This week's COETAIL course two, week 5, learning provocation was about taking action towards positive change and empowering others to do "GOOD" with technology.
Which links nicely to ISTE for Educators Citizen Standard Indicator 3A.
Educator resources on this topic: I've said it before, but, I'll say it again, Jennifer Casa-Todd. She's legendary in this department. She is YOUR expert.
Step 1: Buy and read her book - Social LEADia. You won't regret it.
Step 2: Enroll in her and Adam Hill's, "Empowered Digital Leaders", online professional learning course.
If learning from super nice and empowering people who love sharing their passions isn't your thing, then Common Sense Education also has some fab resources.
In search of better policy
Without throwing my current employer largely under the bus, I would say we could be better in terms of our ICT mission and vision, documentation and policies, curriculum, communication, training, as well as hiring an appropriate amount of staff in this department and retaining them.
That said, in the three years since I've been there, it is getting better and thankfully I've got to work alongside some pretty awesome people who share the same passion.
Did someone say policy?
This week we were asked to look into our school's acceptable use policy on technology.
I inquired and could find very little. I'd share, but you'd come to the same conclusions as me - not the greatest in terms of what we should be communicating to our current and future stakeholders.
I figured there had to be something more.
I took action.
I emailed our tech lead who is trying his very best trying to do two or three people's jobs. He's got great ideas, confers with myself and another passionate colleague of mine often. However, most ideas, when he does try to champion them, often get roadblocked.
In my email, I also carbon copied the head and deputy head of school.
I asked him if there was something more but just wasn't finding it easily.
I did make some positive, actionable suggestions, and also offered to put my hand upon taking action.
Here's what I proposed:
1. Re-focus on curriculum: Next year, we continue to be given time on our curricular revision groups. Sure, the pandemic did put a wrench in this time and vision. However, it's been over a year and it's time to blow off the dust again. This gave us ICT-focused folk the time to vertically and horizontally articulate an ISTE fuelled concept-based scope and sequence curriculum. I've got the experience, direction and willingness to persevere on this. It will be awesome!
2. Communication and policy revision: I like Scott McLeod's suggestion of an EUP instead of an AUP. Empowered, Engaged and Energized is our school's 3E motto in our mission. So an Empowered Use Policy (EUP) has a natural fit. Plus, it sure rolls off the tongue much better than just an "Acceptable Use Policy" (AUP). This difference is likened to what Jennifer Casa-Todd promotes. She elucidates, why just have digital citizens (ie participants), when we should be promoting digital leaders? What's more empowering?
In my email, I did mention that our grade level's 1:1 iPad AUP, had plenty of "DO NOTS" and not enough "DOs". I think the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) and NIST both have excellent examples to benchmark from which I also shared in my email.
Advocacy does lead to Action
In fact, advocacy is one of the types of action, according to the IB's PYP.
Long story short, my email led to a meeting next Tuesday to get the ball rolling on some of these ideas. Exciting!
Thanks for the kick in the rear, COETAIL!