It’s the last few days of EDLD 5388. This is the special topics class for my Master’s Degree in Digital Learning and Leading. We were required to create a professional learning plan. I really, really enjoyed this class. I’m sure the class was so enjoyable for me because creating learning opportunities and helping teachers learn is a passion of mine!
I ran into a few snags along the way, but my vision of a website that houses learning opportunities is now a reality. The website (PAWS Learning Academy) is still a project in the works. In fact, there is really only one learning opportunity posted at this time (The Power of Video), but I am confident the website will grow. I believe my fellow teachers will help me add relevant content to the website so it will be full of learning opportunities! Right now, everyone is prepping for the dreaded STAAR test, so I will have to wait a few weeks to add content.
PAWS Learning Academy website was created specifically for teachers that want to learn in a self-directed manner. I also created the website to model blended learning. As teachers access and complete various learning opportunities, they are experiencing blended learning! After using the PAWS website, teachers have now been a part of blended learning, it should be easier for them to use blended learning strategies in their classrooms. Here is my 3 column table that shows the goals to be accomplished.
The website has a blog page where I have posted the five key principles of effective professional learning (Gulamhussein 2013). At this point, there really isn’t a specific schedule or timeline for the teachers to complete the professional learning opportunities. The website is available 24/7, so the timeline is infinite and scheduling is up to the individual teacher! There are no slide decks for the individual learning opportunities. Most of the instruction will be teacher (or student) created videos embedded on the web pages. All resources will be listed on the specific learning opportunity page.
I will introduce the entire website to my fellow teachers with this Keynote presentation, but each individual learning opportunity will be led by volunteer teachers. The teachers will give me the content and I will be responsible for getting it up and going on the website. This is a .pdf document of the slides and the presenter notes.
Collaboration is a key component for professional learning to be effective. I will assist the teachers in setting up PLC groups. My vision is that teachers will access the website learning on their own first, like a flipped classroom, and then collaboratively go through the learning process with PLC groups or teacher mentors. Of course, discussion and reflection are important. After completing a learning opportunity, teachers are asked to submit a reflection via a Flipgrid link (video reflection) or a Google Form that delivers directly to the PAWS website. Teachers will have a copy of their written reflection automatically e-mailed to them. This is good because evidence of learning advancement is a goal for the T-TESS evaluation system.
The Professional Learning Outline I created was set up for the one learning opportunity I have posted, The Power of Video. Each different learning opportunity will have its own outline, but they will all follow this format.
The PAWS Learning Academy is set up to house learning opportunities for each subject, although some learning opportunities like The Power of Video can be used in any classroom. There is even a page dedicated to a list of books that would be great for a book study because some people learn best by reading the material. Of course, at any time, teachers (or administrators) may recommend that certain book titles be added to the book study list.
I believe the PAWS Learning Academy gives learners a choice in what they learn, ownership in their learning, different means for reflection, and authentic learning. This has been my goal from the start. The next step in my journey is to recruit fellow teachers to assist me in adding content!
Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the Teachers Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/system/files/2013-176_ProfessionalDevelopment.pdf