Leaders model and promote continuous professional learning for themselves and others. Education leaders:
- (5a) Set goals to remain current on emerging technologies for learning, innovations in pedagogy and advancements in the learning sciences.
- (5b) Participate regularly in online professional learning networks to collaboratively learn with and mentor other professionals.
- (5c) Use technology to regularly engage in reflective practices that support personal and professional growth.
- (5d) Develop the skills needed to lead and navigate change, advance systems and promote a mindset of continuous improvement for how technology can improve learning.
I am encouraged to create goals for myself at the beginning of each year and submit them to the Head of School. Consisting of both personal and professional goals, they serve to keep me on track of my own professional development, growth mindset, and keep me informed in the latest trends and pedagogy in my discipline.
There are a handful of online forums that are targeted for individuals in my field, both in my previous role as Director of Technology at Greens Farms Academy and in my new role as Director of the Glimcher Tech and Design Hub at Shady Side Academy:
ISED – L
ISED-L is a forum for the needs and interests of the independent school community. It is a vehicle for faculty, staff, and administrators to seek advice, to establish new friendships, to locate collaborators for online and offline projects, and to post conference, employment, and other announcements. Ellen Berne of Winsor School founded ISED-L in February 1994. Her vision and her dedication enabled thousands of us independent school educators to join with peers in thoughtful conversation about our work. (1)
I dedicate 15 minutes per day reading updated posts that come directly to my inbox and filter to a folder dedicated to ISED-L, although this time may be extended when I reply on a topic I can offer some insight on.
K-12-fablabs and Makerspaces is a Google group that serves as a forum for all things about making and digital fabrication in K-12 education – equipment reviews, conference/workshop announcements, rumors about new gadgets, troubleshooting problems, advice about vendors, cool resources for projects, etc.
I have been active on Twitter (@RobinsonJesse) ever since becoming an educator. In my opinion it is an invaluable tool for maintaining relationships with peer educators I meet at conferences as well as a good resource for querying opinions on any topic when paired with appropriate hashtags. My twitter feed can be viewed on the left column and I primarily use it to share faculty and student work.
I am an active blogger (http://jrobinson.ghostshell.com) and use this forum to share reflections, experience, and challenges I have faced in the various positions I have held in the independent school environment. Specifically, on my Techbytes page, I share different tools I have encountered and thought might be of use to other educators. This upcoming school year (2020-2021) I will be starting a podcast with another Makerspace director to discuss the latest trends in Maker education as well as showcase the various types of equipment that we both utilize in our respective spaces.
Growing with Canvas
In February of 2020 Administrators at Shady Side Academy were invited to partake in the ‘Growing with Canvas’ professional development course after a decision to move to Canvas was made by the IT Department and the Department Heads in 2019. Eight administrators, including myself, formed a cohort and
began the PD together, discussing pedagogical best practices, engagement strategies, and brainstormed templates that could be deployed to faculty for a continuous, consistent school brand. The implementation of Canvas has begun (Summer 2020) and we are currently training the faculty on the use of this innovative LMS.