So, I have just spent two full days, working with 40 other educators as we embark on our ISTE Certification journey.
The face-to-face component is now complete and the next steps are a 5-week online component followed by a 6-month window to complete a detailed evidence portfolio, of which I will learn more about after completion of the online requirements.
Some honest feedback from the face-to-face workshop:
– The content was basic and as an educator who has been heavily involved in the ISTE standards already and with a rollout in a school as part of our model, the content was not a learning area for me. I spoke to others over the two days who said this was valuable.
– As an experienced user of the standards, I didn’t gain a lot from the ISTE content, but I gained a lot from discussions and real world application of the standards.
– Suitability and best fit – I think from what I have seen so far, I wouldn’t recommend this program to a classroom teacher, unless they were super passionate. I think the best fit are school leaders, the EdTech team, curriculum teams and members involved in the Tech committee who are using the standards to support learning and development in the school.
– Mindset – the critical part of this program is to come in with an open mindset and context specific expectations. You need to know your WHY and know what you want to achieve by getting this certification. Know this before you sign up.
– The biggest challenge coming up is the portfolio creation and development. Giving evidence and providing documentation that gives you the accreditation. As a consultant outside of my own school makes it challenging for me to have evidence but the deeper I think about this the more specific my evidence can be to making change. Particularly because my ‘learners’ are not students, they are adult learners (for the most part)
– The facilitators did an incredible job managing a large group with very diverse needs, experience and expertise – that is no easy feat and they did it incredibly well and provided our group with great feedback and support, particularly on the second day. They identified our expertise and helped target the sessions and ongoing work to our skillset and work environment.
My biggest highlight and takeaway from the weekend of learning was the connecting and networking with a bunch of amazing educators. From Heads of School, to Heads of Departments, to teachers and to EdTech coaches, the group was diverse and some had travelled from as far as Australia and Egypt to be a part of this. I felt humbled to be a part of such a positive and passionate group of people. In particular, I was pleased to connect with 3 other consultants, working to support schools in a similar light to me, all over the world. We connected and have set up a network to stay connected to support each other over this process – a definite highlight to me weekend!
As a group of 40, we are connected on Twitter and of course connecting with others from all over the world on the #ISTEcert hashtag who are going through the same journey as us.
If you are interested in getting more or staying up to date, follow the #ISTEcert hashtag and feel free to stay in touch with me for future updates. I can’t wait to put this learning into practice to help inform my role as a consultant for schools, to empower and engage learners across the world.