As I reflected on the learning designer standard, I recognized several parallels between the first and third indicators. Both of these indicators focus learning coaches to model and support educators in designing learning experiences that are active and engaging, promote student agency, and are accessible for all students to be successful. These two indicators complement each other well in that indicator “4a” focuses on providing students with voice and choice in demonstrating their competency, while indicator “4c” focuses on accommodating student learning styles through accessibility and personalization. In my blog post, Cultivating Collaboration and Authentic Learning Experiences with Screencastify, I discuss how coaches can support educators in using digital tools like Screencastify to develop collaborative, engaging opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding. Screencastify provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of new concepts, while also providing them with practice in verbal reasoning and justifying their thinking by being concise in their video recordings. Through my research for this blog post, I also found that coaches can collaborate with educators to use Screencastify to foster student collaboration through peer feedback. While peer revising and editing, students could record their screen while reading their peers’ writing and providing them with feedback. Not only does this help to strengthen revising and editing skills, but it provides learners the chance to hear more explanation and clarification around this feedback. These examples are just a few of the ways educators can use Screencastify to improve their instructional practices by collaborating with students, leveraging their expertise, and creating authentic learning opportunities.
Another blog post that demonstrates evidence of this indicator, is my blog post, Cultivating Community, Fostering Empathy, & Enriching Learning with Podcasting. In this blog post, I explored podcasting as a digital tool educators can use to enhance learning, support the fostering of empathy, and provide students with opportunities to make positive, socially responsible contributions. Podcasting provides authentic opportunities for collaboration and community building. Students can play an active role in building community within their classroom by collaborating with their peers to produce a group podcast, develop a shared vision, and deliver content to a larger audience. Podcasting can also be an empowering space for students to find their voice and express themselves creatively. Coaches can support educators in using podcasting in the classroom to enhance their instructional practices and offer students authentic, meaningful learning experiences. Podcasting requires students to think critically, problem-solve, and develop their communication skills. It also offers students a way for students to demonstrate their learning in an engaging, authentic way. Through the process of podcasting, students are given the opportunity to take ownership of the work and have autonomy.
One way that I have worked with educators to plan active learning experiences that accommodate for learner variability is through Seesaw professional development I facilitated last fall. In this professional development, I created opportunities for educators to experience what the Seesaw learning platform is like from a student interface. As I was creating the Seesaw Digital Licenses for this professional development, I thought about my experience using digital badges and certificates with my students in the past, and how students shared how much they enjoyed the autonomy they felt in completing the tasks at their own pace. Seesaw Digital Licenses incorporate self-paced tasks for students to complete to demonstrate their understanding and expertise on the use of different Seesaw skills and tools. As students progress in their understanding of Seesaw, they can move to higher certification levels that challenge them to demonstrate more advanced skills. While these tasks are differentiated in their difficulty, each of the certification levels maintains cohesiveness in the terminology, usage, and essential skills. As a part of the training, educators were asked to complete the Seesaw Digital Licenses like their students would be doing. This experience reminded me of how important it is for coaches to model authentic, active learning experiences, to support educators in seeing how this can be developed in their own classrooms. You can read more about this professional learning in my blog post, Utilizing Digital Licenses to Engage Learners in Using Seesaw – A Community Engagement Project.
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches