Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The PD that is slipping through the cracks.

A fellow tech colleague has shown some disheartening feelings on the "failure" to teach responsibility with technology in his school. I have felt the same many times and wonder why this is. After recently attending Sylvia Martinez's session at ISTE, “We Need More PD!” and Other Myths about Technology Integration, I think I have found some answers.

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Sylvia spoke of some of the most obvious PD in new much more efficient and effective forms that we all have access to but are not using.
  1. Virtual Communities - Now most of you reading this blog are thinking, duh, that is what I am doing right now. Yes, that is true, however, we still find ourselves constantly bombarded with the "gather teachers in a room and lecture, or if you are lucky, attempt new teaching techniques to teachers, expecting their "professionalism" to keep them focused, engaged and on task". Sounds a lot like some unfortunate classrooms out there. We need to see the powers that be encourage virtual PD, PLN's for example. (My twitter PLN has taught me and continues to teach me FAR more than any traditional PD.)
  2. Student Provided - This is the one I am most excited about. I did attempt my own version of this this year as a "learn a piece of software and create some help documents and a presentation for a teacher who may be interested" project found here, here and here. However, this was just scratching the surface after hearing Sylvia speak about Generation YES. In this presentation she spoke of incorporating students into the tech plan, allowing their strengths to help guide us as teachers. As many of my colleagues know, if you don't know how a piece of technology works, "ask a kid".
Well then, lets ask kids, put our out dated mentality that we are the knowledge keepers and truly take technology integration adventures with our students.

I will be further exploring this concept using the GenYES documents to guide me.

How do you include your students in tech planning?

...and to get back to my colleagues issue and not having students "buy into" the respectful and responsible use of technology, would the GenYES concepts create a student policed citizenship guided use of technology?


Marcie said...

This reminds me of the videos that the kids from Texas created after their teacher gave them the list of tools that they could use. If we want to be relevant to students, we need to incorporate the tools that they are using and have a connection with, so that may mean they they need to teach "us" how to utilize them, or suggest ways that they could be utilized in the teaching and learning.

eldongermann said...

Yes Marci. Now imagine if those students presented, as they did to us, to their own teachers and got into more of the details ... or better yet, had a sign up for teachers to receive extra support, from those students, if they so wish to learn how to use the technologies the students used.

I could see this as credit work for high school students.