ISTE Standards for Educators: The Learner (source: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators)
Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning. Educators:
Ø 1a Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
Ø 1b Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
Ø 1c Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
Educators should model a life-long learner standard. Part of this is setting educational goals. Teachers should set new goals each year. If you are not sure where to start, reading is always a good place. Reading new material can lead to improving current classroom practices and inspire one to try new things, and it is a great place to start with setting new goals.
Read everything you have time for related to your educational discipline. This can include blogs and wikis but also research. If you have more time, read material related to other educational disciplines to stretch yourself. If you are an elementary math teacher, learning more complex mathematical concepts may inspire how you teach the basics. Also, read about educational standards and practices in other countries.
Finally, decide what is most important to you this year. The article “Goal-Setting for Teacher: 8 Paths to Self-Improvement” at cultofpedagogy.com provide some good starting points.
When you consider a PLN, think not just what you can get from it but what you have to offer. If you are an experienced teacher, you have a great deal to share and you can help mentor less experienced teachers. Teachers love to teach, right? What better way is there than to share all that you have learned through your joys and struggles to help others become better teachers themselves?
If you are a member of ISTE, you probably are already aware of the PLNs available through the organization. That is a wonderful place to start. Periodically, you want to revisit the Learning Networks page to see what is new and what meets your needs in the place you currently are. The key to meeting the ISTE Learn standard requires more than just membership; it requires meaningful participation. If online PLN’s are not what works for you, consider joining or starting one at your school or campus. You can invite educators in your school and neighboring schools.
1c Stay Current with Research
If you have been reading to set your goals for the year, you already have this one covered. Choosing what research to read can be an overwhelming task. I recommend not going it alone. One thing you might do is ask members of your PLN to read different sources and then come together to share what you have learned. You can do this face-to-face or using a blog or wiki. If you are someone who prefers to work alone, limit your research choices to one specific area at a time. Read the abstracts carefully so you know if a research study is right for you. Finally, if you do not have the time to read a whole article or study, read just the introduction and the conclusions.
Perhaps your professional goal for this year will be to become more active in a PLN, or even start one so that you can stay current with best practices in your field of education.
· The Library of Congress Research Tools at loc.gov
· ISTE Professional Learning Networks at iste.org
· Education PLNs on Pinterest
· Goal-Setting for Teacher: 8 Paths to Self-Improvement at cultofpedagogy.com