As the educational technology specialist in my district I work with teachers to help support the use of technology in the classroom. This may involve aiding teachers with instructional planning, modeling the use of technology, or co-teaching to support the technology. I’m always looking for new ways to expose more teachers to how others in their school are using technology and Holly Clark offers some suggestions from her work as a technology consultant.
It can be difficult to get to every classroom to demonstrate how to use a new instructional strategy or technology tool. To expose more teachers to these tools Holly Clark suggests inviting teachers to observe you while you work with another teacher.
Any teacher who is interested in learning more can come observe the class during their own prep period- and is usually encouraged to by the administration.
- When they walk in, I hand them our essential question and a brief summary of both the learning goals and our “Why”: the specific reason we have decided to teach with this infusion, as well as all the background information necessary for them to understand what I am hoping to accomplish.
- The visiting teacher watches, takes notes and jots down any questions or observations they may have. In some cases, they offer really good insight into student engagement I missed while I was busy in another part of the room.
- Later – and this is the most important part – we meet together that afternoon to deconstruct the lesson. This final critical analysis really solidifies the learning. We talk through what they observed – where they saw standards, the four C’s, and we even look at the lesson in terms of ISTE standards and DOK levels. We spend real time and have meaningful discussion in this CRITICAL reflection stage.
This process of collaborative learning and demonstration has been game-changing! Teachers understand the why and how, and the breakdown of the lesson together really helps them understand its true purpose.
This is a great method for exposing more teachers to educational technology tools. It allows teachers to see the tool in practice and you can follow up with them to see if they need any additional support using the tools in their classroom.
Source: A PD Model That Actually Works
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