This semester, our librarian and I get the opportunity to offer a technology-based professional development group a couple of times a month on late arrival Wednesdays. When we were trying to plan how we would conduct these sessions we were running into a couple of challenges.
1. People want training relevant to their own work. They want what they want. If we do a training too focused on one or two technology tools, some participants many not see technology as useful to their content area.
2. If we do too many tools, we run the risk of persisting the myth that technology in education is a fad: A shiny new toy with the lasting power of a K-Fed music career. It's not about the glitz, it's not about the glare, it's about the learning. How will technology add value to the unit, transform it or change it in some way that really changes the game.
We decided to review a model presented to us at the high school MLTI teacher leader training presented by Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D. I modified the model below for a training this fall to staff and changed the tech-heavy descriptions in the third column to an analogy of a caveman hunting with a rock. The hope is that we could frame our conversations about which technology tools to explore and possibly adopt based on what lasting effect it would have on a student's learning in the class.
Now for the really hard part. We were trying to figure out what technologies people were interested in learning about so we came up with a list of technologies and skills or instructional components that teachers felt like they might need in order to improve a unit.
The hope here is that we can address at least a majority of people's needs by having them do some guided exploration of technology that can be matched to that need. It feels like the right way to go, but seems like a tall order to fulfill. We might luck out and get a lot of overlap. We might even try to use an online survey tool to aggregate the data from these participants as well. (More about that in another post). I'll check in and update on how things are going (as soon as Old Man Winter lets us go to school).