Thursday, May 24, 2007

Professional Development and IT

Does Technology Really Change Education?

I believe it can, but professional development is necessary. Teachers, must understand constructivist pedagogy, and how it applies to education. They need to understand that IT can be a powerful tool to support this paradigm shift in education. Karen Henderson's Beyond the Mouse and Modem 2006 results show that only 13% of all educators completed the survey. I was disappointed with this turn-out. How many of the 87% of teachers who did not complete the survey are IT illiterate? How many educators chose not to complete the survey? How many may have started the survey and quit? Were there some who did not know about the survey? I encouraged my staff to complete the survey, but I'm not sure if they all did.

I have been thinking about embedding curriculum consulting. Would the best consulting practice be half time teaching and half time consulting? If I taught ELA and SS for half of the day and had the other half day for working with teachers on my staff and teachers on a few other staffs. There seems to be evidence to support that peer tutoring/teaching is very effective. I could be sharing my ELA unit activities/lessons/assessments with the teachers as I/we use them.



Dean Shareski said...

I believe that we are at a crossroads in education. I was told of a director who was shown the benefits of technology, particularly one to one computing and was convinced along with the data that it has the potential to drastically improve learning when used appropriately. And made the decision NOT to implement because he knew that he could not afford to do it for all kids and thus would be clearly guilty of educational malpractice.

If we are to make the changes in teaching and learning that technology affords, it's going to be expensive. Not because of hardware and software but because of the cost of quality professional learning. True change takes time and money and there is no way to get around it.

In our current state, I'm not optimistic that the political will is there to truly make this type of commitment.

Kelly Christopherson said...

I'm thinking that consulting would be great but I don't know if teaching and consulting would work. I can see that if you only worked in your school it might be okay but having to travel and do it would put stress on the system, particularly yours! I've been giving the same idea a great deal of thought. It seems we are in a vacuum where very few teachers have any idea what is out there or what can be done with it. I truly believe, and agree with you, that the only way to make technology integration work is through peer mentoring/coaching/assistance. We need to get past what we are doing and begin to use the tools that are available out there. Sigh. For myself, I don't think I would do my teaching justice as I would be too involved in my consulting - that is where my passion lies. Maybe you could do that - I don't know. I know that I can spend time finding information and ideas and other things for my social class but I don't have near the time to use them all. I just love the possibilities that are there. With the advent of zohonotebook, I can save all my links in various topics and begin to put together incredible units based solely on the use of technology. At this point, the only paper I get is the stuff that I hand out and ask to be handed in. I am hoping to introduce students to zohowriter soon so they can make notes and write information online and then share it with me. Oh the potential!