Hi Lynn, Sorry it took me a while to get back to you.
I'll tell the native Waylandites you say hi. :-)
To answer your questions, my definition of "meaningful learning" is the opposite of 90% of the Professional Development out there.
While I was teaching, the vast majority of the PD I did was a waste of time. That is not to say the lessons were horrible. The were not. Most of them were well thought out, well researched, and.......flat out awesome. The problem was, they would only come in for a day, a weekend, a week or what have you. They would show you what they came to show you. They would sign you up, leave you with a website and say "if you have any questions, consult the website".
The time they gave did not allow mastery. So in my first year, i would get all this PD (that I desperately needed mind you), try what I learned in the class, fail and not have any support to show me where I failed. If you like analogies, essentially they gave me a copy of Dante's Inferno and told me to read it on my own and interpret it. Nearly impossible to do.
So my definition of "meaningful learning" is teaching until mastery. That is teaching, discussing, investigating, and supporting. When I sign on with a school I stay there for (at least) a year at no cost to the school. I show teachers how to use Blogs, Wikis, Google Applications, and other Web 2.0 applications. We sit down and have discussions as to how we can implement these things into the curriculum (I've never taught English, so I'm not about to tell you how to use Google Apps in your class. But I will show you how Google Apps works). I offer support to teachers when applications aren't working the way the teacher wants. I work with them, until they don't need me anymore.
Sorry, that was long.
I understand your plight with mixing technology and keeping up with your work. It is one of the reasons why technology hasn't made any meaningful jumps in the Educational world (another is the PD problem that I saw). That is the reason why I'm getting into this. I know teachers don't have time to troll the web in search for the needle. That's why I want them to depend on me.
Ideas for you..... most teachers don't know about the great applications Google provides (and they are all for free). I apologize if you already know this.
Great resources for teachers are the "Documents" "Reader" and if you click on more you will see "Groups"
Documents is just like Microsoft Office The applications google has is just like word, excel and powerpoint on microsoft (only not as many bells and whistles) . The difference is you you do not need a disk to save your documents. They are all saved to your account. But the really cool thing is you can share documents with other Google members. So if your students have accounts, it's a great peer editing tool, or a way you can have your kids hand in essays/papers/assignments through gmail.
Reader channels RSS Feeds. All of that is explained very well here
With your passion for Technology Literacy, I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based platforms, have a bunch of features and free basic service.