Sunday, November 30, 2008

Teachers Want Hands-On Time to Experiment with Technology

Secondary teachers want to learn about using technology in the classroom. As department heads embarked on planning Avon Maitland's December 5th PA Day, this common message emerged: give us hands-on time working with the tools. Subject Councils advocated that teachers don't want ‘sit and git’ style presentations about the benefits of technology. They already recognize the important role technology plays in engaging today’s learners and in differentiating instruction. What teachers need is time to do what their students do with technology – experiment. And, since many teachers are digital immigrants, they want a lifeline nearby should their experiment go terribly wrong.

The result? Many of our December 5th PA Day events include guided experimentation (an expert, or teacher experienced with the technology, will be available to help participants) with SMARTboards, Web 2.0 tools, or software. Some subject sessions have built in opportunities for teachers to create lessons or assignments that incorporate technology.

The following subject sessions will include a technology in the classroom component.

- Science (SMARTboards)
- English (Web 2.0)
- Canadian World Studies (SMARTboards, Web 2.0 and Arcview)
- Visual Arts (Blogs)
- Co-op (Gmail)
- French (SMARTboards)
- Math (SMARTboards)
- Student Services (My Blueprint)
- Library (Blogs)

Since this is a hot topic, please share suggested readings by posting a comment. I recommend Footprints in the Digital Age, an article by Will Richardson that appeared in the November Issue of Educational Leadership.

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