Report cards are going out… parent conferences… more professional development to help you in the classroom. What… another helping of state testing statistics and “housekeeping” rather than technology-integration development sessions? I know that state testing is very important, but it is a shame that some schools just focus on the results and not how to help teachers get to those results. I was recently at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Regional Conference in Baltimore, and sadly this is what I repeatedly heard from teachers at our workshops.
I know that I don’t have to focus on the fact that technology is constantly changing and teachers need support to:
- Keep up with all of the new technology coming out
- Learn how to effectively integrate technology into their curriculum to meet the needs of all of their students
- Receive more assistance/resources from their district—planning time, “true” development workshops, money (or grant writing help) to purchase scan converters, projectors, computers, trainers, etc.
What I can offer you is the reassurance that the folks here at Discovery Education are ready and willing to offer as much help as needed to save time and feel comfortable with the digital resources your school currently has. If you haven’t already, check out the Professional Development section in unitedstreaming to see what I’m rambling about. To highlight a few things you will find:
- Interactive Training—I’m a big fan of this feature, because teachers can go through the lessons at any time (even at home) and the lessons are to the point and extremely helpful (everything from basic unitedstreaming use to differentiated instruction)
- Free Online Webinars—did you catch that? Webinars are FREE and hosted by our trainers on a variety of topics (basic unitedstreaming overview, Assignment Builder/Student center, Inspiration, PowerPoint, Quiz Builder, WebQuests, Digital Storytelling, digital editing, Google Earth, Storyboards & animation, Google SketchUp, and more)
- Customized Webinars for your school or district (1 hour to half day workshops)
- Best practices video segments
- Trainer’s toolkit (great resources for teachers in here as well)
- Project demonstrations (samples!!)
- Teaching tips—technology “how-tos”, integration ideas, etc
- Courses for credit (if you’re doing the work… why not earn some credit and recognition?)
This week I thought it best to emphasize Professional Development, since this is truly the basis of effective technology-integration in your classroom. Next week, I’ll be back with a few cross-curricular integration ideas that will make your classroom the Interactive and Student-Focused envy of all!
~Monika Davis, Discovery Education