What do we do to make it better?


I will leave you to read the words of Will Richardson from his blog post titled Business as 'Un'Usual to answer this question:

Will says:
"So what about doing it differently? What about doing long-term, job embedded, relationship and network building professional development that blends the best of face to face with the “Fifteen Minutes” model that Carolyn Foote writes about? What about giving teachers new to these technologies just enough to get them started and then take the school year (or more) to immerse them in the tools and networked learning environments where they can learn at their own pace (with some appropriate nudging and guidance from time to time)?
Well, that’s the “different” approach I’ve been taking of late with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, whose knowledge and passion for this work I grow to respect more each day. Working off of the model Sheryl helped develop in Alabama, we’re currently in the midst of six-month long professional development programs with a couple of hundred educators from around the country, leading them through a process that we hope will allow these concepts and skills to really take root in their own learning practice. And it is focused on their own learning, not teaching, not classrooms, not kids. That’s hugely important to us, that these educators be selfish about the learning. No doubt, many of them struggle to approach this process with anything but a teaching lens. But both Sheryl and I feel strongly that what will really create meaningful change in schools and classrooms are teachers who personally understand the potentials of these connections. Already, the most powerful piece of these cohorts to me is that in the process, we’re collectively beginning to build the relationships and share contextualized experiences “that create emergent knowledge that is the basis of education.” The connections are deepening.
Sheryl is fond of saying “This is business as ‘un’usual” and I agree. But it shouldn’t be, should it? While there will always be a role for time and place, physical space, face to face learning, there are other ways and, in some instances, better ways to do workshops and conferences and professional development, ways that definitely do a better job of helping us understand what it means to create and sustain the types of personal learning networks that are now possible. The same types of learning networks, both physical and virtual, we want our own children to master in their own practice." Retrieved March 17, 2009.

Questions to ponder:

(go back to the Web CT site where I have posted these questions!)

Now that we've learned both the pioint and counterpoint sides of this issue, how would you improve Professional Development at your school? In your district? In your province? What about for your own personal PD experience?



What role could the teacher-librarian play in improving the learning experience for teachers with regards to professional development for technology integration?



Use the Staff Development Assessment Inventory from the National Staff Development Council to reflect on your school's/district's recent Professional Development offerings. How are you doing?
Also found at the following site: http://www.nsdc.org/standards/sai.cfm.