Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Educator Preparation and Development

I believe preparing future and veteran teachers to teach children in the 21st century is very important. In this “Information Age” or “Net Generation” students should be equipped with the tools necessary to succeed. Ready for it or not, technology impacts the way students acquire and retain information. Technology affects the whole classroom, from management and teaching styles to integration and collaboration within the curriculum.

Included in the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology document is a section focused specifically on this area. It contains useful information for all teachers. Parts of the document were new to me and some I have actually used in other classes. For example, every new school year, teachers are required to attend staff development sessions. I’ve have several different experiences with staff development, some being helpful and informative and others have been a waste of time. As a career and technology teacher, my classes are “hands-on.” Many staff development sessions don’t provide time for teachers to experiment with the technology available on their campuses. Working with teachers to show them how to use technology to enhance their instruction is needed.

My school district has two wonderful technology facilitators who frequent the campus and are ready to help teachers use technology in their classrooms. Just a few weeks ago, several teachers presented to the rest of the staff members ways that they use technology in their classroom. This was a demonstration session for teachers to see first hand what other teachers are doing. Now to follow up with the presentations, there needs to be a staff development session designed for teachers to actively use the technology presented.

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