Friday, 25 October 2013

Teaching with Technology Professional Development Workshops

In this post I intend to provide a bit of background around the development of our Teaching with Technology Professional Development workshop sessions.  For a complete overview of my Major Digital Project please click here.

As described in my Teaching with Technology Website post, Leanne Forrest and I originally developed a resource designed to facilitate the integration of technology with nine effective teaching strategies to improve student learning for the 2012 IT Summit.  For the 2013-2014 school year, we wanted to offer professional development opportunities for teachers looking to integrate technology into effective teaching practice.  The development of these workshops was a multi-step process.

We began by outlining our ultimate goal for this project, which is to develop a community of learners to support each other, and to reflect on professional practice through a Moodle course blog.  We knew we wanted participants to complete the following as part of the project:
1.       Reflect on the role of technology to support the nine research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.
2.       Explore, plan and implement a technology tool to support an instructional strategy or outcome. The model will support selecting, evaluating, and reflecting on the teacher’s plan.
3.       Share the successes, challenges, and implementation of the strategy or additional technology integration as a community of learners through a series of blog posts and reflections.  
Ultimately our goal is to showcase these projects and experiences with other interested teachers through a technology fair.

Once we had established our goals, we revisited the Teaching with Technology resource to determine changes we felt we needed to make in order to achieve our goals.  Our original resource only outlined seven of the effective teaching strategies.  We decided it was important to provide background information and tool options for all nine strategies, so we reviewed the Classroom Instruction that Works book and updated our resource to include summaries and tool options for all nine strategies.

Next, we determined a time-frame for delivering the workshops.  We decided to offer sessions in October, January, and February with a focus on Grade 4-12 teachers.  With this decided, we sent out a registration email to teachers.  Current registration for all three sessions is at approximately 30 teachers.

Finally, we decided upon the workshop format.  When we first developed the website, we delivered the information as a "presentation".  We spoke about each of the strategies and explained the tools we had listed.  However, we did not want this to be the main focus of the Teaching with Technology workshops. Instead, we wanted to ensure teachers had adequate time for resource exploration and project planning.  With this in mind, we developed a workshop agenda to allow for the following:
  • Project overview
  • Introduction to the Nine Effective Teaching Strategies
  • Connecting to the Teaching Strategies
  • Project planning time
  • Evaluating technology tools using the SECTIONS Model
  • Documenting the Learning Process - Introduction to blogging in Moodle
  • Individual project development time 
Leanne and I developed a number of resources in order to support the Teaching With Technology workshop, including: Teaching with Technology Website; Mimio presentation file; and Moodle course with Project Overview and links to required resources.
In future posts about my Major Digital Project I will describe in further detail the Teaching with Technology website, the presentation file, the Moodle course and blogging process, and the SECTIONS Model teachers used to select and use technology tools for the project.


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