Friday, March 21, 2008

Five on Five: A Dialogue on Profession Development

Those of you who read my blog know that I am passionate about treating technology as a tool and supporting teachers in learning how to best utilize this tool in their instruction. I am SO LUCKY to get to do this through my job as a coach for the Classrooms for the Future in PA
Recently Jim Gates passed my name along to Matt Villano of T.H.E Journal who asked if I would mind being interviewed about my thoughts about Professional Development and how we can best support teachers in learning about these new tools....

Would I mind? Heck I talk about it enough, absolutely. I spoke to Matt spoken some other "tech experts" and wanted to get us together to do a panel discussion podcast. Well it wasn't until I got on the "line" that I realized that the panel I would be speaking with not only included Jim Gates (instructional technology trainer for the Capital Area Intermediate Unit 21 & CFF Coach) , but Bob Keegan and Cathy Groller (executive director and assistant executive director, respectively, for Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit who manage PA Tech Integration Mentor Program) and Sylvia Martinez (founder of GenYes an organization where students learn to provide high-quality, curriculum-focused professional development support for teachers in their classrooms school wide.) WOW what a group to be asked to be a part of...

It was a great conversation which you can hear by going HERE and clicking on the podcast link at the bottom of the the article HERE. Don't forget to subscribe to THE Journal for more integration ideas.
And please...leave me your thoughts about what is happening in Professional Development in your district


  1. As a CFF coach for South Western School District in York County, I found the podcast to be right on.

    Digital literacy is an important literacy to be teaching today's learners in ALL subject areas. The problem is that many teachers are just not comfortable and confident in the use of today's tools to use them to support learning.

    The role of a coach is so important. A coach meets teachers where they are with technology and helps them move ahead. The coach and teacher may meet ahead of a lesson to identify objectives, determine appropriate technology use (if any) and then work together to deliver the lesson.

    In addition, the coach is a valuable resource to meet with a teacher after a lesson to reflect on the classroom experience and evaluate student learning.

    Many teachers get excited about using technology, but fear can get in the way of them actually doing anything. With a partner to support them, teachers are more apt to apply the technologies to help our students gain the digital literacies that are so vital in this day and age.

  2. Lori Sheldon5:46 PM


    Thanks for sharing this podcast. What a unique experience, hearing folks that I know and respect having their voices heard! Your comment about differentiating instruction for teachers, since they are at different levels with the knowledge of and comfort with technology, makes sense!

    In our district we have a technology mentor team. A few people from each building attend trainings. The mentors go back and work with study groups of about 6 people to share and explore.

    I did make an interesting observation. Many of the HS teachers I am coaching this year seem at ease with me because I came straight from the classroom. I think they tend to feel intimidated by mass trainings given by folks they see as "techy."

    So your idea of finding out, from them, what is working , is a great way to take them from where they are and help them to move forward, which is what we strive to do with our students.