Glimpse of my final research paper…

Title: Self-directed teacher inquiry in technology integration: Exploring the dynamics of synchronous and asynchronous collaborative teacher learning

Abstract: There is no one way for a teacher to learn about, implement and use technology in his or her practice.  In a qualitative narrative study, three Ontario teachers were interviewed, chosen for their exemplary use of technology in their classrooms.  Publicly promoted and vetted as model educators, these teachers are at different stages in their careers and have undergone different forms of professional development and training regarding educational technology. Their classroom practices and uses of technology also differ, but all are grounded in Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Mishra and Koehler 2006).  In discussing their experiences with technology integration, interesting connections among their practices emerge.  The three teachers emphasize the need for authentic modeling of technology use for students and mentorship/relationship building with other educators.  They highlight the need to build and maintain professional relationships with both face-to-face and on-line peers. In particular, this paper will focus on the teachers’ use of synchronous and asynchronous collaborative learning to support their professional growth and inquiry in technology integration and other areas of instruction.  Despite the tensions and differences between their individual experiences, these teachers’ perspectives shed light onto considerations and possible avenues/models for professional development – for individual teachers, whole school, and board-wide initiatives.

Acknowledgements: I would like to express my gratitude to my research supervisor, Dr. Kim MacKinnon and program director, Dr. Jim Hewitt.  These two professors sparked my interest and passion in educational/instructional technology and have fully supported my multi-faceted teacher inquiry and the exploration of diverse interests, research, and projects in education.  I would also like to thank my research participants for sharing their classrooms, pedagogies and philosophies in education. Most especially, thank you for continuing the dialogue and collaboration beyond the interviews.  You three are my mentor and inspire me to continue to learn with and from others, and share my own learning and experiences.  You three, alongside our educator and education friends in Ontario and abroad, serve as exemplary practitioners of authentic, self-directed teacher inquiry in blended environments.  My research simply serves to share our stories and experiences, to stress the importance of meaningful mentorship, sharing, and continuous growth as educators, life-long learners and professionals.

All Candidates Meeting – Tonight (Feb 16)

When? Thursday February 16th, from 6:30 to 9:00pm
Where? Kennedy Public School, 20 Elmfield Crescent (Google Map: http://g.co/maps/uk6yv)
We are writing to invite residents in Ward 20 to an all-candidates meeting to learn about and meet their candidates for School Board Trustee before you head to the polls on February 27th, 2012.
This event is organized by community members, local non-profit organizations and the Scarborough Civic Action Network (SCAN) – it is a non-partisan and inclusive community event.
Do I live in Ward 20? The School Board District of Ward 20 is between Steeles (north) and Ellesmere (south), and Victoria Park (west) and Midland (east). (Map of Ward 20: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/about_us/street_guide/maps/ward%2020%20facilities.pdf)

Media coverage #3

Here’s an article written by parent advocate and consultant, Lorna Costantini.

Excerpt:

Transparent and open communications with parents – Monica Batac

by LORNA on JANUARY 17, 2012

Monica Batac has put her name forth for the position of Trustee for Ward 20 Scarbourgh/Agincourt for the Toronto District School Board. If I lived in her ward, she would get my vote.

Monica believes that we must.

      Share information with parents using social media
      Train parents how to use social media
      Develop collaborative and transparent dialogue with parents using social media

Those 3 small looking points are actually HUGE in getting parents involved and engaged in their child’s learning. It takes a confident, knowledgeable and committed person to be willing to hear from all parents on their own time and in their own way. Sheila Stewartand I were just writing and wondering about how many parents who are using social media are using it to engage with schools. Toronto District School Board has been very innovative in its use of technology, Chris Spence DE is on Twitter, TDSB has had a twitter account, facebook page and YouTube channel for over 2 years. I need to ask how that is going.

The difference I can see Monica making is that she plans to garner feedback and not just share out information. I think that is excellent and necessary to share information but too many times I see the ball dropped at a point when schools think they have fulfilled their role by sharing information. ” I sent the note home” “I posted the details on my blog” are common statements schools make. I know parents can say without reservation. Note – what note?

There is a responsibility on the part of parents to pay attention and respond to communications from their school but checking in on parents to see if they are up to date is a huge time commitment but it pays off.

 
Read the full article here.