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Christen Thompson

EDIT 760 D2
20 June 2016
NETS-A Standard 3, Excellence in Professional Practice
Introduction
Excellence in professional practice is the focus of standard 3, which states: Educational
Administrators promote an environment of professional learning and innovation that empowers
educators to enhance student learning through the infusion of contemporary technologies and
digital resources. According to www.iste.org, technology has the power to provide educational
leaders, educators, and students with an unlimited fount of democratized knowledge.
However, with this great knowledge base come challenges that were nonexistent prior to our
modern technological age. As educational leaders, one of these challenges is maintain
excellence in professional practice. This means that educational leaders will encourage
environments that foster professional learning in educators which in turn fosters student learning.
This research on ISTE NETS-A standard 3 was completed at South Carolina Connections
Academy, a public virtual school. South Carolina Connections Academy (SCCA) is a part of the
South Carolina Public Charter School District (SCPCSD). The main office for SCCA is in
Columbia, SC. At the main office, school staff includes a high school principal, secretaries, a
special education coordinator, and a teacher. Although SCCA is based in South Carolina,
Connections Academy has locations around the world, which serve students in kindergarten
through twelfth grade. Educational leaders at SCCA would be the executive director, the

board of directors, and the principals/vice-principals at each grade level. These leaders are
responsible for ensuring excellence in professional practice as described in standard 3.
Indicator 1
Indicator 1 states that educational leaders will Allocate time, resources, and access to
ensure ongoing professional growth in technology fluency and integration. According to
www.iste.org, if you are an administrator who wants to promote the effective use of technology
in your school or district, you must provide valuable and ongoing training not only how to use
the tools, but how to implement them effectively into the curriculum. At SCCA, administration
provides for technology training through face-to-face meetings (bi-monthly), online trainings
(through Live Lesson) and through professional learning opportunities such as educational
conferences. Face-to-face meetings are held in Columbia bi-monthly where the staff of SCCA
comes together for an entire school day. At these meetings, administration creates breakout
rooms where teachers can go to learn about subjects that are relevant to their professional lives.
Some of these sessions are mandatory if they are applicable to all teachers. For example, in May
of this past school year, teachers were given tablets to use during their Live Lessons.
Administration provided training sessions during face-to-face meetings to ensure that teachers
were able to use these new tablets effectively during their lessons. Online trainings are held
through Live Lesson, and are typically conducted by the executive director, a principal, or vice
principal. These meetings are held as needed as new technologies and features within the SCCA
learning management system arise. SCCA also has funding for educational conferences that
encourage professional growth in technology fluency and integration. Teachers may request
funding in order to attend professional conferences that are relevant to their subject matter. For
the first three years at SCCA, each teacher is a part of a Professional Learning Series that

meets monthly. During the classes for these series, teachers are introduced to new technology
and new ways to utilize existing technology. These series are meant to introduce new teachers to
the technology that is available to them and to teach them to use it effectively.
Indicator 2
Indicator 2 states that educational leaders will Facilitate and participate in learning
communities that stimulate, nurture and support administrators, faculty, and staff in the study and
use of technology. Each grade level at SCCA forms a professional learning community.
Within these communities, administrators and teachers come together to reflect and take action.
Professional learning communities (PLCs) meet weekly through a Lync meeting. During these
meetings, teachers and administrators collaborate and share ideas and concerns. During these
meetings, teachers are able to ask questions and get answers from administrators, and
administrators are able to introduce new technology to teachers. Through Lyncs share screen
feature, administrators are able to demonstrate different ways to use the learning management
system, Connexus. Meeting notes are taken by the PLC in order to document information that
was covered in the meeting so that they can be viewed by other educational administrators such
as the executive director. This serves as a checks and balances system to ensure that learning
communities are stimulating, nurturing, and supporting educators in the study and use of
technology.
Indicator 3
Indicator 3 states that educational leaders will Promote and model effective
communication and collaboration among stakeholders using digital-age tools. At SCCA,
teachers are expected to hold Live Lessons through Adobe Connect at least once a week,

depending on content area. In order to model effective communication, the executive director,
principals, vice principals, and the special education director often hold Live Lessons in order to
communicate and collaborate with teachers. By using the tool that teachers are required to use,
leaders are able to demonstrate how to effectively use this technology tool. Live Lessons are
also held for other stakeholderssuch as parents, learning coaches, students, and prospective
parents and students. Through the use of this technology, administration ensures that correct use
of Live Lesson has been modeled. Administrators also utilize other features within the learning
management system such as web-mail and message boards. At the January 2016 face-to-face
meeting, the executive director hosted a professional learning opportunity on communication. At
this meeting, she shared some tips for communication that are highly effective. She shared how
to respond to negative comments from parents and students, and how to turn a destructive
situation into a constructive, positive conversation. This meeting modeled how to collaborate
and communicate even when the situation may seem like a lost cause. Through learning
opportunities such as this communication meeting, the executive director demonstrates
communication and collaboration skills.
Indicator 4
Indicator 4 states that education leaders will Stay abreast of educational research and
emerging trends regarding effective use of technology and encourage evaluation of new
technologies for their potential to improve student learning. School leaders often share the
latest educational research and trends with faculty and staff through Outlook e-mail. There are
multiple sources of educational research that teachers have access tothe Connections
Courier, which is a weekly newsletter sent out by SCCA, the Connections Academy newsletter,
which is sent out by Connections Academy headquarters, and weekly PLC grapevines, which

are sent out by the leader of each PLC weekly. These are great communication tools where
leaders can share research that they have found with educators. For example, before state testing
began in March, the vice principal for 6th and 7th grade shared a great resource with teachers
about fixed versus growth mindset research. This research indicated that students who view their
knowledge as having the ability to grow, perform better than students who view their knowledge
as fixed or stagnant. The vice principal shared technological resources that could be used by
teachers to teach about these mindsets and the effect that they have on a students ability to learn.
This research demonstrates that educational administrators are staying abreast of educational
research.
Conclusion
The level of concern for SCCA in regards to NETS-A Standard 3, Excellence in
Professional Practice is low. SCCA Educational Administrators promote an environment of
professional learning and innovation that empowers educators to enhance student learning
through the infusion of contemporary technologies and digital resources. There is evidence that
SCCA adheres to each indicator for standard 3 (1-4).

Works Cited
Crompton, Helen. 7 January 2015. Know the ISTE Standards for
Administrators: What does the research say? Accessed 20 June 2016
https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=264.