Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Professional Development in Technology

We are very fortunate in Duval County to have an Early Release Day every other Wednesday. That means that the children leave an hour and half early so that we can participate in professional development. Each of our Early Releases begins with a touch of technology as we choose two new Geeks from the Creek - two people who are using technology to enhance their instruction in a new or creative way. These chosen models present a quick lesson to us all on what they have been doing and then document their work on our on-going blog. Today we used the rest of our Early Release time for continued technology development. Teachers identified six topics that they wanted to learn more about a couple of weeks ago through an on-line survey and today each teacher had the choice of attending a workshop that she felt would enhance her own instruction. The workshops offered by our own faculty were:
Adding to a Wiki
Basic Excel
Using Web 2.0 Tools
Using Your Document Camera

I attended Debbie Harbour's session on using Voicethread in the classroom (shown to the left). Debbie and several other teachers have made voicethreads which they have added to their blogs. In fact, Melanie Holtsman actually helped me with a voicethread about this time last year but the truth is that she did most of the work and I didn't learn enough to do it completely solo the next time! I can be a really slow learner when it comes to technology! Of course, that's one of the best things about working at Chets Creek. You don't ever have to do it by yourself because there is always someone who is willing to help. I think now that I've seen Voicethread enough, with my experience with Melanie last year and watching Debbie today, that I feel pretty comfortable about trying one on my own!


Suzanne said...

I love times when we offer differentiated PD and the most positive comments from teachers occur just after they've participated in a selection of their choice. I'm thinking it is time for a quick Early Release survey, what do you think?

Mrs. Snead said...

I am really sorry I missed this so I can't wait for the next one. These trainings make the ER days worthwhile. So often I hear other teachers from other schools complain about theirs. Said they just can't all be like us.

Melanie Holtsman said...

Ooooooohhhhh! I can't wait to see your voicethread. :)

Debbie Harbour said...

I can't wait to see your voicethread!

Meli Launey said...

I really enjoyed the differentiated tech time as well. I learned so much about Web 2.0. Just that short break out time with Melissa Ross has changed the way I look for things (and what I look for) to add technology to my instruction. What a great idea so that teachers aren't made to sit through things they already know about. Time is much better spent learning in a differentiated "just right" learning environment for each one of us!