Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Day 109 - TLC: Teaching & Learning Challenge - Jenn Scheffer - BPS Mobile Learning Coach

The BPS EdTech Team is excited to announce a new, personalized professional learning opportunity for Burlington Public Schools teachers. This program is an extension of the BPS EdTech How Do I Do That Series.
The BPS Teaching & Learning Challenge (TLC Program) will provide teachers of all grade levels and content areas the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to:
  1. Transform their instructional practices to include meaningful use of digital tools
  2. Differentiate and personalize learning for students through creating project and/or blended learning experiences into the curriculum
  3. Develop assessments that follow the SAMR Model, provide students with choice, and emphasize the 4 C’s (communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration)
The goal of the TLC program isn’t to simply learn a new technology tool and use it in the classroom. By design this program is not about technology for technology’s sake. While we are encouraging teachers to experiment and explore with new technologies, especially the BPS Foundational Apps, the real purpose of the TLC program is to challenge teachers to think critically about how we are teaching and reaching our students.
A key component of this analysis is to reflect on:
1. Your current pedagogical practices
2. Where, within your teaching practice, the strategic use of digital tools can help students achieve mastery of your course goals and objectives
3. How you can leverage technology to become a facilitator of learning and help students develop deeper understanding in your classroom
The TLC Program is about technology becoming invisible. It’s about using technology to add value to your practice when appropriate. It’s about adding diversity to the current set of tools you use to reach your students. It’s about making technology a part of your classroom routine, versus developing some sort of stand alone “technology project.” It’s about transforming instructional practices to meet the diverse needs of our students. The TLC program is NOT about selecting an app or web based tool and creating an activity or project based on that app. We are hopeful this program will highlight best practices in 21st century teaching and we encourage BPS teachers of all content areas and grade levels to participate in the Teaching and Learning Challenge.
Getting Started with the Teaching and Learning Challenge
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, the TLC program is designed as a highly personalized professional development opportunity for BPS teachers. Because of this, there will be many acceptable products to meet the goals and objectives of this challenge.
Several suggestions to consider include:
  1. The transformation of a current lesson or unit to include the meaningful integration of a technology tool(s).
  2. The development of a rubric for a project involving a technology tool(s)
  3. The creation of formative assessment that can be used to continuously gage student understanding
  4. The creation of a blog or website to distribute work and improve communication with students and parents
In addition to these suggestions, we have compiled a list of links and resources for additional support. We also encourage you to arrange to meet with your school’sInstructional Technology Specialist or Mobile Learning Coach. All members of the BPS EdTech Team are willing and able to assist you in developing a plan to meet the Teaching and Learning Challenge and help you achieve your professional development goals.
Participation in the Teaching and Learning Challenge will provide you with three hours towards in-service credit which can be bundled with hours of participation at How Do I Do That sessions and BPS EdTech events. Ten total hours during the school year will give you provide you with one in-service credit and twenty hours will provide two in-service credits.
Resources for the TLC Program:
The due date for the first round of the BPS EdTech Teaching and Learning Challenge is Monday, April 11.

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