One indicator of a Digital Age Learning Environment is:
c. Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.
I have built nine online courses that the teachers in my district can take independently throughout the year. Approximately three new courses are introduced each year. These one and half hour courses are asynchronous and can be taken around the clock 24/7. One of the reasons for having me create courses was to help teachers understand how the tools we currently have available could be used and to help teachers have common new learning. I have seen too often, teachers attend technology conferences and come back disappointed that the tool they saw is not available because of infrastructure or funding reasons in their district.
The courses that I am most proud of are my YouTube and SAMR online course. Both model use of online blended learning, digital content, and provide for collaboration opportunities. The YouTube course begins by asking teachers to view science video clips and then fill out a Google form. They can see the answers of teachers that have gone before them. They also read professional articles I have linked and reflect on them. After the launch and the learning, they apply their learning by creating their own YouTube channel playlists. They each place the link to their playlist on a shared spreadsheet for others to check out. This is followed by an activity that causes them to reflect on how to show videos. They experience two options for omitting ads. Finally, they debrief and reflect on an end of course evaluation. This course shows teachers online ways to have teachers share, uses of Google forms and sheets they may not have tried before, and models quality lesson design.
The SAMR course is similar in design, but has more opportunity for real-time collaboration. This is because it is hosted in Google Classroom. This is important to note because all of my teachers, second grade up, have some level of familiarity. By taking this course in Google Classroom, it expands their opportunity to acquire first-hand experience by being in the student’s role in the system. Beyond basic system navigation, teachers view my layout of the course, instructions, and prompts. They also learn how I use topics to keep things organized. This courses is described in more detail in my blog post, Breaking Down Adult Learning- Whole+Part +Whole. Both of these courses provide strong evidence of my ability to coach and model online learning, while at the same time, providing professional development.
In 2016-17 the teachers in my district also had an opportunity to attend live synchronous sessions. While these have been attended, the preference is for asynchronous sessions. This is an example of providing more choice in professional development options.