Friday, 21 May 2010

Our Cascade Model using PDAs and TLCs.

National and in-house research has identified barriers to using technology in learning and teaching include a lack of information and a lack of clarity about what teachers can and cannot use. From September 2010 we will be using a cascade model to improve communication both up, down and across the organisational structure to develop a Community of Practice.

The Professional Development Advisor (PDA) and Technology Learning Coach (TLC) roles are the building blocks of a framework to monitor and have influence on the decision process to utilise Technology Enhanced Learning (aka e-Learning, ICT and ILT). The decision process will be lead by pedagogy.There will be two main roles in each Centre:-

1. PDA
a) One for each curriculum centre (more if curriculum is offered in other campuses).
b) Trained by Advanced PDA with continuous updating (weekly)
c) Key driver is the use of e-learning/technology in Curriculum Centre
d) Ensures communication within Centre, with TLCs (see below) and with Advanced PDA, PDAs and national Communities of Practice
e) Evaluate perception of technology/e-learning in Curriculum Centre (using government supplied on-line survey (Generator) which will enable comparison of trend across curriculum areas and across colleges)
f) Audit what resources are available in the Curriculum Centre and where they are
g) Identify areas of need from all Curriculum Centres
h) Ensure resources are where they are needed
i) Identify good practice to share
j) Meet with Advanced PDA once a week – cascade of information (including demonstrations of TEL) to and from Advanced PDA including the sharing of good practice by PDAs (beginning of a Community of Practice)
k) Makes sure TLCs have training and resources they need
l) Each PDA have three TLCs at a time
m) Take realistic steps – the most important tasks will be identified and clear SMART goals set for completing them
n) Hopefully, the role will attract time (remission) next year, but this is nowhere near definite.

2. TLC
a) Someone who wants to use technology in teaching
b) Someone other teachers come to for help (peer support)
c) 2-way communication with PDA
d) Identify a project that they wish to develop and complete (could be as simple as a set of interactive PowerPoints)
e) Receive training in technology they want to start using
f) Advanced PDA has small funds to help buy some of their time to release them to complete agreed projects. Other possible sources of funding could be the Research and Scholarly activity fund.

The PDA training has been contextualised to the needs of our college and will be delivered by the Advanced PDA, with support from members of the TEL- Community of Practice

We currently have seven PDAs and twenty one TLCs I am hoping to have at least five more PDAs for the second wave of PDA training (July) with all Curriculum Centres and Campuses represented with PDAs and TLCs in the third and final PDA training sessions in the new term.