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Online Professional Development for Teachers

Posted By: Hope Raschke on December 15, 2003
I don't have the type of information you are looking for, other than suggesting that universities can set up a WebCT or Blackboard site for all teachers in the county or regional education service center area. Setting this up does a couple of things.

You can swap information and network with e-mail and discussion boards. It can be used to foster mentoring relationships. Althought, this type of mentoring depends heavily on the mentee's ability to self-analyze actions and share their thoughts with the mentor since the mentoring takes place over distance via the computer and not face-to-face or through reflection.

Use of it can also assist in developing technology skills of teachers by providing the digital forum. It can help engage your technology teachers, or teachers who integrate a lot of digital/Web-based teaching and learning into their classrooms and teachers who function in completely Web-based courses as in the case of digital academies.

We forget that the digital academy teacher needs the interaction just as much, but we never see them face-to-face. And, we forget that sharing of lesson plans for the traditional classroom doesn't necessarily translate well to the digital classroom. By providing a delivery platform in which technology based lesson plans can actually be seen within the technology framework they were intended for, you might attract a more diverse teaching audience.

It can also demonstrate to those teaching in our traditional classrooms, and who are hesitant to integrate technology, some cool applications. Sometimes it is hard to envision how a technology based lesson would work until it is demonstrated. A well-designed Web lesson plan, placed on a delivery platform that teachers can work through as if they were the student may "catch their eye" and get them interested. They see that it can meet teacher objectives and devlop confidence in negotiating the technology from the student side.
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 Online Professional Development for Teachers by Leilani Carbonell Pedroni on August 6, 2003
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