[Technology 1330] TISA and beyond

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David J. Rosen djrosen at comcast.net
Fri Oct 5 11:50:39 EDT 2007

Technology Colleagues,

The TISA is a useful model for online professional development (PD)
that could be expanded into other areas besides technology. The
elements of the PD model that the TISA uses, as I see them, are:

1. Identify a set of standards or competencies (or both) that
represent what teachers should know and be able to do;
2. Design a self-assessment based on those standards (I love that the
TISA asks teachers to rate their skills AND whether or not they think
it is important for them to learn this now or in the near future.) ;
3. Identify strategies for pursuing professional development and
actual (free) online learning resources for teachers that are closely
linked to the competencies or competency categories;
4. Enable the teacher to select competencies for an annual
professional development plan, and as part of that plan to identify
her learning activies and to set her own learning timeline for them; and
5. Enable the teacher to choose to be reminded (by email) of the
deadlines that s/he set.

I would add to this a sixth element:

6. Provide an online portfolio where the teacher could include text,
photos or short digital videos that demonstrate her attaining the
competencies, and that could be used to award PD credits such as CEUs
or PD points, or possibly a credential.

A model like this soesn't need to be limited to PD in acquiring
technology skills and knowledge. It could be used for PD in: ESL/
ESOL, teaching reading, teaching the GED, preparing students for
college, managing an adult education center or school, using data for
program improvement, or any number of other things adult education
teachers and admiistrators need to know.

I like the shift that this model represents toward more teacher and
program responsibility for program development (and ideally, teacher
compensation for attaining new competency) . It does not eliminate
the need for good state and sub-regional literacy professional
development resource centers; it makes them more accountable to the
needs of teachers and programs, as practitioners in the field define
their needs. It could mean a better balance between state-determined
professional development needs and field-determined needs. I like
that the model recognizes that not all teachers can attend face-to-
face training, and that even those who can, have limited availability
for this. I like that the model could enable a program
administrator, working with her staff, to set program development and
staff development goals together, and that teachers at a program --
or programs georgraphically near to each other -- could work together
to attain their common PD objectives.

I am eager to hear others' comments on the TISA itself, or on this
expansion of the model beyond learning about technology.

David J. Rosen
djrosen at comcast.net