OK folks, this is my first discussion starter here on classroom 2.0. But I need your help....

I have a question for you all. In two days I have to run some teacher training/professional development at my school for my faculty [6 hours worth in total]. It comes at the end of our two week vacation here in Australia, so I need it to be incredibly relevant and motivational for the teachers involved.

The subject I have chosen is: "Classroom 2.0 - how can we change our teaching practice to reflect the new priorities and best practice in education?"

Since I have been consuming so much of classroom 2.0 and similar philosophical and paradigm shifting material, such as reading wikinomics (great book), enjoying NECC and edubloggercon podcasts, reading blogs, etc etc, ..... I figure I should practice what I now preach.

So, what does Classroom 2.0 pundits say my training should look like? How do you do "Teacher Training 2.0"?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Clarifying questions welcome also.



Tags: development, pd, professional, staff, training

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Oh! A wiki - I will Skype you my training
wiki. Use whatever you want (if anything)
Thanks Lisa, got your wiki and has some great ideas for me. Much appreciated.

Well obviously you should present with some web 2.0 tools. Make a wiki for the presentation. Collect videos off of YouTube or TeacherTube that might be effective (like perhaps some of the Karl Fisch material or CommonCraft videos). Have everyone create a blog, and do response writings -- say exit reflections at breaks....

Look at some of the global projects and have discussions about them (aka are the hihger order thinking objectives?)

Just a few thoughts...
Hi Cathy,

I like the idea of global projects. I did one myself recently with a Canadian school and Thai school and blogged about it so perhaps I should start with that as an example. Then I could brainstorm a worthwhile global project for our subject area. Good thought!

I also like the idea of everyone creating a blog - none of them have one at the moment so maybe this ning community might be a good start. I wonder if people in this community would encourage them by posting comments fairly soon after their posts? Maybe thsi would make it more meaningful for them.

Thanks, Jason.
I come from the professional sector, rather than education. So my contribution here may not have the proper perspective. I'll mostly ask questions to clarify what kind of situation you're in and to find out what exactly you want to get across to these teachers during your training.

What is the technological environment these teachers are in? Let me further clarify that question. Do teachers each have their own computer? Are there projectors in every classroom that connect to the computer, or are projectors available? What kind of technology do students have available to them?

What subjects are these educators teaching?

What would be the purpose of using technology to the educate the children?

I hope I'll hear back from you soon!
Cool questions...let me try and answer so I can get your advice:

1. All teachers have laptops
2. Projector in the room
3. 6 teachers in total so only one classroom
4. Computers in lab for students in our classes - 1:1
5. Teaching "technology" subjects so perfect candidates for school 2.0, including subjects like information technology, design, materials (woodshop, metalshop, plastics, environmental design, etc)
6. Purpose is to provide skills they need for post school life, as well as exposure to technologies mentioned in curriculum, as well as engage them with technologies they are already using outside school. Also like the idea of giving them voice beyond school walls which is something the teachers haven't done at all (except me).

Cheers for your help.

I'm going to extrapolate on the situation a little further from the information you've provided here. Before I do that I'd like to point out that Sue's post is really excellent. I think she's spot on with her analysis of the overall situation; in regards to information overload and establishing what "common knowledge" really is among your group of educators. They, in turn, will have to do the same with their students. I firmly believe that evaluation is a "best practice" method in both industry and education.

From the answers you gave me it appears that your teachers will be taking students into the computer lab every so often. 1) I need to know if this is a daily, weekly, or monthly event. This significantly changes the approach you should take in your mere 6 hour presentation on web technologies for education. So, once again, I will have to ask more questions:

2) Are teachers going to be giving students large or long term assignments?
3) Can teachers expect students to have home access to the Internet?
4) Do teachers want to be able to engage parents in their students education?
5) How much time is a teacher willing to devote to preparing classes focused on technology?
6) How much administration are teachers willing to take on over student activities?
7) What rules are in place about Internet usage in your school system?
8) What are the educator's general attitude towards and perception of the web? do they think it is valuable?
9) How well do you know the educators you will be working with?
10) How old are the students?

I realize that's a pretty long list of questions, but I don't think I can give you good advice until I know these things (and more). Web technology is a pretty big thing to go over and there are practical limitations that have to be considered in your presentation, including the fact that you only have six hours to get a large amount of information across that is both relevant, memorable, and has practical application that benefits students and doesn't cause extra work for educators. I'm sure you're aware how much people value their time, especially educators who are underpaid as it is.

I'm guessing that the technologies mentioned in the curriculum are information technology, design and materials from your post. Now I have a series of questions based on this:

11) Precisely, what technologies are you addressing in your training seminar?
12) Is your goal to provide possible lesson plans or more general education on how to apply known technology?
13) Exactly which technologies are known among your educators that relate to your training?
14) Is this an environment where you can introduce new technologies or software/web applications?

One last thing. There's a lot of hype out there about how great technology is for students but even as an industry professional I'm skeptical about how true this is. To some degree I can see how technology can both help and hinder educators and students. The point really should be to foster an environment focused on enjoyable dialog and debate among students that is facilitated by teachers (within reason) while at the same time learning how to use a computer for more than video games. Basically, you want to show things to teachers that allow them to "figure it out for themselves" without throwing their hands up in the air in frustration and ignoring it all together. Less is considerably more.
Hi Jason

Interesting question. I recently presenting for a group on e-learning and was asked to showcase everything which is what I did. However I do wonder that instead of inspiring we actually end up overwhelming and perhaps it is worth choosing, and getting them to do hands on, with less.

So if I had a full day workshop I would probably start with an introduction of why you need to engage your students with technology and then do a skills assessment survey to find out where they are at (here is an example of a survey I use to check the level my participants are at). I have the survey (use Survey Monkey) located on a wiki, and I also during the day get them to write information on the wiki about themselves. Based on where they are at, then helps me select the best options. (PS they are often engaged using a wiki and survey monkey - and after they have finished their tasks with them you can showcase how they can be used with students).

Hi Jason,
With all the 2.0 hype, it's easy to get sucked into thinking that the tools have caused a paradigm shift. Rather, I think the shift is to respecting the learner as the center of the process. This isn't dependent on particular tools.

1:1 implementations embody this, you literallly are putting the power in the students hands.

I think the focus should be on introducing the teachers to tools that allow students to construct things - wikis are nice, blogs can be authentic, but how about podcasting or making movies? The process of planning, production, post-production can give students the experience of creating things that are both functional and personally meaningful.

I'd suggest programming, but I know people get squeamish about that. For some reason, using computers as communication tools has gotten people excited, but using computers to compute is scary... dunno why.

I think at the end of the day, you want your teachers to feel the joy of being a learner again, and catch the excitement of that renewal, no matter if they go on to use a particular tool or not. and like Jared said, part of this is giving these teachers permission to try new things, to experiment without embarrasment, and allow the kids to experiment as well.
I agree entirely with your sentiments. My thoughts have moved on quite a bit since I first posted. I got a tweet and skype from Sheryl who gave me the idea of setting up an experience called a "speed dating circuit" whereby each teacher will move around a circuit of skype sessions and interview teachers from around the world. Am in the process of preparing the detail now so better get back to it. Thanks to all who contributed to my original thought.

[p.s. Jared I ran out of time for answering your questions, sorry about that]
That's okay. They were pretty detailed. I mostly designed them to make you think about the practical application of the technology you will present. If you even entertained my questions then I'm happy.

I like the Skype idea, but I'm wondering what the point is.
The point is five fold:

1. learn about skype, its a powerful tool
2. ask questions after seeing many educational ideas beforehand in leadup sessions
3. get active rather than stay passive
4. find out what others are doing in the classroom
5. get connected with other like minded educators

Thanks for your input - it did make me think alot.



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