I attended the ISTE Eduverse talk last night titled "All Technology Uses are NOT Created Equal: Accelerating High-Yielding Practices" with Bernajean Porter. The information presented is near and dear to my heart and was shared in such a great way that I am excited to share it with everyone around me. One of the things that Bernajean mentioned during her interview was that when teachers are being trained, they need to learn the new technology, then figure out how to apply it to the curriculum, and finally implement it in the classroom. Bernajean emphasized that trainers should ask teachers to do all of this before awarding any continuing education credits (or whatever they may be called in your area).
I thought about this for a long time. This very topic has been in my head for a while now but hadn't really heard anyone else talk about it, specifically in a public forum. I totally agree with her thinking in that it would promote true technology integration on behalf of the teachers. I also believe that it would improve me as an instructor because I would have to force myself to see more things going on in the classroom. This would be a huge time committment for me to not only work one-on-one with many teachers but to also review and approve the works they create in order to receive credit. The benefits, however, that come from this type of training/assessment are too good to pass up.
Another thought I had was that the credit they receive could be much higher. For example, now I give 1 hour credit for each of my sessions. I'd be willing to award double or triple credit depending on the topic because of the work, brain power and creativity going into the workshop on behalf of the teacher. On the other hand...I can see a possible attendance decrease due to the difficulty level for many teachers. Or would I? Quite possibly, after a few workshops like this, teachers might see an improvement in the quality of the workshops and be more likely to attend.
I will be sharing the information from this talk with my principal and district technology leaders over the next few days. I will also be asking permission to try this method with a few of my workshops this year. I think testing it with a few perfectly selected workshops would be a good way to implement this program.
Please take a look at the eduverse video and share it with those around you. There is a lot of other good content in the program besides this topic that I feel everyone could benefit from in their schools.