Thursday, April 25, 2013

Microsoft Professional Development: Teaching with Technology

As a part of the Microsoft Expert Educator program, we are encouraged to try out the free Teaching with Technology professional development modules available at the Partners in Learning network. (Educators can join the PiL network to access professional development, learning activities and the hot topics blog).  In this post, I am sharing key points and reflections from the course Why does the UNESCO ICT-CFT promote technology literacy?

About the training
  • Personalized Learning: I like how the Microsoft PD model "practices what it preaches".  We know that different students need to learn different things and that each student may need a different learning path to meet their goals, but often when it comes to teacher education we don't apply that principle.  Microsoft has made personalized learning available and effective with this training.  Start with a pre-assessment to identify areas of strength and gaps in your knowledge about teaching with technology.  The pre-assessment will award you completion for the courses in which you already have proficiency and suggest modules that focus on your areas for improvement.  Why relearn what you already know?  
 Big Ideas
  • The Future is Unknown: This video from Beyond Current Horizons reminds us that we are preparing for a largely unknown future.  How does that affect education?  How SHOULD that affect education?  What can we do to ensure a good/positive future?
  • Teachers Must be Learners: Part of why I chose to become a teacher was my love of learning and it's also part of why I love my job!  Our students need us to continue learning in order to provide them with the best education possible.  
  • Technology Literacy: As the training states, "technology literacy is being able to use technology to solve problems".
Favorite Quotes
  • "ICT expands horizons by shrinking worlds." - David Brown
David Brown's quote makes me think of the collaborative opportunities I have had because of ICT "shrinking the world".  My students and I work with classrooms in other locations, I connect with other educators from around the world and we have access to so much information because of ICT. 
  •  "People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking they can do things.  When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success." -  Dr. Norman Vincent Peal
Dr. Norman Vincent Peal's quote applies to both teachers and learners in my opinion.  We want to feel like we CAN and we especially want to teach in a way that helps our students realize they CAN. 
  • "The best way to learn is to teach" - Frank Oppenheimer
Again, learning is one of the things I love most about teaching, so this quote really resonated with me.  It also serves as a good reminder of the value of peer to peer teaching (which I think I could encourage more of in my classroom). 

I encourage fellow educators to check out these PD opportunities, my experience has been positive so far! 

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