We offer staff development classes that are aligned with 8th grade student technology skills and we approach technology staff development as though it were something we have completed after everyone has taken their assessments and demonstrated their proficiency. The truth is that technology is changing so rapidly that there needs to be continual education for learners. Arranging a staff development class entails arranging time, place, and trainer. It is often frustrating to the learner because there is either too much information or not enough depending on the users level of knowledge and interest.
Learning often takes place in a more permanent and efficient way when it happens at the exact point that it is needed. A lesson plan calls for a specific task and a teacher needs instructions on how to complete that task. If the experience is successful then there will be repeat experiences and the initial knowledge will be a basis to build on. If that teacher is supplied with a vehicle in which to communicate that experience that is not only easy to use but allows for relevant sharing of information then the knowledge base will grow and be enhanced by the input of others with similar experiences.
The vehicle of blogging gives anyone with access to a computer a voice and the system of allowing comments offers immediate feedback. This can take place in a protected environment limited to a community of our choice, or it can be open to the entire world which gives access to a much more diverse source of knowledge. The convenience of being able to enter the dialog any time or place would promote integration of staff development. Instead of having to take several hours or an entire day, staff development is embedded in our job experience and tailored to individual needs. Users can link to specific information or print what they need.
Accountability and collaboration happen naturally as bloggers benefit from being a part of a community of lifelong learners that develops with the give and take of comments and shared expertise. Our mission statement is to create lifelong learners and blogging about our experiences with technology and it’s use in education is one way we can model that for our students.
Would like to hear more opinions about this.