A tool in hand is worth… nothing without proper PD

Developed for teams of administrators, classroom teachers, and technology coaches, the facilitated, five-module program will be delivered online four times during the 2014-2015 school year. Working in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education, the academy offers a robust curriculum, aligned to the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age.

The course begins with an overview of mobile learning and its real-life classroom implications, supported by hands-on activities designed to help participants gauge their school’s or district’s readiness to undertake a mobile learning initiative. After conducting a guided self-evaluation of each implementation site based on ISTE’s Essential Conditions, teams receive a presentation highlighting specific areas of strength and weakness. The course then offers a wealth of information, ideas, and in-depth activities to help answer crucial questions that emerge as the teams implement their mobile learning initiatives.

Each team also meets with an instructional consultant twice a month, and has the opportunity to work with other schools’ teams during three academy-wide synchronous online meetings. The academy offers 2.5 continuing education units from Johns Hopkins University.
The inaugural cohort of school teams participating in this exciting new program is nearing completion, and registration is now open for the next session, which begins January 12, 2015. Two other sessions will also be offered in 2015, starting July 20 and October 5. Interested teams can pre-register online.

Educators around the country recognize that providing their students with an engaging, motivating, and rigorous learning environment has the potential to put them on a path to success in school, college, and career. Just like a hospital wouldn’t risk patients’ lives by making a spontaneous change in the way surgery is performed, schools can’t make the switch to mobile learning without planning and providing professional learning opportunities.

Students’ lives can be positively changed forever when the transition to mobile learning is managed well. The VMLA was developed to help educators ensure that happens.

Wendy Drexler, Ph.D., is ISTE’s chief innovation officer, and responsible for the ISTE Standards, professional learning services, and the association’s thought leadership teams, including research and evaluation.

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