ESU7 is just about done with the first cohort of the Clarity survey from BrightBytes, and a second cohort has just started. As I have been looking at the data from an ESU-wide level, and at the district level there are some things that concern me a little. I am finding some changes that need to be made in the trainings and workshops that I offer to the teachers and administrators of ESU7.
I really like the data that I am getting from these surveys. I am realizing that from the classroom standpoint that teachers and students are needing some help in the 4C’s area (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). These are the skills that students are needing to succeed in the world today. I at least have an idea of how I can change my trainings to model the 4C’s so they can take that back to their schools and improve in this area.
Another area for needing improvement is Student Digital Citizenship. I think that this area is always going to be needing improvement. There is so little time in the day to teach this to students that it gets left behind. I am helping a school out with a technology bootcamp and discussing digital citizenship with their students. I am sharing the digital citizenship results with those students from their Clarity survey. Of the four questions that were asked, I am covering three of them in my presentation. Maybe students just need to hear about this from someone other than teachers that they see every day for it to make an impact.
The last area that I am going to talk about is Professional Learning. Why would I be talking about this? Teachers are saying they get technology PD from their district during the year. It is the willingness of teachers to go to workshops, trainings, edcamps, twitter, etc on their own time that isn't sponsored by their school or when they are off contract time. If we don’t do this, how are we modeling what we are preaching about being lifelong learners to our students. I like to promote those gatherings that fit the “off contract” time PD. Edcamps, summer workshops, summer conferences, twitter chats and more. I will keep doing this as long as I can because it is a valuable experience for teachers to connect with others outside their district. I have even said in the past and will continue to say: if I am going to an EdCamp (Omaha or Central Nebraska) I will drive from Columbus if anyone wants to meet me here! The offer is open when I go to EdCamp Omaha on March 22nd, and I still have PLENTY of room! Also, if you are on my way, I will stop and pick you up!