DP7 Educational Technology Leadership

"With great power, comes great responsibility"
- Lee

Mastery of Educational Technologies can provide opportunities to be distinguished as a teacher for unfortunately not every teacher has a strong understanding of the potential of educational technologies to improve student learning, or the education and capability to realise this understanding. This however can raise expectations, from your ability to assist other teachers to improve their practice through the use of educational technologies, to fixing formatting errors in your peers word processed documents.

Various professional standards will however recognise this mastery, and several awards are available for teachers who can demonstrate how educational technologies can transform student learning. Being adept at educational technologies is however an ongoing burden, new technologies are constantly being developed and staying up to date will require an ongoing commitment to learning that again unfortunately, not all teachers possess. This in itself may however be of greatest benefit, by constantly being part of the learning process, you will be better placed to assist and understand the challenges your students face when engaging with new learning.

Schools will provide a basic level of professional development for teachers to engage with new technologies and approaches, however this will always be far below what is required for effective mastery, and professional teachers will undertake to maintain and improve their own understanding of their content areas, pedagogies, and educational technologies.

Teachers have formed professional associations to assist each other in this ongoing learning. The Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE) is one such association of teachers and educators who gather regularly to share new ideas, teach each other about new educational technologies, and explore new ways of teaching. Such associations have a membership subscription to cover administrative costs, website hosting, and journal/magazine production costs but usually have a discounted rate for student teachers. QSITE for example has a regular subscription of $88 but a student rate of $33.

Other associations such as the Beginning and Establishing Teachers' Association (BETA) focus on supporting new teachers, while associations such as the Australian College of Educators (ACE) supports all teachers, including sponsoring the five awards in teacher education on the Gold Coast at Griffith University. The ACE has a discounted student membership of $52 and a free category of student membership using the form available from the door in G30 Room 3.23. Students can also become involved in international professional associations such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) who also have student rates of $45.

Opportunities exist in professional associations to contribute to their organisation and management by joining association boards and committees' with the Gold Coast chapter of QSITE regularly having a couple of Griffith University teacher education students on the committee helping to organise professional development events, particularly those events of interest to Griffith University education students. Students should contact the current chapter chair, Jenni Fewtrell if intersted in becoming involved. The Australian College of Educators (Gold Coast branch) has a student group and you should contact the branch president Dr Jason Zagami if interested in being involved.
Beyond professional associations, opportunities exist for Secondary teachers to become involved on State Panels for the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) that provide a very effective professional learning framework through moderating and verifying school submissions twice a year. The QSA also regularly reviews and updates curriculum and seeks teachers to be involved in this process.

State education departments (such as the Education Queensland) as well as independent schools (through Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ)), Lutheran Schools (through Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ)) and Catholic Schools (through Diocesan offices such as Brisbane Catholic Education) all offer professional development and advancement opportunities.

Unions (such as the Queensland Teachers Union and the Queensland Independent Teachers Union) and Teacher Registration Bodies (such as the Queensland College of Teachers) also provide professional development opportunities.

In addition to regular professional development events during the year, each year most professional associations and other organisations run a conference in which members share ideas and experiences, and a few keynote experts from outside the organisation are included to share ideas between organisations, states and countries. Such conferences also include discounted rates for students, for example the QSITE conference for 2013 will be held on the Sunshine Coast for three days from the 30th of September (Last year it was held in Coomera) and will have a discounted student rate. Such conferences can provided intensive access to many new ideas and approaches to using educational technologies, as well as networking opportunities to become involved in collaborative projects, and just be aware of best practice in teaching with educational technologies.

Awards and Competitions

Professional Learning Networks

Professional Reading

Horizon Reports

Continuing Study

Masters and Higher Degrees

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