I’m continuing to enjoy my professional development journey. The concepts behind being an Instructional Leader or Lead Learner speak to me not only in the roles I’ve played as a principal and assistant principal, but in the inspiration the learning provides me and the hope it gives me that the American Dream really is still available to all of our students. As part of my course work for the Innovative Educator Advanced Studies Certificate through Fresno Pacific University, I’m embarking on earning a Leading Edge Certification in On-line and Blended Learning.

The on-line/blended learning model is of particular interest to me in terms of how it can support self-paced learning for the gifted and learning disabled populations in particular, as well as the more introverted learner who may prefer or even benefit from a more personalized approach. The Leading Edge Certification offers a link to a self-assessment through the University of North Carolina to allow students to assess whether this format is appropriate for them. I found the assessment to be worthwhile and to offer some nice thinking points before moving further through the module. Additionally, the LEC’s first module references an article by Jamie Littlefield on the characteristics that define a successful on-line learner. Littlefield’s article, “Is Distance Learning Right for You,” is a nice companion piece to the self-assessment from the UNC.

I have a twenty year history of working with very capable students who are learning disabled or who have a disability such as being deaf or hard of hearing. These characteristics provide unique challenges within the traditional learning environment that are currently addressed through accommodations and modifications or by providing high-cost specialized learning environments. A priority for me throughout this course will to be evaluate the ways the on-line/blended learning approach can be used to reach the true intelligence and creativity of these groups of learners who have a long history of being marginalized. I’m particularly interested in learning about creating closed captioning [cc} lessons and appreciate that this will be a part of the coursework.

I invite you to access any of the links above to see if you find something of interest and please share what you’re doing to enhance your professional growth this summer in the comments section.

Posted by Pam Gildersleeve-Hernandez


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