SchoolNet SA staff recently participated in a workshop for SACE endorsed training providers that offer courses in digital learning to teachers. The intention of this workshop was to raise awareness of the Department of Basic Education’s Professional Framework for Digital Learning and to ensure that courses being offered to teachers align to the Framework. Whilst teachers are expected to complete professional development activities as part of their SACE registration, ideally these activities should be aligned to a teacher’s own professional needs and growth areas.
We would encourage teachers to complete the diagnostic self-assessment based on the digital learning competencies described in the Framework. This tool will allow you to identify your relative strengths and areas in which you can aim to develop in professionally. Once you have determined which competencies you would like to focus on, the tool will guide you to plan a personal pathway of learning based on your immediate needs and interests.
For example, one teacher who completed the online self-assessment is currently at the A4 level. This indicates that her teaching methods are probably quite teacher and/or device-centred but because she has excellent access to digital tools and resources, she is encouraged to explore more learner-centred teaching methods. The self assessment tool indicates that she should consider B4 to C4 as her learning pathway.
Whilst there is a realization that teachers with access to a wider range of digital tools and learner devices will be able to make more extensive use of digital tools than teachers with limited resources, all teachers can aim to develop professionally within their contexts, using the resources they have available. As there is a range of courses tagged to each of the competencies, it is easy for a teacher to see which courses may develop the competency he/she wants to work on that would work well in his/her context.
SchoolNet SA is proud to have a range of courses that we have either developed or are able to facilitate, listed in the offerings on the diagnostic self-assessment tool. For example, our Change Leadership for ICT Integration course would be a good choice for a teacher wanting to develop the competency focused on accepting “responsibility when planning and implementing digital learning” or the Microsoft Peer Coaching course, which we can facilitate, would be an excellent choice for teachers aiming to “Initiate peer support and collaborative, work-place learning”.
Whilst there is a cost for some of the suggested courses, and schools or districts may not be able to fund courses unless enough teachers were interested in developing a specific competency, some of the courses suggested are available for free, self-study by teachers. For example, a range of courses available through the Microsoft Educator Community are listed which any teacher can do at no cost, simply by joining the platform.
We would encourage individual teachers to determine their own plan for professional growth, and to commit to completing courses that will help them to develop their competencies. School leaders may want to encourage all their teachers to complete the diagnostic self-assessment and to then offer a couple of courses for staff that address competencies that a number of people would like to develop.
Read more about the Professional Development Framework for Digital Learning.