Professional Learning Communities
One component of the 21st Century Professional Development framework encourages sharing knowledge with fellow faculty, using face-to-face, virtual and blended communications. When we think of sharing knowledge, we often think of using professional learning communities. In several of your courses, the concept of a professional learning community (PLC) is presented and elaborated on. A professional learning community consists of individuals with an interest in eduction. The focus of a professional learning community can be taking measures to ensure students learn, creating a culture of collaboration in the school, for school improvement and more (DuFour, 2004). In this discussion, you will deliberate about the use of professional learning communities as they relate to the 21st Century Professional Development framework with an emphasis on technology.
Initial Post: Think about the 21st Century Professional Development framework and technology when working in your mock professional learning community. Next, imagine your state legislatures have asked the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office to advise them regarding the creation of a blended professional learning community across the districts within the state. As an educator who is well versed in employing critical thinking, problem solving and 21st-century skills in the classroom, you have been selected to participate with a group of other teachers to inform and persuade the Analyst’s Office of why the incorporation of technology to work collaboratively with other teachers in the state is important.
Work with your mock PLC group to come up with a supported argument based on personal experiences and scholarly literature in which you:
Discuss how you could incorporate and implement the use of technology to create a blended professional learning community across districts within your state to share knowledge with fellow faculty on how a deeper understanding of subject matter can actually enhance problem solving, critical thinking, and other 21st-century skills.
Discuss how creating a professional learning community can increase the ways teachers seize opportunities for integrating 21st-century skills, tools and teaching strategies into their classroom practice — and help them identify what activities they can replace or de-emphasize.
Link Your ePortfolio
In this discussion, you will attach a link to your ePortfolio and reflect on your redesign activity from the Week Four Assignment. Your instructor will not post individual replies to all learners. Instead, the instructor will post a synthesis of the redesign activity on Day 7 (Monday). The instructor will find common themes and challenges associated with the assignment from Week Four to provide feedback to the class as a whole. Although your instructor will not provide individual feedback, you will be graded on whether or not you attached the link to your ePortfolio (Pathbrite), your reflection of the assignment, and your responses to peers.
Initial Post: Attach a link to your electronic portfolio. Next, in one page, reflect on the major result of your study and why the outcome is interesting, describe the relevance of your findings to the field of education and/or beyond, describe other directions this study could lead to, and summarize the changes you would make to the study in retrospect.
Leadership and 21st-Century Support Systems
This assignment requires you to make connections between 21st-century support systems, specifically 21st Century Professional Development components. As the emphasis is on professional development, consider prior coursework that included collaboration, self-reflection, and other components pertaining to your growth as a practitioner and how that may contribute to student outcomes. There are several approaches you could take with this assignment. However, it is recommended the assignment you select to redesign includes at least one of the components found on the 21st Century Professional Development link and listed here:
Highlights ways teachers can seize opportunities for integrating 21st century skills, tools, and teaching strategies into their classroom practice — and help them identify what activities they can replace/de-emphasize.
Balances direct instruction with project-oriented teaching methods.
Illustrates how a deeper understanding of subject matter can actually enhance problem-solving, critical thinking, and other 21st century skills.
Enables 21st century professional learning communities for teachers that model the kinds of classroom learning that best promotes 21st century skills for students.
Cultivates teachers’ ability to identify students’ particular learning styles, intelligences, strengths, and weaknesses.
Helps teachers develop their abilities to use various strategies (such as formative assessments) to reach diverse students and create environments that support differentiated teaching and learning.
Supports the continuous evaluation of students’ 21st century skills development.
Encourages knowledge sharing among communities of practitioners, using face-to-face, virtual, and blended communications.
Uses a scalable and sustainable model of professional development.
For example, you may redesign an instructional plan with assessment plans embedded throughout, or a full assessment plan including a summative assessment that demonstrates either points f or g, both focusing on student assessment. On the other hand, you might select a previous assignment that focused on professional collaboration and/or PLCs and modify it to support points d, h, or i. If you do not have previous assignments to use in this assignment, please contact your instructor for guidelines on how to proceed. As needed, refer to the MAED program learning outcomes (PLOs) list as needed. Upload your assignment to the course for evaluation and to your ePortfolio (Pathbrite).
Create your assignment to meet the content and written communication expectations below.
The Redesign expectations explain what you are required to do with the prior coursework you choose to redesign. The Summary expectations are for the separate written portion of this assignment.
Redesign – 21st Century Professional Development (3 Points): Redesign of an instructional plan with assessment plans embedded throughout, or a full assessment plan with a summative assessment that includes integration of 21st Century Skills, teaching strategies, project-oriented teaching methods, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Summary – Introduction/Conclusion (1 Point): A one paragraph introduction to the summary that concisely presents the scope and organization of the summary writing, as well as a one paragraph conclusion that recaps your summary’s key points.
Summary – Modification (1 Point): In one paragraph, summarize the changes you made to your activity to meet the redesign expectations for this assignment. Explicitly state how your redesign assignment provides evidence of mastery of PLOs 5 and 7
Summary – Reflection (1 Point): Summarize, in one paragraph, your experience with the redesign in terms of challenges you encountered and how you overcame those challenges.
Written Communication Expectations
Page Requirement (.5 points): Two to four pages, not including title and references pages.
APA Formatting (.5 points): Use APA formatting consistently throughout the assignment.
Syntax and Mechanics (.5 points): Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics such as spelling and grammar.
Source Requirement (.5 points): References three scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook. All sources on the references page need to be used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.
For information related to APA style, including samples and tutorials, please visit the Ashford Writing Center.
Burnaford, G., & Brown, T. (2014). Teaching and learning in 21st century learning environments: A reader. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Chapter 6: Leading Change in Education
DuFour, R. (2004, May). What is a professional learning community? Schools as Learning Communities 61(8), 6-11. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may04/vol61/num08/What-Is-a-Professional-Learning-Community%C2%A2.aspx
In this article, DuFour discusses what professional learning communities are and how we can incorporate them into our schools to ensure students learn, create a school culture of collaboration, and a focus on results.
NETS for students 2007. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards-for-students/nets-student-standards-2007
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a website that provides a way for educators to connect with peers and share knowledge and ideas. ISTE also offers innovative EdTech resources to support professional learning in the education field.
Read the standards. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards
This website from the U.S. Department of Education defines the Common Core State Standards and what is expected of students at each grade level. The focus of CCSS is on core conceptual understandings and procedures starting in the early grades, providing teachers a timeline needed to teach core concepts and allowing each student the time needed to master the concepts.
Framework for 21st century learning. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework
The Framework for 21st Century Learning presents an all-inclusive view of 21st-century teaching and learning. It combines a focus on student outcomes with support systems that help students’ master skills they will need in the 21st century.
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