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Reinventing Professional Development

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One of the stars of the professional development circuit, classroom tech expert Will Richardson has grown frustrated with schools' continued use of workshops and in-service days to provide teacher training:

In the best case, they are a full day of one or two particular tools. In the worst case, they are one or two hours on a lot of tools. Either way, the experience usually serves to overwhelm, and at the end of the day (or hour) the participants head back to the craziness of their teaching lives where I’m guessing much of what they have “learned” fails to take root. Now that may be my fault to some extent, but it’s also a direct result of the “drive by” nature of much of what we call professional development. There’s little if anything to support the experience after it’s over.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Richardson believes that that very Web 2.0 tools in which he specializes give schools the opportunity to create "long-term, job-embedded, relationship- and network-building professional development" that can deepen and personalize teacher learning. His sometime partner in crime, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, is of the same mind.

2 Comments

I agree. Best case scenario? Use the web for all 12 grades and get rid of institutions altogether. That would cripple our economy though and we just couldn't have that. What would Wall Street do?

I have been in the worst case senario. Recently our school installed lots of new equipment and software to our entire district. On the first two days before school we had full days of proffesional development. These days were filled with 1 1/2 hour rotations of how to use all of the new stuff in our room. Then we got back to our rooms to try it, and some of didn't even have the equipment ready for use. If we did it was hard to retain the large amount of information thrown at us in a small amount of time.
Also, the are different levels of technilogical abilities in the staff, and some people caught on okay, while others still probably haven't used anything but the computer.

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  • rmuzer: I have been in the worst case senario. Recently our read more
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