As the project lead, more often than not, I am asked by people what is the C4 Model of Learning. The C4 Model of Learning is a professional development program offered through Osseo Area Schools that is aligned to the National Educational Technology Standards. While many programs claimed that they are aligned to the ISTE standards, the C4 Model of Learning has gone through the Seal of Alignment process. This process allows ISTE to give their stamp of approval that we are meeting the standards to the rigor that is intended. What should be made clear is that the ISTE NETS while coined as Technology Standards actually are more standards to enhance a teacher’s ability and skill level of teaching best practices.

The ISTE NETS•T have five standards, each with four performance indicators. Currently, ISTE has given the Osseo program a ‘meets’ (standards) in two indicators (1d. and 2a.) and  three (5a., 2d., and 1b.) are extremely close to meets after the initial review of the product. Since Osseo intended to address more than five indicators, as project lead, I am currently heading up another re-write of the program with two co-developers provided by ISTE. After the re-write the product will go into review to seek alignment for eleven total indicators.

To receive either a ‘meets’ or ‘supports’, the entire indicator must be addressed including the various nuances.  For example, 1a states that teachers promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness. This means the alignment proposal had to demonstrate nuances such as promote creative thinking, promote innovative thinking, promote creative inventiveness, promote innovative inventiveness, et. al. In short there were over two hundred nuances to be addressed.

The indicators which Osseo had elected not to seek alignment (5b. and 5d.), are indicators that have been described by many on the ISTE NETS•T review team as “trying to teach multivariable calculus.”  Only two of the organizations who have received the Seal of Alignment have addressed these indicators and these programs require a time commitment of two to three years. Osseo intends to only require a time commitment of up to nine months for participants.

The C4 Model of Learning was offered to all teachers in the Osseo system who had a .8 or greater or FTE. These teachers were selected through an application process, which measured individual participant’s ability to communicate and synthesize their ideas as related to the 21st century skills and technology integration. Eighty-two (N=82) applicants accepted their offer to be a part of the learning model that would provide standards-based professional development. Participants ranged in education level with over half of the participants indicating that they had some post-Master work (N= 44, 53.66%), while only a small number of participants (N=11, 13.41%) indicated that they had only received a bachelors degree or had done some post-bachelor work. The mode for years teaching was 5-9 years (N=19, 23.17%), with 0-2 years of teaching (N=2, 2.44%) being the smallest subset. Accepted participants received a $1,000 stipend. In addition to the $1,000, stipend participants could take five credits through Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota). All participants also received 85 hours of CEUs; including receiving credit for state mandates of Technology Integration, Differentiation, Literacy, and Positive Behavior Intervention.

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