We are excited to be able to offer for the first time a new course entitled “Professional Learning in a Digital Age (PLDA): 21st century tools supporting 21st century teachers”.

This DEC BOSTES Registered Teacher Professional Learning course provides a supportive blended learning environment for participants to explore the four Essential Skills for 21st Century Learning – Collaborating, Communicating, Creating and Critical Thinking.

Good twenty-first century teachers are good twenty-first century learners. Professional Learning in a Digital Age (PLDA) is a four-week blended course that equips teachers and school leaders with the knowledge, skills and tools needed for personalised, professional learning in a digital age. With an emphasis on learning through online participatory cultures (Clinton, et. al. 2006), the course explores the role of communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. The course also examines the role of current technology tools for developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN), including as Google Apps for Education, Google Plus Communities, Twitter and Feedly.

Find out more about this course here.

Part 1: Workshop – Attendance at a workshop day held at MacICT (North Ryde). An alternative delivery option is available for those outside metropolitan Sydney via Adobe Connect. 5.5 hrs

Part 2: Mini Online Course – Active participation in a 4 week online course. Each week will focus on one of the 4 essential skills in the form of small, achievable weekly activities that culminate in the creation of a multimodal mashup video. 3-4 hrs per week.

In order to gain accreditation you must complete both parts of the course. This is a DEC BOSTES registered course totalling 21.5 hours.

PLDA provides a supportive blended learning environment for participants to share ideas as professional members of a broader online community. Throughout the course, participants practise the Four Cs – communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity – over a sequence of small, achievable weekly activities (approximately 3-4 hours per week). Course completion involves:

  • participation on Twitter, sharing tweets and aggregating ideas from current minds in education;
  • exploring tools for aggregating news feeds relevant to the individual learner;
  • communication with colleagues through the PLDA Google Plus community;
  • collaborative critique of a scholarly reading through threaded comments in Google Docs;
  • ongoing multimodal responses to key weekly questions (through short video snippets, images, tweets and community posts); and
  • creating a multimodal digital mashup video.

While there is an emphasis on teacher professional learning, many skills gained in PLDA are readily transferable to the classroom. On course completion, teachers will be able to:

  • facilitate small-group, whole-class and inter-class collaboration with online tools;
  • foster the development of students’ critical literacy through the aggregation of online information sources (relevant in areas like research projects, wide reading and online media);
    understand multimodality in the new syllabuses; and
  • be able to mentor the development of rich media projects in the classroom.

PLDA involves one face-to-face workshop OR Adobe Connect session, with four follow-up weekly online components. The essential skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity – sometimes referred to as “The Four Cs” – are reflected amongst the general capabilities, outcomes and syllabus content in the NSW BOSTES K-10 syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum.

These skills will be modelled and developed as participants grow their PLN through being involved in online professional communities and actively using tools such as Twitter, Google Plus, Google Drive and the creation and sharing multimodal content with tools like Prezi, Animoto, iMovie and Visible Tweets.

Find out more about this course here.