Education is changing. Again. This time, it’s not about iPads and Chromebooks; it’s 1:1 computing. More than 50% of teachers report they have one computer for every student (on average) and that changes for the better every year. Digital devices, be they iPads, laptops, Chromebooks, Macs, or PCs, give students access to endless amounts of web-based resources for research, inquiry, collaboration, sharing, and more. Schools are no longer reliant on years-old (or decades-old) textbooks written for the average student, whoever that is. It has become increasingly possible to personalize learning–adapt resources and assessments to student skills and needs and differentiate lessons that are pushed out to individual students or small groups (read: Shifting my Teacher Mindset with Micro-credentials).
To do that requires competencies most teacher training programs never considered. As a result, an increasing number of schools are making micro-credentials a fundamental piece in their professional development plan.
What are Micro-credentials?
Micro-credentials are short, low-cost, focused, online classes that are self-paced and student-driven, offering competency-based recognition for skills educators want to learn to buttress their teaching.
Because they aren’t long tedious seminars, expensive college classes, or comprehensive certificate courses, they were ignored by administrators in the past. Not anymore.
Holiday gifts for teachers are a challenge. If your child has many teachers, it’s difficult to find a personalized gift for each that is both affordable and valued. For me, as a teacher, I am always happy with a gift certificate that works anywhere, but there are time-proven ways to get more creative than a gift that sounds like “Money.”
When I chat with teacher friends, here are the most popular holiday gifts they’ve gotten over the years. Many are free, and others allow you to spend only what you can afford while still giving a gift the teacher will love.
You’ve been teaching for five years and love what you’re doing. You consider yourself darn lucky to be working with colleagues that are friends and a boss who always puts your needs first. Most of the teachers at your school have been there years — even decades — and you have no doubt that, too, will be you. So, you don’t bother to keep your resume up-to-date or expand your teaching skills other than what is required for your position. In short, you found the square hole that fits your square peg.
Until the day that changes. There are dozens of reasons, from new bosses who want to shake things up to your husband gets a job in a different state. The only good news: Your boss told you already, giving you time to job hunt for the new school year. For many schools, if they’re going to make staffing changes, early Spring is when they start looking for the new people. For you as a job hunting educator, this becomes the best time of year to find a job.
Digital portfolio sites
Rather than a two-page printed document that can be lost and serves only one user, a digital portfolio posts your resume online, in an easy-to-understand format. This makes it more available, transparent, robust, and quickly updated. This is the modern resume, tells future bosses you can use technology as a tool, and can give you an edge in a competitive job market. It organizes your qualifications, evidence, and background in one easy-to-reach online location. Interested parties can check it without bothering you and decide if the fit is good. You do nothing — which can save the disappoint of sending out a resume and getting nothing but silence back.
Here are suggestions for digital portfolio sites:
Summer is coming, and so is Summer Tech Learning! Join me with a great group of professionals (who will quickly become your best online friends) for one or more of these five classes on tech topics you want to learn.
Note: Early Bird special for those who sign up by May 15th: Use coupon code SUMMERPD to get 10% off!
There are five options, four of them detailed below:
- The Tech-infused Teacher
- The Tech-infused Class (sequel to Tech-infused Teacher)
- Teaching Writing with Technology
- 20 Webtools in 20 Days
- 20 Webtools in 20 Days–K-8 Tech Curriculum edition
At the completion, you get 18-24 hours of professional development credit (depending upon which course you take) and a Certificate of Completion itemizing your accomplishments.
There are two ways to sign up–
- sign up as an individual (not available for 20 Webtools in 20 Days–K-8 Tech Curriculum edition)
- sign up as a group of five and save 30%!
You can use your personal credit card, school card, or a school PO.
Back in December, ISTE asked for assistance reviewing draft 1 of the 2017 ISTE Standards for Teachers. You all responded wonderfully! Last week ISTE released draft v2 of the 2017 ISTE Standards for Teachers and expects to release one more draft in February before they are finalized and released at the ISTE conference in June. Carolyn Sykora, Senior Director of ISTE Standards Program, is asking for your help to ensure that they capture key knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to operationalize the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students and prepare teacher candidates to work in schools that increasingly invest in technology. The standards will need to serve the field for 5 to 10 years. This poses a unique challenge in the world of standards because devices, tools, and digital content are released every day and have the potential to impact how, where and what we learn. The goal–as many of us know–is to inspire teachers and teacher candidates to explore and examine how to meaningfully leverage these resources for learning.
Here’s the survey link. Please click and share your thoughts.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.
As many of you know, I am one of the group of ISTE/CAEP reviewers. ISTE is working on revisions for the Standards for Teachers and would like your assistance reviewing and commenting on the draft v1 of the 2017 ISTE Standards for Teachers.
“Between now and Feb 28, when the public comment period ends, we will release one or two more drafts. I encourage you to share far and wide with colleagues in teacher preparation and with candidates aspiring to become our future educators so that they have a voice in the development of these standards by:
- Sharing out this individual survey link
- Requesting the Teacher Refresh toolkit to lead discussions at staff or district meetings, conferences, or virtual events
Please take some time to review these and provide your feedback!
Here are thirteen of the top tips for teachers new to technology, according to Ask a Tech Teacher readers:
- Top 10 Reasons to Sign Up for Summer Learning with Ask a Tech Teacher
- 169 Real-World Ways to Put Tech into Your Class–NOW
- 6 Tech Best Practices for New Teachers
- New to technology? Follow my classes
- How Teachers Learn About New Edtech Products (Round-up)
- New Tech Teacher? I Understand You
- 5 Must-have Skills for New Tech Teachers Plus One Extra
- 5 Ways Teachers Can Stay on Top of Technology
- 10 Tips for Teachers who Struggle with Technology
- Best-Kept Secrets for Teaching Tech to Kids
- A Day in the Life of a Tech Teacher
- How to Talk to a Tech Teacher
- 18 Things Teachers Do Before 8am