OK I have a number of posts that have been sitting in draft format which I want to publish, in particular I am interested in effective professional development techniques that people are using.
TeacherSmart workshops adopt a collaborative group based learning approach during in exploring technologies.
To begin, the group discusses and sets boundaries with a limited number of easy to use technologies to prevent innovation overload. As a group we brainstorm how these might be most effectively used.
For example each team member in the group is given the task of exploring a new technology (eg. flickr, using a digital camera, sourcing materials from creative commons), based on a desired agreed learning outcome.
We encourage playing with the technology as a group - for example figuring out how the audio recorder works and how to best utilize it.
If the group is all working on the same project each team member is asked to develop specific activities that, when combined, achieve the learning outcomes for the group.
We suggest advanced teachers support others and intermediate users work together so that less confident teachers can have more access to Teaching and Learning Resource Unit (TLRU) trainers.
At the end of the day the group has a show and tell. This is the exciting stage in that everybody gets to show what they have achieved.
It is possible to cover a large variety of technologies in a short space of time and this technique instills confidence. Teachers can learn from each other and follow up on what interests them after the workshop through networking with their peers or coming into the TLRU at a later date.