I've been pondering a rethink of the ICT training and development opportunities that I might provide my staff in 2006. Part of my role description here at my school calls for me to provide T&D to improve skills and confidence for my onsite colleagues. So in previous years, I've run courses on FrontPage, digital cameras, saving files to our network, trouble shooting where I've designed a step by step approach with handouts, examples, personal support and explicit demonstration. Has it improved the overall skill set of our staff? I'm not convinced. For example, my FrontPage course started with 10 participants which dropped to 8 the following week when a couple of junior primary teachers couldn't see the relevance of designing web pages for them. A few more dropped out halfway through when they acquired the basic skills they were after and eventually two continued to the bitter end. One staff member moaned that I responded to the loudest voices when they wanted help, some others wanted handouts with step by step instructions and a couple needed to start from the beginning of every session. Clearly, the one size fits all model doesn't work with learners, especially adults who have their definite preferred learning style and who, like kids, all have different levels of confidence, experience and expertise. So, inspired by my own experiences in the edublogosphere and Leigh Blackall's concept of Networked Learning, I am trying to draw up a plan that would guide my interested staff members towards self directed professional development. It's still embryonic so naturally I'm gonna put what I've got here and if anyone [please!] wants to give me feedback/suggestions/ridicule, I'm all ears. Here goes:
2006 LNPS Staff ICT Personalised Learning Program
Proposal for regular T&D opportunities on Tuesday afternoons.
Rationale: We are in the business of lifelong learning - developing this in ourselves will help us to facilitate this mindset in our students. ICT and e-learning have developed to the stage where we can personalise our learning experiences - new technologies are constantly providing us with better ways of connecting to others, documenting our own practice and developing our own content.
The IWB program needs to be supported with a regular time set aside for (1) the practice and use of the IWB, (2) planning and designing of own resources and lessons, (3) finding, reviewing and bookmarking of relevant/useful online resources, (4) professional reading and connection and (5) personal professional reflection.
Teachers may also wish to develop other skills related to specific software applications (desktop and online) by accessing online tutorials and courses to work through. The goal is for teachers to become self-directed, self-paced "just in time" learners, so that they can acquire ICT knowledge and skills from multiple sources and modes of instructions.
In my role as Coordinator, I would assist teachers to put together a Personalised Learning Program (as the guide on the side). Each week, a limited number of slots would be available for closer personal assistance while other staff would work in a more independent mode, using each other and a network of outside educators developed over time via social software (bookmarking, blogs, forums). Time spent would be documented and count towards DECS professional development hours requirement.
Does it even make sense? Any suggestions? Help!!!!