Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Planting Seeds: How to Create Sustainable Technology Professional Development

MassCue Session 2 – 11:15 – 12:10
III. Planting Seeds: How to Create Sustainable Technology Professional Development
John Doherty, Asst. Superintendent, Reading PS

(PD= Professional Development)

Students and teachers are the same – now more stuff is free.

Why the change? Quick pace of technology change. Teachers are freaking out. Reading is in a time of transformational change right now.
Global changes in world or work, information, increased impact of media.
MEDIA CENTERS HAVE CHANGED and are hearts of technology and training for LMS – kids go to libraries first to look for something.

Voluntary 6 credit class:
Expanding the Boundaries of Teaching and Learning
Teachers who take this get tech infusion and laptop. Started the “buzz” in Reading. Initiated culture change because people are developing new language, staff are reading the same books.

Lots of blogging for staff and students to share thoughts. Info in new books being disseiminated and talked about.

Partnership for 21st century skills – keeps learning standards as always but incorporates new unique skills.
Wagner’s 7 Survival Skills – what works best for kids?
Keep PD central when considering learning needs of students.

What is at stake?
• Future of our economy
• Strength of our democracy
• Health of planets ecosystem
• Is it sustainable?

Kaplan University / Talent - good inspirational video advocating for educational change

How do we reach these new learners?
Transformational Leadership
(need energy, accept risks, don’t stop student learning)
• Realize the vision at all costs
• Organization is a moral system
• Reflects core values
• Leaders must walk the walk
• Action consistent with vision
• Risk taking encouraged and welcomed
• Symbolic communication important
• Leaders actions are beyond normal and outside the rules of self interest
• Look at educational change systemically
• Lot of work to organize path forward

Setting directions
• Vision
• Goals
• Practices
• Expectations

Developing people
• Intellectual stimulation
• Individualize support
• Modeling professional practices
• Values

Redesigning Organization
• Developing collaborative culture
• Creating structures to foster participation in school decisions
• Creating productive community relationships
• Get the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus
o The wrong people are the ones you need to actively watch

Reading is under-staffed, like everyone else. Moving forward the best way possible, keeping positive, and support as much as possible.
Collaborative culture is helping save time and moving training forward.

Maintenance costs very high so keep reserves to keep tools available for teachers.
Reading has 5 year plan of growth and success to validate their plan.

The key is changing the culture – it won’t happen overnight. Talk about technology all the time. Keep up the mantra. Talk about positives to highlight and keep from getting bogged down in the problems, important to culture.

1. Work with community to develop/change mission and vision – these may/will change.
  • i. Develop the process, working with stakeholders – ongoing evaluation and course correction.
2. Develop and maintain infrastructure – budgets make this tough. Might have to choose spending on network above other instructional tools (ex textbooks) but the network gave more bang for the buck.
3. Identify tech gurus in district and develop a plan. Make your plan a working document. Don’t print it and put it on the shelf. Use Google doc.
4. Identify resources to upgrade and maintain.
  • Outreach to parents/community highlighting student work.
  • http://donorschoose.org/
5. Put tech tools in hands of right people (Concord already did this for everybody)
6. Provide access outside of school time
  • Community/Parents – classes for community
  • Teachers
  • Students
7. District leaders model use of technology – the whole shebang. Use it anticipating that it will always be changing. Need to learn new apps all the time, teach the skills/conventions that are portable.
  • Use tech in admin meetings
  • Start discussion of 1:1 computing in school
  • See how other districts are using technology
8. Get Administration on board – Already on board in Concord!
  • Run admin only trainings
  • Run admin book group
  • Visit districts that use tech effectively
What should learning look like?
Change the classroom – Alan November – build teams

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