Once again, I’m a bit behind in my posting. I guess it’s a good thing that I’m so busy:)
As part of our action research for PLP, we are running a Mentorship program at our various locations. We are trying to incorporate the T-PACK model in our approach to being mentors to our colleagues.
“Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) is a framework to understand and describe the kinds of knowledge needed by a teacher for effective pedagogical practice in a technology enhanced learning environment.”
We are very cognizant of the fact that many try and incorporate technology in the classroom without a lot of thought about “why”. In fact, in our group discussions we have all admitted to doing the very same early on. It’s very tempting to get caught up with the shiny new toys without thinking of how and why they could enhance learning.
Since I’m not assigned to one specific location, my role of mentor is to support the other mentors at their locations- specifically with how the library and our online resources and tools can support learning. I can also share the kinds of work I’ve been doing with teachers at my various schools.
So, on Thursday March 28 I spent the morning at Doon with Jeff Pelich and his PLP mentees. His admin were incredibly supportive of our Mentorship program. They were so supportive that they encouraged Jeff to include more than one mentee (as per our original plan). He now actually has two groups- one Language teachers and the other with a math focus. Needless to say, his hands are full so I went out to see how I could support them with the work they are doing.
When I arrived, Jeff was showing the group (including the VP) some of the clips from The Agenda’s Learning 2030: Teachers Facing the Future. He had already set up a TodaysMeet for them to back channel their ideas. This was a new tool for them to use and it was interesting to see the difference between those who embraced back channelling and those that found the experience stressful. After the session we had some great discussion around technology and its impact on learning.
I really enjoyed the fact that all the mentees were keen to participate in the mentorship program despite their varying comfort levels. I also appreciated how honest they were in terms of where they were at and where they wanted to go. It was really refreshing and gave great insight into where we needed to develop our mentorship program.
We spent the rest of the time getting them all comfortable with using TodaysMeet, Evernote and some other Web 2.0 tools they wanted to use. In addition, we spent some time familiarizing them with the iPads and the various apps that could be used to create content.
When I left, the group was excited and pumped to try out a few things with their students. I really think it helped that they knew there were two mentors available to support them in their learning.
It was a great way to spend the morning before the holiday weekend:)