Technology is tricky. Everyone is at a different place. So PD (Professional Development) time is very important. Here are a few random thoughts that have been rolling around my head since our latest Technology PD day.
1. Whole group "how to" technology training rarely works. Most of the time 1/3 of the people are bored, 1/3 are with you and 1/3 are completely lost and frustrated. Group "how to" technology training certainly has it's place at times but should be avoided if possible.
2. Let the computer teach the "how to" technology through tutorials and a self guiding pace. Offer 1 to 1 help for the very few who can't do self guided.
3. Design PD activities that model good teaching practice (above the SAMR bar or higher in Blooms taxonomy) and forces the use of the technology within the activity. This way you can show a good teaching idea and you can help them learn a new technology.
4. More than a half day of whole group technology PD is too much. If you want a whole day of PD then maybe half the day is spent in a whole group atmosphere and half is spent in very small groups or with a partner or alone.
5. I think some self reflection time must be built in to our PD. i.e. 15 minutes of journal time reflecting on the things you have learned and the questions you still have out there. We put a lot of emphasis on closure in the classroom, and rightly so. Self reflection is a type of individual closure that will help us process what we've just learned and help us remember it.
I welcome your random thoughts or comments.