If you had the opportunity to create or participate in a new and different technology training, what would that be? We have all been to Digital Storytelling, Podcasting, Google Docs, etc face to face trainings, but in today's world, that is old technology. What do you see on the horizon that needs to be addressed in terms of teacher PD?
Please understand, this is about face to face trainings, not webinars. I want to "be ahead of the curve" in developing new and upcoming trainings for the teachers I work with.
Thanks in advance.
Any PD initiative should begin by helping teachers make connections between their perceived need to cover curriculum and the conflicting demands of 21st century literacies. It requires much more than the simple knowledge of how to use the tools. It requires an in depth understanding of good pedagogy in a supportive school climate conducive to inquiry learning and collaboration.
Despite having how-to workshops infusing technology into curriculum, teaching practices remains elusive for many teachers. The present style for technology-related professional development lacks the continut yteachers need to develop the confidence leading to technology fluency. Public school Teachers crave a constant support person, available during their usage of technology. They now need teachers considered as IT expert as alone they will be alone ranger in the technology era.
But Thanks for the latest innovation introductions we see in the community, and any new training is more than welcomed here.Thanks once again.
The best PD opportunities to me provide actual "real" application examples (not just ones that a trainer has made up for the sake of the audience). Just providing cool sites does not help me unless classroom examples are shared. The great thing about teachers is when you share examples from the classroom then they will totally run with those ideas and develop better ones within their curriculum.
I live in northwest Missouri and we have an excellent PD source found on the NWMSU campus called RPDC. This group of former teachers provide workshops that they want you to create lessons on how you, the teacher, could use it in the classroom. They do not expect you to create something for the sake of creating. They want teachers to reap the benefits to the highest regards.
I can not say enough of the RPDC group...if you do have trouble, they are there to work with the teachers!!!
I have been continuing to thing in these terms this year. However, I am moving a bit more toward some global ideas and away from just technology. I know you specifically asked about technology trainings, but I think there is a need for some basics. Some of the time technology integration fails because of poor teaching techniques to begin with. Perhaps with a review of some basics, tech integration might be more successful in some instances.
I see a need for PD which helps teachers be better educators...so I read an older book called "Teach Like a Champion." The author reviews 49 techniques for teachers to use in their classrooms.
I, as a trainer and many teachers as well, have an initial reaction of "I do these things already." However, upon closer examination and even observation and mentoring, I am finding that these basic techniques can be reviewed and refined by even seasoned and successful teachers. If we, as educators, can truly open ourselves to reflection and examination of our practice, we can save a lot of wasted time and effort, which could then be used in Projects!
Take a look at it and let me know what you think. There are also some of the videos which accompany the book and are used to illustrate some of the techniques on YouTube.
Bonnie, thanks for the links. I did look at a couple of the videos and the thing that struck me was the techniques being used by the teachers reminded me of B.F. Skinner's work with reinforcement schedules. I'm sure it worked for those teachers, but, I'm not sure I could ever use them in my classroom. It was an interesting concept though. To me, it was more about discipline, and less on actual classroom work.
Have you ever used any of the techniques that were showcased in the video? If so, what results did you see?
I agree on the reinforcement- and indeed, these techniques are about the very basics of teacing- "managing" the students. However, I have found in many classrooms that this is lacking, and that it's necessary for teachers to have some of these techniques or other ones under their belts before they move into more open types of learning situations such as PBL.
The videos are quite off-putting at first- students sitting in rows, hands folded in front of them and so on. When I looked past that I could see that the underlying tone of respect and the atmosphere of hard work and accomplishment would be helpful to students.
We cannot assume that every classroom teacher strongly conveys and supports students in these ways. In fact, I think we can assume that some of these ideas are needed in many classrooms. Reading the book (for me) allowed me to picture the techniques used in a less structured environment, as a teacher gently and respectfully insists that students get responses completely correct, were drawn further into the subject matter, and were able to make efficient use of the allotted learning time.
I am in the beginning stages of writing a book with a couple of collegues about mentoring teachers, specifically how to mentor teachers for the coming of age classroom and how to make sure they have the skills to be competitive in a possible performance payment system. Teachers are going to be under increasing pressure to produce higher achieving students. We have an obligation to get them there, but need the PD and training to make sure it happens.