That brought forth the following response from a Lutheran education colleague whom I greatly respect:
That got me thinking deeper about the subject. As I look at our world today and the way ideas and shared and explored, I do think it is essential to have a positive digital presence. In fact, I am encouraging my own students to share their work and messages online in our Lights Academy program. But if I were in charge of a school, would I really not hire someone that was not intentional about their digital presence? If so, that would exclude someone like the colleague who responded to me -- someone who has not built this pattern into their professional work but who still has a great deal to offer students and colleagues -- someone who I certainly would not want to exclude.
Instead of focusing on one specific application of 21st century professional education skills, I thought about the questions I would ask a potential hire. These questions delve into the attitudes and professional behaviors I see as important today but avoid reference to any specific method of carrying out these behaviors. These questions include:
- What are the resources in your Professional Learning Network (PLN)?
- How often do you access your PLN?
- Share specific examples of how your PLN has helped you improve your work with students.
- What new ideas or strategies do you share with colleagues and other educators? How do you go about doing that?
- What are you most passionate about in education? How will these passions benefit our schools and students?
- How do you best support other colleagues and contribute to improvement in all forms of education?
- What will you do to ensure that you teach for ten years instead of teaching one year ten different times?
- How is PLN learning and growth tied to your Christian faith? Give examples.
What do you think? Is a digital presence essential for a progressive teacher? Share your thoughts as a comment to this post.