Learning walks are expensive to fund when students are in school. Walking through empty classrooms does not really allow a teacher to fully demonstrate her class in action. So how can we best share our evolving e-learning pedagogy to our peers? Our classrooms are now awash with technology and even if they are not, most teachers will now have a phone that has a camera in it, or better still a smart phone that can take video, images and record sound. How can we harness the smartphone for staff development?
Creating sustainability for e-learning is a two pronged campaign. A school needs to provide support to staff when they are ready to receive it. Which is why the cascade model is not really effective for staff PD. A staff member who is not ready to listen or accept new learning will not benefit from the cascade model. But when they are ready, often the support or the initiative has moved on. Which is why a library of practical tutorials such as the free ones we offer to you provide a solid foundation for creating a sustainable e-learning environment at your school. These tutorials are a just in time 24/7 resource for staff.
In addition to the skills support that these tutorials offer to both students and teachers alike, capturing practice in the classroom as it happens is key to sustainability. What teachers often want to see is e-learning in action. Requests to visit other schools are again an expensive option for principals to manage. Visiting other schools is a good option, if expensive, but by continually doing this a school is neglecting the expertise growing within.
By creating a staff PD resource such as a private blog, wiki or LMS page. A school can create a 24/7 JIT learning resource for tutorials and a space to capture how staff within school are managing and using e-learning tools in their class. Smartphones enable us to capture the lesson in real time. By sharing this captured content and using it as a tool for syndicate or whole staff PD, the school will grow together and also create a resource that will grow over time, so that the lessons learned can be shared with new and future staff as they arrive in school. In effect, a school that follows this practice will be creating 'digital learning walks.'
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