In reviewing my lesson plan for a professional development day of staff, it is clear that modifications were necessary. As the Principal of a primary school I deliver a lot of professional development to the staff and I can now see that it is imperative for the staff (as learners) that I provide the best possible professional development, by ensuring that the principles of TPACK, Universal Design for Learning and Professional/Personal Learning Networks are covered, also ensuring that I model good digital citizenship and the use of Creative Commons are employed on all media displayed. I will discuss these in greater depth and detail during my blog.
Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)
MAETEL1 provided me with many new ideas and methodologies, one significant concept that I learned is called TPACK. It stands for Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge, (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) and it is an educational framework used to design classroom instruction that combines the three principles of Technology, Content Knowledge, and Pedagogy into a single framework. This is what I believe all teachers strive for with each of their lessons, especially when adding technology to create 21st Century learning environments. I used this framework to modify my original lesson plan, ensuring that all aspects of TPACK were incorporated into my lesson of teaching the staff to enter notes of commendation and notes of concern into the school SEQTA system.
Firstly, I had to ask myself, why am I making the staff enter notes of commendation and notes of concern into the school SEQTA system? This question demonstrates content. The staff needs to see a clear purpose and rationale for the use of this data, and how it will benefit themselves, fellow staff and the school in the future. Of course as principal, I could easily just tell the staff that this is what will be done, but the staff needs to take ownership of this process in order for it to be continuous and effective.
When considering the pedagogy of Lesson 5.0 compared to Lesson 2.0, it caused me to think about how I would teach this lesson to my staff. I revised my original lesson to take into consideration the different learning styles and abilities of each staff member. Koehler (2006) expresses that, “Effective technology integration for pedagogy…requires developing sensitivity to the dynamic, transactional relationship between these components of knowledge…no single combination of content, technology, and pedagogy will apply for every teacher, every course, or every view of teaching” (p.37). With this in mind, my lesson was revised to consider all the different learning styles for my teachers.
The process of adding of notes of commendation and notes of concern to the school SEQTA system is the what of the lesson, and will require the use technology i.e. iPads and/or computers. With the addition of technology to the professional development day I must now consider the multitude of different ICT literacy levels of each staff member as this will have a major impact on the functionality of the day and the effectiveness of the learning outcomes in terms of how well future data continues to be entered. Initially this was not considered, but with revision, staff members who need it will be provided extra time and support from myself, the assistant principal or their peers. Mishra and Koehler (2009) clearly states this “…these technologies have the potential to fundamentally change the way we think about teaching and learning” (p.15). This will be a huge mind shift for many members a lot of my staff and each need time, guidance and leadership in order to master this digital technology.
Universal Design for Learning
Another important aspect to take into consideration when planning or designing lessons to teach, whether to students or adults, is the Universal Design for Learning. By applying the three UDL principles, Multiple Means of Representation (the “what” of learning), Multiple Means for Action and Expression (the “how” of learning) and Multiple Means for Engagement (the “why” of the learning) to my original lesson plan, I felt that some modifications to the lesson plan needed to be made as one size does not fit all and my original approach did not take into consideration the individual learning styles of all staff members. One major aspect that I did not consider was to provide a hard copy printout to staff of the digitally presented information on the day. Another aspect that I have added is to allow staff members to collaborate amongst themselves to help and show each other strategies and techniques as we progress through the day. These changes address individual ICT literacy levels and learning styles. When these three principles are applied in an educational context it provides all students, including staff members, equal opportunities to learn. In turn, assessment and evaluation needs to be individualised, ensuring that each staff member progresses to the intended outcome, whilst acknowledging growth and assistance required during the process.
Professional / Personal Learning Networks
Covarubias (2014) states that, “In order to create and lead effective schools, principals need quality professional development and the best way to do that is through an ongoing professional network” (p.11). This statement must be applied to all staff working within the education system. By seeking help and assistance from outside sources, be it work colleagues, consultants or a form of digital media I am able to ensure that the information I present on the day will be accurate, up-to-date and relevant for the staff. I can use these networks to seek additional information about the best way to present information to the staff in order to help them be in the best position be an effective learner.
Covarubias (2014) points out that, “Teachers spend most of their time working in isolation away from each other in self-contained classrooms with no opportunity to engage in continuous and sustained learning about their practice in the setting in which they actually work” (p.25). By allowing time during the professional development day for teachers to collaborate amongst themselves or by seeking digital information is then allowing them to further develop their professional learning networks.
This process of reflection and revision on all the different elements of a lesson plan is what can raise a good learning situation to a great one. It provides an assurance that the goals and outcomes will be achieved; evaluation and assessment before, during and after the lesson ensure the quality of the achievement. By no means is this a complete summary of what needs to be reflected on and continued revision will always have to be done as the needs of learners constantly change, whether it is staff members or in the classroom.
Covarubias, M. (2014). Comparative study of the networked principal vs. the isolated principal. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1678753285?accountid=12598
Mishra, P. & Koehler. M. J. (2009). Too cool for school? No way! Using the TPACK framework: You can have your hot tools and teach with them, too. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(7), 14-18.
TPACK Explained | TPACK.org [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.matt-koehler.com/tpack/tpack-explained/
TPACK.ORG. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.tpack.org/