author from Pepperdine University. She mentions her favorite trend of 2018 being the shift in control from teacher to learner as we focus more on student agency. Naturally, my mind immediately went to the Fluency Project as it often does these days. But, what really got me thinking, was her prediction for 2019: Personalized Professional Learning. As an administrator, I am not on the front lines, my teachers are. I see my job as supporting and encouraging my staff so that they can improve the learning experience of our students. The idea that Catlin has is to rethink our Professional Development and trainings.
If we are realizing that education is not a one-size-fits-all approach for students, why aren’t we thinking the same way when it comes to the growth and development of our teachers? They, like our students, have access to limitless resources and their “voice” should be valued as well. Not everyone is going to benefit from a session chosen by a few people. We need to seriously consider the way we approach our PD days. I believe it would best serve our teachers, and in turn our students, if we allow time for them to practice some inquiry of their own.
For an initiative such as the Fluency Project to really take hold in a school system, it needs to be implemented at all levels. The District, administration, staff and students all need to experience Fluency in action in order for it to become ingrained in the culture of the school. As administrators, this is one step we can take to allow for our staff to experience this “process” and begin changing the way we approach education.
For the email mentioned above, here is a link to the eBook: https://info.schoology.com/rs/601-CPX-764/images/EdtechInfluencers_Crowdsourced_Ebook_r2.pdf