OK folks, this is my first discussion starter here on classroom 2.0. But I need your help....

I have a question for you all. In two days I have to run some teacher training/professional development at my school for my faculty [6 hours worth in total]. It comes at the end of our two week vacation here in Australia, so I need it to be incredibly relevant and motivational for the teachers involved.

The subject I have chosen is: "Classroom 2.0 - how can we change our teaching practice to reflect the new priorities and best practice in education?"

Since I have been consuming so much of classroom 2.0 and similar philosophical and paradigm shifting material, such as reading wikinomics (great book), enjoying NECC and edubloggercon podcasts, reading blogs, etc etc, ..... I figure I should practice what I now preach.

So, what does Classroom 2.0 pundits say my training should look like? How do you do "Teacher Training 2.0"?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Clarifying questions welcome also.



Tags: development, pd, professional, staff, training

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I recently had a two different professional development programs going that used my ning site for staff development in our school district. I regret to tell you that we have blackboard, I setup moodle and also a multiuser web log server as well as a joomla site with a forum and other features. Each of the site have limited use and seem to fall short. The ning site how ever caught on very well with one of the teacher trainig groups in the math program. Where the facilitator used the site in an internet cafe type of setting and required the participant s to join the network. The other professional development did not require to encouraged and had limited particpation, but covered very hands on material. This was an apple server training for the tech staff. in the long term both groups have seemed to drop off at about the same time. (at the end of training)

As the assistant technology coordinator for a rural school it is hard to motivate teaching staff to internet based applications due to a variety of issues. Don't get me wrong i have some staff chomping at the bit to integrate technology and other won't touch it with a ten foot pole

I suggest starting a social network for the staff to get them into the groove of the 2.0 era and become aware of the new technology. I would keep things simple and build through the year.
Interesting comment. I certainly will start simple in the sense of the new tools I will be showcasing.

Why did Moodle and Joomla fall short? How were you using these tools?

We have used Moodle for 4 years and it is a huge hit - especially in classes where students have regular computer access. If they don't it falls over!

I find students want a clear map of where their learning is going and having a course management system like Moodle provides this feature.

I really like your post and comments about.......

However I do wonder that instead of inspiring we actually end up overwhelming and perhaps it is worth choosing, and getting them to do hands on, with less.

I used to overwhelm my teachers - new features, new gadgets, new sites....I've now changed my approach and really focus on getting them communicating to each other with their own approaches and applications and assisting more individually. I only really train teachers and introduce applications that are VERY specific to their teaching focus (in my case EFL - English as a foreign language) and only when it really can have a broad application and is very adaptable.

I like Jason's idea of using Skype and I've had my teachers creating classroom yackpacks here in Korea. But I want to hear more about this Skype application, I use it and find it a very well thought out application.

I do think the broader question is -- will the teachers be able to train themselves, on their own, with the systems we've enabled AND will they then enact/implement technology which students themselves also can use alone and functionally, for their own learning. If we have to intervene too much along this process, I think we've failed.

I say this without a lot of experience. I mostly teach methodolgy and practical classroom stuff but do, as part of my own passion and belief - push my teachers towards many great applications which are opening up the language learning field.

I'm all for training that ends up with the "Monday Morning Lesson"

Don't be too evangelist showing lots of different things that excite you. I've delivered INSET to my colleagues and what they liked best, remembered and still use is what they found they could use without a too much trouble.

Pick one thing
Show them a demo lesson
Show them how to do it themselves
Let them do it
Let them take away some thing they can use in a lesson

Best wishes
I'm right with you. Technology needs to aid the classroom, not change it:
Technology is a tool for business, it doesn't change it.
Technology is a tool for science, it doesn't change it.

Look at trends. Technology has always been a good tool to store information. Writing is a technology that allowed the preservation of ideas. The printing press allowed these ideas to proliferate and promote literacy. The camshaft become the loom, which eventually turned into the punch card computer. These are all storage technologies and they allow for a great degree of subsequent innovation. When I look at technology and the modern classroom i want to see software that provides services that the classroom cannot, yet at the same time support the overall education that is going on within the classroom already.

So now I want to take a look at something more specific; portfolios. Portfolios are used within education and professional sectors and they're amazingly effective at demonstrating ability and documenting progress of individuals and groups. Where I went to school at the end of the year students were expected to have portfolios that detail their progress and highlight their successes. I never kept these and now I wish that I had. How amazing would it to have your entire education documented... none of your old school work lost. it's more than that though. A portfolio illustrates the amount of work that an individual can achieve over a log period of time.

The portfolio is an important and vital piece of technology, not unlike the file system on a computer, and yet I still don't see teachers talking about the importance of properly organizing and cataloging information on computers. This kind of thinking is more suitable to the classroom than trying to guess if a wiki or google doc will have a better impact on the students. I think these applications distract more than anything. What if google goes out of business or for some reason the Internet collapses, then what has anyone really learned. Fundamentals, that's what's important.

I wonder if a portfolio is a technology as much it is a message. The technology is the medium not the message.

I also wonder if fundamentals are that important anymore. I mean, beyond the fact that someone can read and write, which presumably is achieved fairly young (for our students at least), I think Freedman was right in saying that a speciality and adaptibility are two of the most important qualities of school/uni graduates.
I'd agree with adaptability being very important in education, but I'm not so sure about specialization. When I look for people to collaborate professionally I'm less concerned with their specialization (in education) and more concerned with their experience and adaptability to new ideas and situations. Specialization seems more something you focus on after your undergraduate degree, at that point you begin to develop experience that may specialize you, or you may not. So no, I don't think specialization is important to education, at least not at most levels.

When I think about fundamentals what I'm entertaining are the aspects of any given subject that create a solid foundation. The foundation is something the student can build on later. I don't think it should be the goal of any specific class to teach everything there is to know about x (we'll call x word processing). Instead the student will be better off learning the basic elements to apply the skill or knowledge and then move on. This allows the student to have a broad base of knowledge. The less time you spend on a given subject or idea the broader the range of choices the student will have available to them when thinking about larger issues.

However, if you're thinking of x as a specialization then I guess there is only a semantic difference in our ideas. In that case I'm arguing specialization is a function of adaptability.
I meant to reply about the portfolio. Using a portfolio, or a file systems, is basically a way of teaching organization that has other benefits as well. A portfolio can boost a students sense of self worth, it can also remind them of accomplishments and reinforce learning. So when you're show kids how to use portfolio the message is many fold, but the technology is one thing.

technology allows us to wrap many lessons or skills into one thing. i can think of thousands of examples of how software has been able to do this to make learning how to program, and the actual process of programming, faster and easier. Word processing does the same thing for writing.

A problem arises when the technology causes an interrupt, or hole in the curriculum. If kids are always typing then their hand writing will suffer. There may also be other benefits to writing by hand that we're unaware of.

Everything is delicate and it's hard to know exactly what a new technology will do if it's introduced to replace or enhance education without proper study. That's why I think technology that is implemented into the classroom needs to support, not replace existing practices.
I am planning a web2.0 professional development session, so I can to this forum first to see what others have already done. So I was reading all the comments, and there seemed to be a common thread to find out what people already know. This is one of my main pillars of professional development training philosophy. I was thinking about how could you find out what they know keep them interested, moving and discussing with their peers. This is when my brain goes into brainstorming freefall, so here are the ways I was thinking to get at prior knowledge.
1. I thought you could have posters on the walls with the basic questions, let's say: I bookmark online. AND I use _______ to bookmark online. I list bookmarks with no explanations. I make a comment on my bookmarks. I want to know who else bookmarked the sites I chose.
2. Posters seemed to not really get at the heart of the web2.0, so I thought I could make an online survey. Then I realized that there would be little social interaction with an individual survey.
3. Photo-graphs could be taken for each question and possible answer. Bluetooth or other way to transfer to something online. People could see at a glance who is where they are in terms of technology use. I could see who is where they are also, and I could see their faces. The participants would have to discuss to get in to their photo-graph distribution areas.
This is when I decided that I better write this down, so I will remember it later. I have lots of ideas,but most are like electricity...they dissipate without a conductor. LOL!
I had great success organizing an on-going wiki to study where we should go with laptops at our school. I presented a wiki intro and from that two teachers started their own wiki, one teacher got into blogging, and one teacher sort of wanted to and maybe has started a wiki for a group she sponsors.

Second idea: have everyone set up a blog/wiki based on what they teach. Have the attendees sign up for each other's sites and/or do an RSS feed on the site.

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