Through our Digital Learning Portal, blogs and regular workshops, staff are encouraged to showcase and share their practice. The concept of peer sharing and learning through collaboration has become a focus of teacher learning as we have found peer sharing to be the best way to enthuse teachers about the use of technology to support their teaching practice. When surveyed, 95% of staff rated this as useful professional development, compared to 63% who found in-classroom support from a specialist technology coach useful.
Digital Literacy Coaches
UWCSEA's Professional Learning Programme (PLP) for teachers supports inquiry, reflection, and sharing. The technology goals of the PLP are supported by the work of the eight Digital Literacy Coaches who are a key resource supporting the professional learning of faculty. The group focuses on delivering support in a range of formats, including coaching, team teaching, modeling and facilitating workshops. With one coach to an average of 70 teachers, there is a high level of individual support available.
At an individual level, the Digital Literacy Coaches support teachers as they progress with their PLP, encouraging them to reflect on their professional practice through a dialogue with mentors and 'critical friends' and through the use of feedback. This cycle of inquiry promotes continued reflection and experimentation in how we use digital technologies with our students.
One of the key ways that our Digital Literacy Coaches highlight and share good practice is through their blogs, which are constantly updated with exemplars and good advice, as well as thought provoking research pieces.
In addition to our Digital Literacy Coaches, we have identified another 45 staff who are designated “Tech Mentors.” Tech Mentors are a group of lead teachers who are recognised for their knowledge and skills in using technology to enhance teaching and learning in their area. They act as peer support to extend and enhance the work of the digital literacy team. These teachers, nearly 10% of all faculty, are rewarded with additional professional development opportunities and priority access to new technology. Their initial professional development was a three-day retreat focusing on cognitive coaching and digital literacy skills. Overtime our Tech Mentors have become beacons of best practice and on occasions presenters at conferences around the Asia-Pacific region.