This Week's Tip: Integrate ICT into Staff PD
Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in expecting teachers to integrate ICT in their teaching, but failing to integrate ICT into staff meetings and staff PD?
Last week I pulled some strings to have the staff meeting in my classroom so that we could use the Smart Board. As part of my Microsoft Peer Coaching role I created some Interactive Whiteboard pages that teachers can use in day-to-day teaching. I also wanted to show teachers how they can access our My Classes Peer Coaching page.
On Wednesday I ran the Junior Professional Learning Team (PLT) meeting in the computer lab. I wanted team members to reflect on their learning from our recent First Steps Writing PD and determine where to take it next. We started with a public pad in EtherPad, where staff could write their comments on what they found beneficial in the PD. I had wanted to use Wall Wisher, but the lab computers didn't have the necessary requirements in web browser.
It was a fun introductory activity, but it wasn't long before discussion got off track! That always happens the first time you introduce something. EtherPad was a great tool to use because I didn't need to sign up for an account or anything. It was ready to go and easy to export to Word when we were finished. My only pointer with it would be to create a custom tiny url for your page so that you can give something easy to people to type into the URL bar.
Teachers then reflected on their current practice when teaching writing and considered how they will implement the ideas from the First Steps Writing PD. They filled out this form that I created. Under the heading "What's Hot?" teachers wrote the things they are currently doing that they are happy with and that tie in with the philosophy of First Steps. Under the heading "What's Not?" teachers wrote the things they are currently doing that they are not happy with or that don't tie in with the philosophy of First Steps. Under the heading "What's Next?" teachers wrote the things they would like to try doing next as they implement First Steps. And in the big arrow, they wrote the steps they need to take in order to do the things in "What's Next?"
When it was time for team members to report back to the group, I used the Random Name Generator tool from Super Teacher Tools. Prior to the session I created a class list with team members' names and then used this list in the session to choose who would contribute their ideas. Teachers seemed to enjoy using this and jotted down the details to use with their own classes.
The session went well and I enjoyed being able to expose teachers to new ICT strategies whilst fulfilling the other requirements of my role as the team leader.