Did you know? Tech Professional Development is Imperative

A few months ago I saw this movie, and thought – we have got to get on board and update our schools! Recently I looked at it again with a different perspective and thought- we have got to use the technology that we have and teach our teachers how to use it!

Yes this movie is true that we are spending less now on technology than we were a decade ago, but we are spending even less on professional development. The technology that is in our schools now is not even being used to half its potential. A phrase I hear from some administrators is, “Just get the teachers out of the way and let the kids do their thing. They know how to use this stuff.” This is correct and incorrect. Yes the students know how to use technology and can figure it out very quickly, but no it’s not enough for teachers to just get out of the way. They need to craft lessons and introduce tools that add value and further critical thinking. They don’t need to know how to use everything nor must they master a new tool, app or device completely before they use it in the classroom, but they need to use the tools meaningfully and with purpose. This takes a certain expertise and one that needs to be developed. As a teacher I have been on countless professional development sessions  every time a new initiative was introduced to our schools. I am a certified Write From the Beginning teacher and coach; I have been to multiple Math in the City sessions. I am even a certified Moon Handler! Yes I can receive parts of the moon from the government and show them in my class- don’t ask! How is it that continued professional development does not accompany the most expensive investment like a 1:1 iPad initiative? Administrators and teachers: insist that every time your school invests in new technology that at least 1/4 of that money is also provided for continued professional development. Oh yeah and check out this movie if you haven’t already…

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About Kate Chechak

Kate Chechak is the author of IntegrateTech.wordpress.com. She is an education consultant who previously worked at The School at Columbia University for 8 years. Currently, she focuses on teaching teachers how to integrate technology into their curriculum. In addition, she coaches math and is a curriculum developer.
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