Sunday, October 12, 2014

DLC Goal - Weekly Tech Trainings for Teachers (POST IN PROGRESS)

I want to develop some sort of "Tech Thursday" or something where there is a once a week, after school, quick hands-on tech workshop for teachers. I'm imagining it would start with me, but ideally it would eventually be organized by me but led by teachers (teaching them to fish...). I sent out a request for ideas on Google+, so I'm going to summarize the resources here for ease of access in the future. (Special thanks to Michelle Roberts, Mark Emmons, and Nichole Carter for their thoughts and resources)

  • From Michelle:
    • Reference "Best Practices in Adult Learning Theory" to help guide your planning of the workshops.
    • Reference "Best Practices for Technology Training
    • Give some "pre-homework", like a short video tutorial for teachers to watch before coming.  This could motivate them to come - if they just see a "small slice" of a certain piece of technology and want to learn more about it.
    • Workshop NOT focused on Direct Instruction, but more on Guided Practice.  If workshop is 30 minutes, max 10 minutes instruction and rest of time to practice.
    • Places for free resources and tutorials:
    • Motivation - raffle at each training. People, especially teachers, LOVE the chance to win free stuff!
  • From Mark 
    • Characterize the sessions within a problem-solution framework. 1:1 coaching sessions can focus on the pedagogical constraints and actual implementation
    • Teacher-led sessions on application of technology/strategies set up ala edcamp, breaking down sessions topically for 1-1.5 hours each. Staff choose from 30+ sessions in a working environment.  (This is an idea I am hoping to use for some PD this fall; we will see with the amount of manpower/facilitators we have available)
  • From Nichole:
    • "I noticed that when you first roll out a 1:1 program the teachers are always overwhelmed, it takes a little less than a semester for some of the staff to come to the point where they are ready and able to learn more. Beyond that, it's voluntary so what do you consider a valuable piece of time. If I offer a after school workshop and I have at least 5-10 attend out of a staff of 40, I feel like it was a good use of my time. Regardless I post all the materials up for the staff to attend to later for their convenience if they had a meeting or were out sick and wanted to attend but couldn't."
    • Survey the staff and hear what needs they have.

  • I was able to GHO with Nichole tonight and got a lot of great ideas.  You can check out her Google Site with all her resources here.
    • She does a "Tech Thursday" each week, which is a 30 minute after school hands-on workshop for teachers.  She advertises the workshop and tells teachers what topic will be covered on Monday of that week.  Sometime between Tuesday and Thursday, she sends out a "Cheat Sheet" guide of what will be covered for teachers to preview (or to have if they aren't able to attend).  All of these cheat sheets are kept archived on her Google Site for teachers to access in the future.  During the session, she has a collaborative notes document (which isn't being used fully as of yet, but there is hope) for participants to share ideas and take notes.  The ideas for her Tech Thursdays come from two places.  First, at the beginning of the year, she did a "Gripe Jar" activity that she got from Jennie Magiera, where teachers wrote down all their gripes about technology.  She said a lot of ideas for what teachers needed came from that.  Second, she makes sure to listen and hear what teachers are encountering as they are teaching that might be useful as a Tech Thursday.
    • One hurdle she is working to overcome with teachers is the thought that "Sharing is NOT boasting".  Getting teachers to want to share what they are doing in their classes, and even "training" other teachers on how to do what they are doing, is a very scary thought for many.  
    • Over the summer, she sets up times at teachers' houses to do a "Wine and Apps", where they come together to enjoy wine and appetizers, but also explore different apps or features of the iPad (that is what they are 1-to-1 with).  The first summer, this was about once a week, but it could be even just a few specific dates throughout the summer and work well.  It helps to foster community among the staff and develop a culture of voluntary PD and collaboration.

I will continue to add to this post as I gather more ideas and resources and put a plan together for it.  Please comment and add your resources and suggestions!

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