Memorial Day has come and gone and we have officially begun our summer series of workshops. Mom and I have already been pretty busy logging almost 1000 miles this week. I am looking forward to posting our experiences throughout the next three months and learning so much from other teachers in other districts. The funny thing about providing professional development is that if you allow yourself the opportunity to observe what is happening around you, there is a great chance the PD will be reciprocal for the presenter. I love it!
We have had the chance to travel to Olympia for a morning of “playing” on interactive whiteboards for a consultation. I definitely learned a ton that morning. I learned that an interactive whiteboard is an interactive whiteboard. 6 of one…1/2 dozen of the other. BUT…I also learned that the tool means nothing unless it is used efficiently and effectively in the classroom. Mom and I pride ourselves in making sure we do just that with all of the technology we incorporate in the classroom as well in our workshops. We decided that implementing a “best practices” session for any interactive whiteboard would be a great service we could provide teachers. But we also learned that if we didn’t feel like we could provide teachers with training that WE would be happy sitting through, then we would NOT take the consulting job.
Wednesday gave us an incredible opportunity to present to Chicago area administrators in an IASA Administrator’s Academy with Dr. Rich Voltz. Dr. Voltz contacted us and asked if we would co-present with him on the topic of Web 2.0. We were delighted to do just that. After all, we feel like the best avenue for change begins with administrators. It was a good day with a good mixture of discussion, hands-on application, and demonstration. Dr. Voltz shares our passion for technology integration and does a great job of sharing his experiences as an administrator with his fellow administrators. He also sees the value in asking other educators for assistance in providing their experiences during his workshops to create a well-rounded presentation. We were indeed lucky to be his assistants on Wednesday.
Thursday we headed to Palatine CCSD 15 to give SMARTBoard training to a fantastic group of elementary and middle school teachers.
They were fun, engaged, and super enthusiastic about the possibilities of implementing SMARTBoards within their classrooms. We were thrilled with the amount of questions and discussion that took place during the demonstration portion of the workshop. These teachers are definitely going to be changing the way they teach next year. I could feel the mind-shift happening all around me. In a word…exciting!
We are looking forward to heading back to Camp Point Central on Monday and Tuesday to work with new teachers as well as follow up with some advanced SMARTBoard training for teachers we trained this past school year.
We will keep you posted!