90715 Teacher Transformation for the Digital Age

Competency learning funding to complement seat time system;

Data driven reporting and decision support;

Broadband use by everyone;

Teacher transformation for the digital age;

Global digital curriculum access with effective application.

There are two conversely charged poles pulling at our cadre of K-12 teachers. One is legacy education initiatives. The other is the disruptive innovation of online learning that currently focuses on educating students outside of the classroom. Online is one version of eLearning. At the center is the eLearning transformation which integrates legacy and online education into a hybrid eLearning form of education. One of the effects of eLearning is a shift away from time spent on classroom management to student-teacher one-on-one contact. The goal of K-12 education is for the student to master the academic aspects of the course and develop competency in the application of this knowledge. eLearning can deliver both learning and practice at all grade levels while increasing the pace of course completion.

Whatever evolves over the next ten years, teachers with new skills and new knowledge will be at the center of the transformation. The task is two fold. Arizona teacher education and professional development must be significantly upgraded to deliver continuous learning support for 60,000 educators. A specific curriculum for the teachers  must address all aspects of the expected changes in data, formative assessment, student digital curriculum, pedagogy, internet and Web 2.0 and 3.0 content sources, communications, classroom and online management and finally, appropriate application of all the new technology tools and applications.

Traditional college and training classrooms will still be in use. In addition, the continuous nature of this learning will require a significant increase in school mentors and online systems. Mentoring also increases the need for master teachers. eLearning based continuing education for teachers reduces the need for consultant instructors and the amount of time required — while improving outcomes.

If your add up the entire cost of one year of  Arizona K-12 education and divide it by the number of teachers the investment pre teacher is $150,000. In other technology rich industries, the knowledge workers will typically have $1500+ per year budgeted for training and professional development. What is needed is 1% of the all-up cost reinvested to significantly enhance the student academic results. But a typical district training budget is about $150 per teacher, 0.1%. There is a universal consensus across our culture that teachers are the most important aspect of K-12 education. But once in the classroom our current system invests almost nothing to further their capability.

eSATS uses their teacher population forecast model to support system design and long range planning. This model includes five levels of teacher capability:

1. entry as digital native

2. adoption of tools,

3. integration of eLearning into legacy education,

4. transformation of student learning

5. master eLearning based pedagogy and mentoring skills.

It models teachers entering and leaving the state-wide system. This includes new college gradates with their rapid rate of exit over the first five years. It also includes Arizona teachers who reenter the system and transfers from out-of-state. Each type of teacher enters at a specific competency level and over five to ten years moves up to competency level of transformation or master-mentor. About 2% of the teachers are engaged as mentor-master teachers. They spend full time in their schools working with teachers on professional development plans, mentoring, coaching and on-the-job training.

The annual average population is calculated as one teacher for 19 students. Forecasts of student population growth show an average of 2.5 to 3.0% per year.

Teachers striving to reach the next capability level are funded an additional $1000 per year for professional support. Teachers who are maintaining their professional level are funded at $700. Total investment for 2010-2011 school years is $40 million.

Arizona needs to:

  1. Design, fund and implement a system that will provide a Professional Development Plan (PDP) that is individualized for each teacher. The PDP system will be the center of the learning support system for teaching knowledge and practice transformation. This system will integrate the Arizona Department of Education, colleges, districts and professional organizations.
  2. To serve the needs of all Arizona teachers design, develop and implement a major increase in access, offerings and outreach of IDEAL and other means to deliver professional development to Arizona teachers in their work place and community.
  3. Develop a specification, classification, development track and reward system for master-mentor teachers.
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