Monday, March 13, 2006

Technology Integration Workshops at Harper High School

For the past three months I've been experimenting with Wiki spaces, so when I saw that the Conference had a number of workshops I jumped at the opportunity to listen and learn. I attended Charlene's, Will's, and David's presentations, and all included discussion of wikis. I'm not given a lot of PD time by my administration, but last Thursday, I had the entire 2 hours of in-service time for Technology Integration, so I set up workshops (password: harper) that I had hoped would interest the staff. I enlisted the aid of those teachers at Harper who have been using technology in their lessons. I asked them to share their expertise with their colleagues. I ran one of the workshops and focused on wikis. I borrowed from Will Richardson and began with Wikipedia and then had all 8 teachers who signed up for my workshop create a Backpackit account. Some of the teachers who would have taken the workshop were facilitating in other labs in our school, so my group was small. Several wanted to know what they could do with wikis? But a few were fascinated by its simplicity and how it archives all changes. Generally, the feedback that I received was very positive. All the workshops were engaging and gave even novices (we have an embarrassing sizeable number of tech novices) an opportunity to find a level of comfort at the computer. Unfortunately, technology based in-service time is usually no more than 3 hours per school year. My Administration doesn't quite get the correlation between technology and all other aspects of education in the 21st century.


At 7:53 PM, Blogger Charlene Chausis said...

I am not sure what your position at Harper High is, but if you can, please make the time to continue this "conversation" with your teachers! Even though your district allocates only 3 hours in a school year, you have planted some very valuable seeds for collaborative learning! If nurtured, the ideas will "grow" and flourish with time. Also, invite your administration to participate along with the teachers. Teachers, like the students, need positive reinforcement. They need to know the effort they are putting forth is valued. Perhaps your principal could drop a note (electronic or on paper) to these teachers to let them know how their efforts will provide meaningful learning for their students!!

It also appears that your teachers had access to some great sessions at varying ability levels, giving them the opportunity to "do this on Monday" -- so important for staff development! It must be applied or it will be forgotten.

Thanks for sharing!!


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