Using technology for global collective teacher inquiry

I have developed a technology-enriched learning environment for teachers at my school and globally. It is an online learning community to collectively construct knowledge about international mindedness, language and literacy learning in international schools.

Introducing SPELTAC

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Using one or both of the TPACK or SAMR frameworks, how would I evaluate my own practice of technology integration?

Reading through TPACK.org,  I connected SPELTAC with:

“Understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies.”

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“Pedagogical techniques that use technologies in constructive ways to teach content and knowledge of how technologies can be used to build on existing knowledge to develop new epistemologies or strengthen old ones.”

In the footer of the SPELTAC website I have added:

 

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In the Orientation Course I have explained the rationale, or the approach to learning for SPELTAC:

Through purposeful documentation of and reflection on the process of teaching and learning on blogs, a school can collaboratively make the classroom reality more visible, and from this understandings can be formed and ideas can be generated to improve student learning. The SPELTAC model of learning supports school change in two ways. One is that through the process of blogging and sharing a supportive environment and a culture of thinking is established and maintained. This type of environment is crucial to making school changes that are long-lasting and consistent throughout the school. Secondly, learning through blogging provides teachers with a forum to try out strategies for English language learners, to improve them, and to reflect on how they support language and literacy learning.

You can read more about documentation and reflection for learning in the book Visible Learners: Promoting Reggio Inspired Approaches in All Schools. There is curated content from this book (by Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano) in a Storify slideshow.

Technology (documentation on blogs and social media) facilitates the process of making our inquiries visible. We can gain insights from the class next door, but also from a class on another continent and vice versa. Additionally, through adopting this approach to professional learning, which is grounded in the theory of Connectivism, we are mastering 21st century literacies, and we need those to facilitate learning for our students in an ever-changing world.

And also tried to make the approach clear through:

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I use Twitter as a tool to connect our learning using  #speltac. It’s pretty exciting to see how educators are sharing their learning on international mindedness, language and literacy in international schools! Have a peak at the Paper.li magazine I publish each week to curate the best content from the site.


 

In this post I have reflected mainly on how the courses and platform I have created (a multi-site with blogs), social media and curation tools have facilitated learning for others in a way that was ‘previously inconceivable’ (SAMR Model). It is now possible to connect, reflect and learn from educators globally and collectively create new understandings. But I’m also aware there is more potential for the use of technology tools through this platform that I am discovering on a daily basis. The latest I have added to the site is Flipgrid, so that participants can get to see who is in their cohort and connect ‘face-to-face’. Although technology is not the focus of SPELTAC, I would love to see more participants use technology tools and am thinking of adding a new feature in the ‘blog ideas’ section which includes The SAMR Pad Wheel, so that participants can start to consider using technology tools in redefining language and literacy learning. There is one very good example here, in which the Coach App is used to use ‘exploratory talk’ to practice subject-specific language in PE.

What do you think? Have I developed a “technology-enriched learning environment that enables all [learners] to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress?” (COETAIL, Course 4) In what are other ways can I influence the learning landscape for our linguistically diverse students?

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