So how would you fill in the blanks?
In my many years of training teachers, I have found that:
1. they don't have time
2. District don't have money
3. They don't find it interesting if they don't find some kind of immediate application
So, you have form above:
I agree with your assessment of teacher training. Training is important but so is the followup. I'm a firm believe in having computer teachers in the lab working alongside of classroom teachers to help them achieve their technology goals.
I wrote an article about virtual training that you might like to read. I was getting a bit fed up about travelling down to London (2 hours by train) only to watch death by powerpoint. As a result, I had a think about ways of using a blog and video conferencing to practice what I preach. If you'd like to have a look click here.
I agree with Sylvia. Good technology training should be like Kindergarten. You have to make sure they understand the rules of the raod (use the bathroom, no biting, say please & thank you, wait your turn, etc.) and then teach them how to apply these behaviors by showing them the connection and purpose.
Good education technology training should be like a great first date because the anticipation is incredible, you can't wait for more when its over, and want to continue the relationship into the future.
Good education technology training should be like an "open ended" question. The reason I use this concept is to promote higher level thinking and problem solving. All of us, even seen documented in this discussion, learn and teach differently. But if we can provide opportunities for differentiated instruction and permit students and teachers to explore without the fear of failing we can make a difference. It is my experience that many teachers want that hands-on, one to one training while some what a quick introduction and let them run. But, I do feel that collaboration between both sides of the spectrum is needed. We have tried to implement blogs amongst the faculty but many would not participate as a result of fearing technology. Unfortunetly, the administration let the blog fail. The second reason for it failing, next to "fearing technology" was time. To be honest, the time thing is an excuse. The more organized a person is the more time they have to learn new items and enjoy life. At one time I was focused on my job and less on my family. Fortunetly, there was not "event" that opened my eyes. Now, I focus on my family when at home and my work at work. When my family goes to bed, I explore for new technology and ways to get people interested and motivated in wanting to learn and use technology.
LOL, love the Hot Pocket reference, don't think I can top the yummy calorie filled number. How about tech training should like a good book on a summer afternoon, because it is so something YOU care about, it is rich and engaging so you can't wait to learn more.
I still like yours better, more vivid!!
I have found good professional development works when I engage the participants in a personal project, something closer to their hearts, grandbabies in a movie etc. We are in such a rush we forget the personal connection. Once you connect them on that level, I find they are excited to transfer skills to curriculum. I also find I can help people better understand how we need to fundamentally change teaching and learning when you are looking at the smiling loved once. The same old, same old won't work for their little lovies, just another way to help break the worksheet packets driving classroom instruction.
Unfortunately, the best professional development takes solid blocks of time to fill in "splinter skills" from being self taught, and this time is out of the classroom focused on curriculum development. Back to class and teach the unit, lesson or project with in class support and then back for more professional development to fine tune. This model is expensive with support, subs and in class support, but I am in the middle of a tablet initiative that has transformed a building with this model. If we want to transform teaching and learning, we need to invest in professional development!
My passionate thoughts for the day!
Good education technology training should be like a bottomless cup of good coffee! There when you want it, providing the spark to energize you, the warmth to make you feel comfortable and the ability to keep going no matter what the challenge!
All too often our training efforts are centered on the "Splash and Dash" method, finding a topic, presenting the information to a group of teachers who may not see the need and then dashing out the door! Those who were interested are left to struggle and nobody does any follow-up to assure that the intended impact really happens.
Good training needs to be "On Time," "On Target," and "Ongoing". On time means that we are constantly searching for what the teachers are needing and are able to assist at that time, not just when an inservice day is scheduled. On target deals with not only knowing what the teachers need to know, but also when they need it. Ongoing refers to providing support and followup.... making sure the training is put to use.
I think it depends on your audience.. The hot pocket analogy is perfect for those who are tech natives and can grasp new technologies easily and quickly, like nuking a hot pocket.
Those not native to tech, who are reluctant and even sometimes resistant to tech in the class room, would be put off by that analogy.
For them I would say.... Good Educational technology training should be like a rich piece of cheesecake. You have to nibble at it to eat it, but no matter how long it takes, you know your going to finish it!
I have done some tech training for teachers in my district/building, most of whom were over 40. Technology for most of them was not something they were comfortable with. I had to piecemeal tech to them a little at a time. They got it, they loved it, and they really started to use it. What was most important to them was not feeling like a fool in front of the kids in the lab, and making sure their activities were valid, not just using the computers for the sake of using computers because the district just dropped $20,000 in the lab.
I agree with Meg, good tech training is expensive ( like good cheesecake!). I requires continual training over a time period with lots of support and back and forth between training and using it in the classroom. And, you have to find that personal connection. My best classes were teaching digital cameras, mostly I think because teachers wanted to know how to use it for themselves at home with their families.. Which I didn't mind, as I knew it would cross over into the classroom.
Wow, I didn't mean to write so much! Hope I gave something to think about.