Recently, I had the good fortune to attend the educational professional development course, Teaching Technology to Teachers. Justin Reich and Tom Daccord led the class. The training was held at Harvard University’s Adolphus Busch Hall. Below are some notes and reflections I found useful for international educators. Additionally, I have provided some links from the course.
Justin clarified to me that effectual educational technology assists students to:
Collect information needed for understanding.
Relate to each other in collaborative learning groups.
Create meaningful, authentic performances of understanding.
Donate their work to a broader audience.
Moreover, Justin and Tom got me questioning my teaching habits, such as, “What is my educational technology mission statement? How do I spend my time? How specifically does my technology choices improve student learning? How do I differentiate my audiences’ level of technical comprehension?” How can I use technology to more readily collaborate with my teammates and teachers?”
I envision that this class will help me prod my teammates to contemplate their own philosophies on use of educational technology. I hope to offer opportunities for students colleagues and parents to appreciate that technology is not a cure-all but rather a tool delivering content.
Reich and my cohorts shared teacher-tested professional development models including:
Digital Educator Academy: (Providing college credits for Ed Tech professional growth.)
Nine tech lunch talks throughout the school year
Ed Tech prize drawings provided throughout the school year
Bagels and Laptops: Monthly voluntary breakfast meetings where cohorts share tech secrets and successes
Tech Leader Representatives per Teaching Team or Department
Geek of the Week (I love this idea in spite of the label)
Technology in practice weekly blogs
Technology Fairs where teachers are given time to informally” test drive” tech ideas
Reich explained the rewards of challenges to inspire confidence to change. He presented digital challenges that show, and not tell, teachers the joys, benefits and relative ease in using technology. A highly engaging challenge is here.Expat teachers can reach available protocols and tutorials to cut issues that will appear. You can use your students and teachers partners to develop tutorials and screencasts. Commoncraft is one such site that has a bevy of tutorials. Screencastomatic is a simple and free site that allows users to produce screencasts while instructing. They can later be linked to teachers’ websites for future viewing.
Upon reflection, the course, Teaching Technology to Teachers, will profoundly affect how I teach my students. Specifically, my students will more markedly share their work with fellow learners worldwide. This is a path to improving student learning.I strongly recommend that international educators consider enrolling with Justin and Tom in the future. I most definitely plan to attend again next summer. I am quite grateful for this time well spent.
Have a great year and I hope this helps. Below are some links that had a great deal of buzz:
Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Please write back.