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The Role of Professional Development in Digital Learning
from NCTE INBOX 2-5-13
  

The Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) and dozens of education partners, including NCTE, are ready for the second annual Digital Learning Day, Wednesday, February 6. Digital Learning Day is "a national campaign that celebrates teachers and shines a spotlight on successful instructional practice and effective use of technology in classrooms across the country."

Number three on the list of "Five Reasons to Participate in Digital Learning Day" reads, "Digital learning can connect teachers, librarians, and other educators to communities of practice and help them grow as professionals. Digital learning is more than just digital tools for instruction -- it's also online professional communities that have developed around every possible social media platform that allows teachers to connect with like-minded colleagues from around the country -- and around the world." The following resources from NCTE, ReadWriteThink.org, and the National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) provide more information on digital professional learning.

Social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, NCTE's Connected Community, NCLE's Literacy in Learning Exchange, and others are proving to be valuable places for educators to find personal and professional support as described in "Capitalizing on Social Media to Find Professional Community."

 "Can Online Learning Communities Foster Professional Development?" suggests enhancing professional development by using digital tools to create professional learning communities (PLCs) that support collective inquiry and action research leading to schoolwide improvement.

A classroom teacher reflects on the benefits of professional development that led to improved and energized student writing in "Regaining Momentum: Teacher Inquiry as Ongoing Professional Development." Traditional professional development sparked her interest, but it was the support of a teacher inquiry group that provided the catalyst she needed to effect significant change in both teacher practice and student learning. Follow the work of other teacher inquiry groups or share the work of your own professional learning team by joining the Literacy in Learning Exchange network.

"Creating a Breathing Space: An Online Teachers' Writing Group" profiles a mentoring relationship that began as part of teacher preparation and then evolved into a professional community that stayed connected via several modes of communication.

For Digital Learning Day, NCTE has posted a list of titles, guidelines/position statements, and On Demand Web seminars, and a link to NCLE resources to help you integrate technology in instruction in ways that are meaningful and authentic.

It's important to remember that "Digital Learning Is about More Than Tools." As Lara Hebert writes, "When we talk about the need for digital literacy, technology integration, and digital learning, we need to remember that effective digital learning is not just about the technology tools that are available in the classroom, but about their effective and meaningful use in instruction. Digital Learning Day should be as much (if not more so) about the ongoing professional learning needs and the organizational structures provided to educators to ensure their ability to continuously learn and grow in this area."

Talk about it!
How
did you celebrate Digital Learning Day yourself and with your students? Tell us in the comments box below!

 

 
  
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