The 2013 calendar is still fresh but the energy around the 21st Century Learning and AICT department is at an all time high. We are looking at the best way to “walk the talk” in terms of our own PD. The teachers on our team are some of the most amazing educators I have ever seen and they are truly passionate about reaching as many people as possible and improving the educational quality of our schools. With this in mind they are using one of the 21C 4Cs to the limit. CRITICAL THINKING
I believe that the highest form of critical thinking is when one applies the lens of analysis inward. To be a professional is to take time to actively look at yourself and assess what you do and to consider if there is a better or more effective way to do it. Too often we allow this process to stop at the philosophical level as there are always roadblocks in the way that make it far too easy to stay with the status quo. I have been so impressed with the team’s willingness to push past this and to see how things could be done better. That being said, we have been considering some things.
First, how can we support ongoing Professional Development? When educators come to our PD sessions there is such energy and positive feedback from everyone that it would be easy to rest and pat our collective backs but the team is looking for even more. The most common request that people have after a session is, “Can you come to my school everyday so that I don’t forget everything that we did today?” Obviously with a team of only 7 teachers in a board of over 200 schools, this is not a possibility but the team has looked for ways to utilize easy technology to allow that to happen in some small way. With this in mind we have set up eCommunities that session participants are automatically enrolled in and which houses all the resources that come up during the session. Along with this there are discussion rooms, chat options, blogging etc. An incredibly rich community that is an amazing tool for another one of the Cs, COLLABORATION.
You would think this was enough but of course it is not as the team is looking to actually get into schools to work with and support learners as they move toward a more 21C model. We are looking for ways to do this and hope to work with SSLN groups in the near future as they sculpt and lead their own Professional Development. I need to say that the more I look at it I see how forward thinking the TCDSB has been in creating the SSLN model. This allows schools to lead their own professional development and to target the type of learning that they are doing. What a wonderful model that is so in keeping with the central philosophy of Project NeXt Leadership.
So impressed with the TCDSB now and particularly the 21st Century Learning and AICT team!