Schools across New Zealand are now expected to be implementing the Registered Teacher Criteria for all teachers renewing or reapplying for a practising certificate in 2011. These criteria have been designed to be used as a framework for teachers’ ongoing reflections and professional learning, not just as criteria to be assessed against (Registered Teacher Criteria Handbook, 2010).
The criteria do provide plenty of guidance based on what is known about quality teaching and learning. However, in a modern 21st century teaching and learning context, it is quite surprising that there is no mention of e-learning or teaching using digital content in any of the twelve criteria. Given the roll out of ultra-fast broadband to schools, I believe we are approaching the ‘tipping point’ where the expectation will be that all teachers are implementing e-learning in their classrooms. Therefore, I would have thought that the criteria would have been a place where this could have been embedded to send a signal to the teachers still pressing back that they are going to have to take a deep breath and come on board.
Working as Digi Advisors, my colleague Rocky and I felt that this was an area where we could try to ‘plug the gap’ and give some guidance on how the criteria could align with e-learning. Out of this work has arisen the Registered Teacher Criteria wiki.
The wiki has a page for each of the criteria with a range of ideas and examples on how this criteria could be met through the use of e-learning.
The feedback on the wiki has been very positive to this point and the speed at which it has been ‘passed around’ through social networks has shown us that there is a place for this kind of resource. We have also been in touch with the New Zealand Teachers Council and we see some exciting possibilities in aligning our work with theirs in the future. At this point, we are really keen to get the perspectives of those working in schools on what is useful and what could be improved. So if you can, why not go and look at the criteria and be part of the conversation.
In general, though, I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts in relation to the following questions:
- Do you think that e-learning should be an integral part of the criteria or was it appropriate that it wasn’t included?
- If the implementation of e-learning should be considered, what are the things that should definitely be a ‘baseline’ in terms of e-learning implementation that all teachers should be demonstrating to be considered ‘satisfactory’?
What would you see as the way forward to best promote the use of e-learning in schools in relation to the critieria?
Suzie Vesper is an online facilitator for the Digi-Advisers programme. She has a strong interest in the use of online technologies within education, and maintains a number of websites to provide resources to schools in this area. She runs several blogs; her personal blog is Share the addiction.