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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Requiring administrators to attend technology training workshops is an excellent idea.

The title of this post is a quote from a post my professor made. Below is an excerpt and my response. I suppose, as in my previous post, I should mention that I am always wary of the word "require" when coupled with professional development. :)

Requiring administrators to attend technology training workshops is an excellent idea. This would help them understand issues related to teaching and learning as well as shed new light on application of technology in the curriculum as they would have experienced it first-hand.

One of the ways administrators in California can get their Tier II Administrative Credential (required in the first five years of service as an administrator) is to complete a program called AB 75, which includes a three day module (20 hours, plus another 20 hours of practicum on their own time) which covers the use of technology for administrative and instructional purposes. I currently coordinate delivery of this module at the Orange County Department of Education. Along with another trainer and a host of guest speakers, I actual perform a good deal of the instruction myself. You can view the program web page at www.ocde.us/ab75. Technology is module 3. We also deliver a very similar curriculum through our Private School Principal's Academy (PSPA) program.

Another strategy is to discuss issues not in front of a computer, but in a seminar type forum where the mechanics of computer use do not get in the way of discussions.

In AB 75 and the PSPA We move from a discussion room (with a projector and screen for presentations, and tables for participants to sit around for discussions and activities) to a computer lab (Mac or PC as appropriate for hands-on sessions) and then back again several times throughout the day.

I never thought about the advantages of this practice which I inhereted, but now you've lead me to think this will be a good idea for the trainings I am doing with teachers as well, as experience has shown they are often unfocused if allowed the use of a networked computer during a training session. ;)

-Mark

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