KDSL Global Team article featured in Teach Middle East Magazine

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The KDSL Global Team wrote an article focused on personalized professional learning that was featured in the Back to School issue of Teach Middle East Magazine. To view the entire issue visit https://view.joomag.com/teach-middle-east-magazine-sep-dec-2019-issue-1-volume-7/0440805001567443261?short.

“Professional learning will become more personalized with educators creating opportunities that they need through networking, collaboration, and relying more on colleagues rather than external experts.” – Deb Delisle, President and CEO of Alliance for Excellent Education

 

What is the future of professional learning? In a blog post published last year, we posed this question to three leaders. What emerged was the need to be personal, flexible, and open to new ways of delivery.  What are some ways we can personalize professional learning for educators and leaders in the MENA region?  In this article we will share some models and resources to consider and explore as you launch into the new academic year.

Every August the school year for teachers starts out the same way with an intensive “welcome week” of professional learning that consists of a speaker, PowerPoint, and a full staff listening idly for several hours. With the increase demand on schools to push student performance to meet international expectations, this may rarely leave time for follow-up throughout the school year. So how do schools keep up with teaching, curriculum pacing, and meet the development needs of a diverse staff? Ever consider Flipped PL? Similar to Flipped Class, this method will allow schools to differentiate, customize and innovate professional development with easy follow-up.

Flipped PL can be designed very simply using pre-developed tools from Teaching Channel, TeacherTube, Khan Academy or other resources. These websites offer videos on several topics that cover teaching strategies, subject specific content, and other material, with most offering video transcripts, discussion topics, and/or comprehension questions. Using a school-wide platform such as Edmodo or Google Classroom, videos can be posted with comprehension questions or an online quiz to check understanding. Discussion can take place online or in department meetings with skill specific observation to follow. If transcripts are available, they can be translated to ensure all staff are able to participate in PL.

For the more advanced and adventurous in developing PL, videos can be designed using iMovie (for Mac users), Movie Maker (PC users), Adobe Premier Elements, or Lectora. Videos can be made from pre-recorded teacher lessons showing best practices or imbedded from Teaching Channel and other resources. Comprehension questions or a quiz should also be included to check understanding with discussion taking place online or during meetings.

The platform used to implement Flipped PL should be one that has a management option which can be monitored by school leaders. Edmodo and Google Classroom work well as they both allow groups to be created to differentiate PL topics and departments, in addition to allow members to interact with each other through chat and let group admin create quizzes and monitor activity.

Using Flipped PL will create 21st Century professional learning that is easy to create, track, and improve teaching and learning in schools.

 

While personalized learning has increased for students, the same should be for educators when it comes to professional learning.  One pathway is micro-credentials. This digital certification allows for voice and choice based on interest of the learner who work towards demonstrating competence in a specific skill. Micro-credentials offer a way for schools to both recognize the existing skills of teachers and administrators. In this digital form of certification, educators and leaders learn by doing. They can be earned as a digital badge or bundled into courses that may be eligible for your licensure renewal.  A micro-credential is a badge that represents the skills that the teacher or administrator has been proven to possess.

So how do micro-credentials work? Educators review requirements and select the micro-credential they would like to earn. This is usually based on needs and interests. Next, educators engage in their learning and put it into practice. While learning the educator may ask questions, access available resources, and receive feedback and coaching. Evidence of their competence will be gathered and submitted to a trained assessor. The assessor will evaluate the evidence shared from the educator. Samples of evidence could be a classroom observation, student work, lesson plan, audio or video from the classroom, or reflections from student or teachers.  Once the micro-credential is earned a digital badge will be awarded. Find out about three organizations focused on providing micro-credentials to educators.

Digital Promise has built an ecosystem of micro-credentials in partnership with issuers, earners, and recognizers to personalize learning for educators.

https://digitalpromise.org/initiative/educator-micro-credentials/

 

Bloomboard is the leading platform for enabling educator advancement via micro-credentials, a form of micro-certification.

https://bloomboard.com/what-are-microcredentials/

 

MISIC has developed micro-credentials in collaboration with member schools to facilitate the learning and implementation of effective instructional practices, building the understanding and teaching of standards, and designing instruction that includes 21st Century skills.

http://misiciowa.org
Whether you’re looking to grow as an institution or individual, online resources are guaranteed to meet your needs. With a plethora of materials to choose from, below are examples who provide high quality learning experiences to support in meeting your goals.

 

Edraak: Edraak, is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, that is an initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation (QRF). QRF is determined to ensure that the Arab world is at the forefront of educational innovation. As such, QRF has capitalized on regional Arab talent to leverage technology developed by the Harvard-MIT consortium, edX, to create the first non-profit Arabic MOOC platform. https://www.edraak.org/en/

 

ASCD Webinars: ASCD a global non-profit that supports the advancement of educational leaders has a plethora of free online archived webinars for members and non-members to access. The registration for the webinar can be completed within 5 minutes and then access to the archived webinar along with handouts is made accessible. Once the webinar is over, a professional certificate is offered. The webinars range from topics on curriculum, wellness to teacher retention. ASCD prides themselves on having free professional learning, online and all the time, so these webinars are ideal for personal development, professional learning communities, and even staff meetings. http://www.ascd.org/professional-development/webinar

 

The Teacher’s Guild: The Teacher’s Guild is an initiative of IDEO, a global design and innovation company and offers online innovative collaborations that allow educators to practice design thinking methods. The overall objective is to activate and ignite expertise in pedagogy by finding ways to generate new ideas through a 14-week online challenge. The Teacher’s Guild is truly innovative and gives educators an opportunity to embark upon new challenges, while empathizing, building, testing, refining and sharing ideas. At the end of the 14-week challenge, all of the information is stored and can be accessed online. Some of the latest projects highlight storytelling through podcasts, hyperdocs as a tool to communicate with parents, and parent-share conferences. www.teachersguild.org

Author Allison Rodman of Personalized Professional Learning: A Job-Embedded Pathway for Elevating Teacher Voice, says that “as educational leaders, we need to be both mapmakers and travels in professional learning. Set the course but also walk side-by-side as a partner.” As you launch into the new year, we hope you keep this in mind as reflect on and collectively craft the professional learning plan for your community. If you are on Twitter, then follow and share your journey at #personalizedPL and join in the conversation at #PPL1Cchat.

 

 

Rashenah Walker, Manager of Learning at KDSL Global

Ashley S. Green, Senior Associate at KDSL Global

Kevin Simpson, Managing Director at KDSL Global

 

 

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KDSL Global interviews Ashley Green

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Ashley Green, the first ASCD Emerging Leader based in the Middle East.  Currently, Green is in the United Arab Emirates and passionate about teaching, learning, and ensuring autonomy and student interest are central in working with studets. She also serves as a Senior Associate with KDSL Global.

 

Tell us about the ASCD Emerging Leaders program. 

Educators selected for the Emerging Leaders program have been in the education profession for 5–15 years; demonstrate a passion for learning, teaching, and leading; come from a diverse range of positions, locations, cultural backgrounds, and perspectives; hold promise as leaders; and are committed to ASCD’s beliefs and to pursuing leadership opportunities. Following the nomination process, this year’s leaders were chosen by an advisory panel composed of ASCD staff, education thought leaders, and emerging leader alumni.

For 75 years, ASCD has been at the forefront of education issues that affect learning, teaching, and leading. Since the launch of Educational Leadership magazine in 1943, ASCD has developed trustworthy, research-based, and up-to-date information that shapes the international conversation on best practices to support the success of each learner.

Throughout history, ASCD’s members, authors, and expert cadres have read like a “Who’s Who” in education. ASCD has been the birthplace of transformative ideas such as the Understanding by Design® framework, the ASCD Whole Child approach, and capacity-building professional learning.

 

 

As an Emerging Leader (EL) in the MENA region, how will you contribute to the growth of ASCD?

As an EL in the MENA region, I hope to contribute by raising awareness and highlighting the goals and initiatives of ASCD. In October, I will assist with the Teach to Lead summit in Dubai. Teach to Lead is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Education, ASCD and Teach Plus. I am looking forward to working alongside teacher leaders and amplifying their voice and work in this field. It is essential to bridge relationships with community stakeholders and the Teach to Lead summit will provide educational leaders with the platform needed to foster relationships beyond their organizations.

 

If you could change anything about today’s education system, what would you change and why?

If I could change anything about the educational system, it would be the way differentiation is viewed. This is a term that several educators hold near to their hearts. Educators believe that if they are differentiating, they are working towards meeting the needs of children. For some differentiation can seem like a three ring circus. Others may struggle with seeing the value of changing instruction when assessments are the same, motivation is low, and behavior is out of control. To be very clear, I do not think differentiation should not be included in the current educational process, but I believe as educators, we have to visit a different concept first.

A concept that has the student’s at the core. A concept that educator’s want, but may possibly struggle with giving; autonomy. Autonomy simply put is the right or condition of self-government. A classroom that is autonomous will benefit from differentiation. Autonomy starts with the students (I want to learn more about…. or I need help with….). Differentiation begins with the teachers (Based on the data, the student needs this….). In an autonomous classroom students have stake in their learning goals. In a differentiated classroom, most teachers are using data to drive the teaching and learning. Teachers then select the activities or assessments that they think will help the students based on the data. Autonomous classrooms make the process of differentiation easier, while supporting the students and maximizing motivation and effort. Educators may be wondering, what does an autonomous classroom look like or how can I achieve that when the classes are all the same and I have to meet certain guidelines. Getting started can be achieved in three easy steps.

Getting to know the students

If you’ve ever had parent teacher conferences in the fall, then you know how difficult it was to speak about a student that you barely know. We make general blanket statements while smiling and nodding most of the time. In a classroom that honors autonomy, the teachers will sit down with every single student in the beginning and learn their story. Children are naturally inquisitive, so this will also give them an opportunity to ask questions. Both the student and teacher should walk away feeling like they’ve gotten to know one another.

Analyze their data story

Whether a student is in 1st grade or 12th, there’s a data story. Talk about the data. Analyze it. Ask questions and explain what the data means. If there was a year where scores dropped or spiked, ask the students what was taking place. Get to know the person behind the numbers.

Set goals

After getting to know the students as individuals and analyzing the data with them, set goals. To honor autonomy, the goals should be student driven. If there is a certain benchmark that has to be met, make that clear to the student and then create attainable goals. Explain what the process will look like and ensure the student that you will help them along the way.

The three easy steps above will show the students that you care. With autonomy at the forefront, teachers can then use differentiation to help execute their plans and assist the students in achieving their goals. For example, if a student realizes that he/she has not been meeting the reading benchmark based on the data, when a teacher gives an assignment, she/he can make it very clear that this assignment will help you reach your goal. The teacher can also state, by mastering this skill, you will be one step closer to the goal you set. Autonomy starts with the student. Differentiation begins with the teacher. In order to maximize instruction, we have to transform our thinking. Autonomy is driving the classroom, differentiation is simply the navigation system.

 

To learn more about the ASCD Emerging Leaders Program visit http://www.ascd.org/programs/Emerging-Leaders/Emerging-Leaders.aspx

 

To learn more about Ashley Green selected as the first ASCD Emerging Leader based in the Middle East visit https://kdslglobal.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/ascd-selects-the-first-emerging-leader-based-in-the-middle-east/

 

Ashley Green Photo

Ashley Green’s passion for global education has led to her teaching in classrooms and collaborating with teachers from all over the world. Her desire to become a global educator began when she taught students in England, and had the chance to make connections between the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and Common Core standards. Since then, she’s honed those skills in Dubai; in both Elementary and Middle school settings as a full-time classroom practitioner.

 

Ashley is a lifelong learner and believes that while she is an educator; she will always be striving to improve her own practice. She’s currently employed as a Global Teacher Leader in the United Arab Emirates. She is also the Director of Operations for Hayward’s Hands, a nonprofit organization that specializes in community service and enrichment programs.

 

Ashley holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and has developed and written curriculums for English, Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3-8. She obtained a Gifted Endorsement in 2015 and also served as an ambassador for Gifted and Talented Education in Georgia, USA. Ashley was selected in 2018 as the first ASCD Emerging Leader based in the Middle East.

New KDSL Global Senior Associate

Ashley S. Green

Meet Ashley Green, our new KDSL Global Senior Associate.

Ashley Green’s passion for global education has led to her teaching in classrooms and collaborating with teachers from all over the world. Her desire to become a global educator began when she taught students in England, and had the chance to make connections between the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and Common Core standards. Since then, she’s honed those skills in Dubai; in both Elementary and Middle school settings as a full time classroom practitioner.

 

Ashley is a lifelong learner and believes that while she is an educator; she will always be striving to improve her own practice. She’s currently employed as a Middle School Math Teacher Leader, specializing in differentiating within the Secondary Math classroom. She also works as an Achievement Coach, assisting students with preparing for life beyond grade school.

 

Ashley holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and has developed and written curriculums for English, Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3-8. She obtained a Gifted Endorsement in 2015 and also served as an ambassador for Gifted and Talented Education in Georgia, USA. Ashley was selected in 2018 as the first ASCD Emerging Leader based in the Middle East.

ASCD selects the first Emerging Leader based in the Middle East

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DUBAI, UAE, July 8 2018 – ASCD is excited to announce the selection of educators for its 2018 class of emerging leaders. The Emerging Leaders program recognizes and prepares young, promising educators to influence education programs, policy, and practice on both the local and national levels.

Educators selected for the Emerging Leaders program have been in the education profession for 5–15 years; demonstrate a passion for learning, teaching, and leading; come from a diverse range of positions, locations, cultural backgrounds, and perspectives; hold promise as leaders; and are committed to ASCD’s beliefs and to pursuing leadership opportunities. Following the nomination process, this year’s leaders were chosen by an advisory panel composed of ASCD staff, education thought leaders, and emerging leader alumni.

The first Emerging Leader has been selected who is based in the United Arab Emirates. Ashley Green’s passion for global education has led to her teaching in classrooms and collaborating with teachers from all over the world. Her desire to become a global educator began when she taught students in England, and had the chance to make connections between the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and Common Core standards. Since then, she’s honed those skills in Dubai; in both Elementary and Middle school settings as a full time classroom practitioner.

Ashley is a lifelong learner and believes that while she is an educator; she will always be striving to improve her own practice. She’s currently employed at Universal American School in Dubai. Ashley holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and has developed and written curriculums for English, Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3-8. She obtained a Gifted Endorsement in 2015 and also served as an ambassador for Gifted and Talented Education in Georgia, USA. She will be a featured speaker at the MENA Teacher Summit held during 5-6 October in Dubai. Visit www.menateachersummit.com for more information.

To learn more about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships, visit www.ascd.org. To learn about the GCC ASCD Connected Community visit www.gccascd.com.

 

ABOUT ASCD

ASCD is dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child.  

ABOUT GCC ASCD Connected Community

The GCC ASCD Connected Community is to unite educators throughout the region, inspiring all of us to learn globally and teach locally.

 

PRESS CONTACT

Kevin Simpson, KDSL Global, kevin@kdslglobal.com