I am very excited to announce that starting in September 2011, YIS will host the Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy program that Jeff, Dennis, Chad and I started at ISB two years ago. Our first COETAIL cohort at ISB was such a success that a second one was started almost immediately after; and Tapei American School, Qatar Academy, and the New International School of Thailand have all started their own cohorts. We’re also bringing a regional cohort for other countries in Asia as part of the EARCOS Teacher’s Conference. Soon, the American Embassy School in New Delhi will start their cohort. And, now, the newest cohort will be hosted at YIS!

One of the things I’m most looking forward to with this new cohort is the chance to teach the program with some of my amazing YIS colleagues: Adam Clark (Counselor), Brian Farrell (Librarian), Frank Curkovic (Visual Arts Teacher) and Rebekah Madrid (Humanities Teacher). Not only is it fantastic to get multiple perspectives, opinions and approaches in one program, but it’s also really wonderful that so many of our teachers are both interested in, and able to, lead a course like this. Now this very tech-rich certificate program will be facilitated by teachers from various specialty backgrounds, working in different areas of the school. I hope that this will be yet another way that we can build our own networked and sustainable professional development model.

Of course, we also hope to have some virtual instructors during the course, just like we did at ISB.  And I’m now working on building in two EARCOS weekend workshops with visiting consultants during the first and third courses, to bring even more experience and expertise to our cohort.

In addition to a diverse group of instructors, we’re also opening up the cohort to teachers outside of YIS who would like to participate. I think this will be the first COETAIL cohort that encourages teachers from a variety of schools in a city/region to come together to learn. It will be fantastic to have the time and focus to develop deep connections with other teachers here in the Tokyo area. Hopefully, this will allow us to build more beyond-school collaboration, and in turn to begin to bring more global connections to our students’ learning. This open, collaborative environment is exactly what we want to create for our students.

What is truly amazing, though, is how quickly this program has grown. By this time next school year, we will have hundreds of enthusiastic international educators as part of our COETAIL network of teachers. Dana (who will run the AES New Delhi cohort), Jeff (who’s managing ISB, NIST and TAS), and I will be able to help all of those teachers connect with other professionals in the same field, perhaps teaching the same curriculum, in a similar international setting, and with comparable skills and knowledge. I would imagine that this is going to create a very special network – one that could potentially change the way teachers in Asia connect, collaborate and learn.

Join us!

So, if you’re interested, and able to come to YIS for our face-to-face sessions, please check the blog for more details, and sign up here! Or, if you’re not in Japan, but just want to know more about COETAIL, let me or Jeff know, or fill out this quick form and we’ll get back to you.

So looking forward to seeing how our new YIS cohort, and COETAIL Asia, develops!

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