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Barrie Jo Price (not verified)

You have obviously spent

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You have obviously spent time in the trenches. Doing professional development is such a difficult business for the reasons to which you refer, but, at the same time, it can be so rewarding, when done as you describe. Learning how to be a consultant and how to benefit from the visit of a consultant is almost something that should be included in school leadership classes, both for teachers and for school administators. This is a nice piece that I will use to stimulate conversations about making good use of resources and moving professional development along the taxonomy from Bloom.
Audrey Burgher (not verified)

You have inspired me to

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You have inspired me to think about how technology can be integrated with the learning at hand. I am most struck by your observation that the success of your residency is tied to the administrative support in the building for risk taking and for thinking outside the box. I have observed this myself with my own teachers. Since you have visited, the technology people cannot keep up with the elementary teachers and their thirst for more technology capability and materials. No longer are we given the leftovers from the high school. This has been very empowering for the teachers and for the students. The work our elementary school students now do has had an impact on the courses taught at the middle school level. I view this as a success, although I am sure the middle school staff has been somewhat annoyed with the extra work. Your enthusiasm for your work is still quite evident in the work of the teachers. I still hear teachers commenting on the concept you shared with us that we, as the adults, must make sure we are a part of the technology picture in order to be relevant to our students. We have all decided that we would prefer to keep up with this change rather than have it used against us in the classroom or beyond! Thanks, again, for your great work! I hope to have you back again soon to keep the technology fever alive!
Anne (not verified)

I agree with what you have

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I agree with what you have to say. Making a difference when we work with our colleagues as teachers of teachers does require us to be thoughtful before, during, and after. Learning takes time -- it is constructed with people over days, weeks, months, and years as they adapt ideas and make them work for their students in their communities. Relationships and respect among all are cornerstones of building solid practices. It takes time and effort -- all the good stuff in this life does.
Alice Owen, PhD (not verified)

Great story! Good lessons

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Great story! Good lessons for all our instructional-technology coordinators and campus specialists who visit campuses and work with teachers. I especially like your comments about setting clear goals for staff development. Many times, teachers attend training just to fill time or acquire credit. When a clear purpose is set, connected to student-learning expectations, they will be more likely to try the new teaching strategies in their classrooms. Definitely, ongoing visits or training is a must! One-shot workshops do not work. Our job as leaders is to show teachers how to teach content in meaningful ways. Technology is only the delivery system by which we can teach the content and make it more real world and engaging. If students are engaged in the content, they will enjoy school more and will achieve more. We should always try to model and explain to teachers how the strategies they learn in staff development can be used in the classroom. What we model for our teachers, they should translate to the classroom. Teachers are like staff developers for kids! I think your post should also resonate with teachers in our one-to-one programs. Since students basically have their own classroom workspace within their laptops, how do they behave as the teacher allows them to be on their own in their "classroom"? Have the teachers set clear goals for learning? Have they modeled effective learning strategies? Have they designed engaging lessons to keep students on task? Have they promoted the ethical use of technology? Observing students on their own should be something teachers can use to gauge their effectiveness in developing independent learners and student-centered classrooms.
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Jim Moulton Technology Integration and Project-Based Learning Consultant