Nearly 25 teachers and administrators from all FWSU schools have begun a graduate course, Digital Learning Through Action Research. Using action research, participants will research, plan, design and evaluate strategies to integrate digital tools using MacBooks and iPads into their practice. By sharing their action research plans for digital learning with others in a personal learning network, each will be able to collaborate and gain feedback from peers. This Action research process will act as a catalyst to promote further inquiry into how digital learning can best be integrated.
As teachers became more competent and more fearless, we have created teacher-centered opportunities through blended and self-paced learning opportunities, and teacher-driven action research.
The participants in the course start out the course with exploratory sessions using different digital tools on the Macbook. After examining how digital tools can be used, the participants will then pick a topic to explore further through action research.
Based on the growth mindset, the DLAR course allows people to try new ways of digital learning, gathering data from their work with students, and then plan forward designing ways they will continue with work. The course puts the technology into their hands, the resources in their back pockets, and the pat on the back they need to take the first crazy steps.
The professional development in FWSU created a flexible learning environment for teachers through a blended learning model and creative use of funds. Teachers design their own course based on their personal learning needs. Because teachers chose their own action research and pedagogy they wanted to examine in their content areas, they get to direct their own learning.
The DLAR used the framework of the iTunes U to gather the action research artifacts and teacher’s on-the spot reflections. Teachers were invited to learn the iTunes U course manager in order to gather and document evidence of the digital learning of both the adult facilitating the learning and the students invited into the learning.