Monday, August 3, 2015

New Leading Edge Certification - Professional Learning Leader

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Are you starting a new position as a Ed Tech TOSA/Coach of teachers?

There's a new Leading Edge Certification (LEC): Professional Leaning Leader. This is the fourth certification program offered by the Leading Edge Alliance. The first three, Digital Educator, the Online and Blended Teacher, and the Administrator address integration of technology and curriculum to best meet the needs of students. I have completed three of the LEC programs online, and each has met my needs as I develop as an educator.

The Professional Learning Leader supports Instructional Coaches and Tech Coaches needs. Most of the participants in the course I took were already leaders. The course was offered through, so attracted lots of movers and shakers. That is one significant benefit of the class, which was taught online over an eight week time frame. The workload is generally pretty manageable, certainly less than an online class at a university. Further, the class, which is taught in modules, provides the opportunity to work on units for classes or lessons I was teaching. I always love it when I can double-dip and work once for two outcomes.

Each of the certifications focuses on research-based teaching strategies  For the Digital Educator, I was introduced to TPACK and SAMR. In the Professional Learning Leader course, Malcolm Knowles' Adult Learning Theory was introduced. The theory was the foundation, then we had the opportunity to practice creating using a variety of tools as well as collaborating with other students.

Another key piece of information were details about standards regarding digital and online learning. Two organizations ISTE and iNACOL are key in providing the standards and resources to meet them.

Mike Lawrence, CEO of, wrote an article in eSchool News on the Five Reasons Certification is Important for Edtech Leaders, which you can read to get his slant on the topic. The next reason for me was the opportunity to take the class online with Sandy Somera. I was lucky to have her as the instructor in all three of the Leading Edge courses that I took. I'm sure there are lots of other great teachers out there as well, but she has a wealth of knowledge which she is eager to share. She is worth following on Twitter too: @sandysomera.

Breaking News: Eileen Walters is now responsible for the Leading Edge Certification charge at CUE. See this announcement on 7-31-15 from the webage for more information.

At the end of each Leading Edge course, each student compiles a digital portfolio, representing the work accomplished in the class. In all three of the classes, we used Google Sites to create the portfolio. The process of completing these certifications prepared me to do well in graduate-level Edtech classes that I'm taking currently at Boise State University (@edtechbsu). They also prepared me to confidently explore digital tools in my classroom and with other teachers. That kind of confidence is fun to earn and share with others.

For a look at a completed Leading Edge portfolio, here is a link to my Leading Edge Professional Learning Leader site. I hope that you consider Leading Edge Certification!

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