By Michael Hilkemeijer
If you are an early childhood teacher in Australia, then you are most likely aware of the APST. For those of you who are not familiar with what this means APST stands for Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
They are a public statement of what constitutes as quality teaching and they “define the work of teachers and make explicit the elements of high-quality, effective teaching in 21st century early childhood services and schools that result in improved educational outcomes for students” (APST, 2023).
One of the benefits of becoming a member of my ICT in Education Teacher Academy is that you will get to choose from over 60 + online PD workshops, resources, webinar replays and professional learning ebooks that will help you to apply these early childhood teacher standards into your practice today.
Research illustrates how providing choice in professional ICT development allows you as the early childhood teacher to set your own agenda and with over 60 resources to choose from, becoming a member of the Academy now will enable you to achieve this as well as be able to apply these standards as you work.
There are 7 standards that define how you as an early childhood teacher should work in early childhood learning environments and include:
- Know students and how they learn
- Know the content and how to teach it.
- Plan for and implement effective teaching strategies.
- Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments.
- Assess and provide feedback and report on student learning.
- Engage in professional learning.
- Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and community.
As an Academy member, you will find early childhood pd online that is directly to do with these early childhood teacher standards.
Another benefit of these online pd workshops is that they will give you the expertise that you need to progress from one proficiency level to the next.
For example, most online PD you will find enables you to apply early childhood teacher standards from graduate to proficient early childhood teacher.
You will notice that each course image will indicate the level of proficiency that it is currently at.
This is where you will find the key benefits for as an early childhood teacher because you can either participate in the course by joining it as a stand-alone online pd OR as an Academy member.
If you join as a stand-alone course then you will find that the cost to join will be more. However, as a result, you will get course lifetime access.
The other way to join is by becoming a member and this only will cost you $5.99 per month.
So for however long that you decide to remain a member you will have access to these courses.
Back to the benefits for you.
While most courses currently cover proficiency levels from Graduate to Proficient, all of them are planned to provide expertise up until the Highly Accomplished proficiency level and beyond in the future.
Your active participation in the online pd means that you can check to see when the proficiency level of the early childhood teacher standard that you are looking to progress further in has changed.
Having lifetime access to these courses or remaining an active member will allow you to do this.
Progressing in your proficiency level as an early childhood teacher should be your overall goal. Here are some courses that will get you started today.
Professional Standard 1
How do students learn with Technology?
This course addresses standard descriptor 1.2.2 of Know students and how they learn. It will give you the expertise that you need in order to “structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how children learn” with technology.
To progress from graduate to proficient early childhood teacher level you will need to provide evidence that you have made “plans for learning and play that reflect and demonstrate evidence of current research and theory about how children learn and develop” when integrating digital technology in early childhood education.
Joining Fee: $250
Professional Standard 2
Intentional Teaching in Early Childhood Education
This course addresses standard descriptor 2.6.2 of Know the Content and how to Teach it. It will give you the expertise that you need in order to “use effective teaching strategies to integrate ICT into learning and teaching programs to make selected content relevant and meaningful.”
To progress from graduate to proficient level there is several pieces of evidence that this course will enable you to develop in your practice and include:
- Plans for learning and play incorporate sensitive and responsive use of technologies relevant to the age and interests of the children.
- Evidence of child participation shows that ICT resources are relevant and meaningful to children’s current knowledge, ideas, culture, abilities and interests.
- Critical reflection on the use of technology in the program and its relevance for the children’s learning.
- ICT supports children’s thinking and learning across a range of learning experiences.
- Intentional teaching decisions and adaptations relating to the use of ICT for children of different ages and abilities.
Joining Fee: $250
Professional Standard 3
Planning and Implementing Learning through Play
This course addresses standard descriptor 3.4.2 of Plan for and Implement effective teaching and Learning. It will give you the expertise that you need in order to “select and/or create and use a range of resources, including ICT, to engage children in their learning.”
Evidence of teacher practice that this course will provide you with include:
- Plans for learning and play that demonstrate the teachers selection of resources including ICT, to engage children in meaningful learning across a wide range of experiences.
- Critical reflection and discussions relating to the use of ICT resources with young children.
Joining Fee: $250
Professional Standard 5
Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education
This course addresses standard descriptor 5.1.2 of Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning. It will provide you with the expertise that you need in order to “develop, select and use informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies to assess child learning” when integrating digital technology in early childhood education.
It will be able to provide you with evidence such as:
- Plans for learning and play reflect the teacher’s observation of children’s interests, abilities and assessment of their learning and development progress.
- Formative assessments such as analysed observations, jottings, learning stories or examples of children’s representations of their learning.
- A range of assessment approaches that show the child’s progress towards goals and learning outcomes.
Joining fee: $250
Professional Standard 4,6, and 7
Additionally, as a member of the Academy, you will be able to download our ECE book titled “Safety and Ethical Concerns with ICT in ECE”.
This eBook addresses the standard descriptor 4.5.2 of Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments. It will enable you to “incorporate strategies to promote the safe, and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.”
It will also address standard descriptor 6.4.2 of Engage in Professional Learning and will provide you with the expertise that you need in order to “undertake professional learning programs designed to address identified child learning needs.”
The evidence that you will need to progress includes of adding the ebook title to your professional reading log PLUS the critical reflection that you will have undertaken.
Cost: $20 Aud
Finally, you will be Engaging professionally with colleagues and the community when you participate in the professional learning community that is my ICT in Education Teacher Academy. This addresses standard descriptor 7.4.2 and you will need to provide evidence of participating in our professional network online.
This is just a handful of the online PD for early childhood educators that you will find in the membership area of the Academy. Become a member now for just $5.99 Aud per month (cancel anytime) and start applying these Australian Professional Standards for Early Childhood teachers today.