The Practising Teacher Criteria and e-learning site provides a guide for teachers to reflect on how e-learning can be used to support the Practising Teacher Criteria. My personal 32 week learning journey through the Mind Lab postgraduate programme has helped to meet a number of the criteria as detailed below.
Developing relationships with students
My students now use e-learning tools to share information about themselves, providing a way for me to connect with them and discover some insights into who they are. For assignments on the course I have used tools such as as Google Forms and Survey Monkey to provide students opportunities to contribute their ideas and opinions. My students have also used Google Presentations to share information they had researched collaboratively.
Developing relationships with parents/whānau
I am developing relationships with parents/whānau by using e-learning tools to facilitate on-going relationships and interaction between home and school, (in order to support learning). A great example of this is my class’s e-portfolios which display our learning goals, evidence and reflection pages. News and information is also shared using our School ‘Lunchbox’ App.
Professional development networks
All of the teachers from our school that have completed the Mind Lab course have used the information, resources, and stories to identify and develop their own professional learning communities that share e-learning understandings and practices (focused on improved student learning outcomes). In the first course we were able to critique leadership theories and reflect on our own personal leadership attributes and styles, within a context of leading innovation in digital and collaborative learning. This enabled us to identify a potential digital and collaborative innovation and design a plan that could be applied in our learning environment.
Being culturally responsive
After implementing our plans we were able to conduct a research informed inquiry project that supported both our needs as practitioners and those of our community. Our inquiry harnessed e-learning tools and online resources to recognise and value the cultures that students bring with them to the classroom. Examples were using Blended e-Learning for Māori and Pasifika Learners and Bit Strips for engagement.
Developing digital citizens
Our school is now using the e-competencies to break down e-learning and create e-awareness (Awareness of ICTs and their relevance in society, including digital citizenship). We have improved digital literacy, media literacy, informational literacy and technological literacy across the school.
My environment (the physical, social, and pedagogical context in which learning occurs) has changed due to an innovation I created at the Mind Lab. My class is now an innovative environment supporting strengths-based teaching and learning. It offers my students (and me) flexibility, agency, ubiquity, and connectedness. I am now working in an innovative learning environment where teaching and learning is collaborative, reflections and inquiries are shared, and my community is engaged, leading to a more robust, continuously improving community of practice.
Osterman and Kottkamp (1993), detail a four-stage experiential learning cycle that is the heart of the reflective process. With this conceptual framework in place, my next steps are finding useful ways to move through the various stages of the cycle. I have had the experience, observation and reflection, and must now concentrate on abstract reconceptualisation, and further experimentation. While experience is the basis for learning, learning cannot take place without reflection. Conversely, while reflection is essential to the process, reflection must be integrally linked with action.
Education Council. (n.d.) Practising Teacher Criteria. Retrieved November 10, 2015 from http://www.teacherscouncil.govt.nz/content/registered-teacher-criteria-1
Ministry of Education. (n.d.) Practising Teacher Criteria and e-learning. Retrieved November 10, 2015 from http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Professionallearning/Practising-Teacher-Criteria-and-e-learning
Osterman, K. & Kottkamp, R.(1993) Reflective Practice for Educators. November 10, 2015 from http://www.itslifejimbutnotasweknowit.org.uk/files/RefPract/Osterman_Kottkamp_extract.pdf