This week a colleague of mine taught a one hour class on Movie Maker and Photostory to the teachers in my district. I found her approach interesting and effective, so I thought I'd share it. She had the teachers bring in pictures. Most of them brought in personal stuff (grandkids, family vacations, etc). Then she taught them how to use the program. She never mentioned how the programs might be used in the classroom, and led the discussion so that the teachers were talking more about how they'd use the programs personally. The excitement in the room was awesome...and when they were finished, a few were even emailing what they'd created to loved ones. My colleague's theory was that if they got excited about how the could use the programs personally and played around with them that way, later they hopefully would be excited about using them with their students. Sometimes we skip that personal application step...we teach our teachers to use something with their students, but not how to use it themselves first. I have to say, it was hard for me not to mention the kids during the class and how excited they'd be if their teachers used the programs with them, but I kept my mouth shut. That's the part that gets ME excited, but of course, I've been using the programs personally for awhile now. I'll be interested to see the carry-over from this in-service. Will it work?

I read a blog or discussion somewhere (I think it was here) where someone mentioned that it was important to have teachers using technology (and web 2.0) in professional development for themselves first...then we could move them to using those things with their students. I think that discussion falls along the same lines and my experience above...and I think I understand a little better now.

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Comment by Kevin H. on June 30, 2007 at 4:40am
You are right on -- teachers have to use the tech first before they can see the applications for their students in the classroom. This is so important. I am part of the National Writing Project and our philosophy is based on the notion that teachers need to be writing (and in terms of our tech component, creating through technology) on their own as well as developing the rationale for ideas in the classroom.
Thanks for sharing!


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