Student’s Leading the Charge with Professional Development

How can we encourage a teacher to implement new technology in a way that is not intrusive and challenging?  Charge the students with the task of training faculty.  It reminds me of cross training in business.  This could be cross training at it’s finest.

Students by nature want to help others in the 21st century classroom.  Why not put them to work on designing professional development workshops?  As teachers, I witness a great deal of reluctance to embrace use of technology in the classroom.  The notion of implementing technology feels daunting and arduous to teachers yet this component is part of the overall evaluation.   How do I learn a new technology?  I don’t have time!  If we take literal baby steps and put the ownership of learning new technology in the students hands, then we can gain more than we ever could have imagined.

Picture this…in a computer lab in a high school, students deliver a demonstration of how to use Docs.com to a group of teachers interested in building on-line portfolios.  Students present a tutorial and provide help to educators including one-to-one advice that meets the goal of assisting teachers through building their first Docs.com site.  Poof!  Everyone in the room is learning.  The student is the expert and the teacher is the pupil.  What a great way to empower kids…this is the initiative that our Hornet Hive Tech-Knows club will be implementing this year.

What is Hornet Hive Tech-Knows?  The Tech-Knows are a club that has the mission to teach students, teachers, administrators, and the community at large about how to use technology in their educational lives.  Students use the time when we meet weekly to test out beta versions of technology or to practice using a new device.  Students voluntarily participate in this club and gain invaluable skills as they help the community with technology.  Last year, we helped a community member build a website.  We also helped a teacher solve a technology problem that otherwise would have prevented her from implementing this new technology into her classroom.

Hornet Hive poster

Poster to advertise “Tech-Knows”

We want to be proactive and solve technology problems before they start and help build confidence with use of technology in the education field.  Our motto is “we’ve got your wing!”

This year, our first training/workshop is going to be on how to use SWAY as a presentation tool.  The Secretary of our ambitious club is currently using the tutorial in SWAY to design a demonstration of the tool.  We will be offering a workshop in late November to teachers and students alike.  My Tech-Knows want to start with teachers as they feel most comfortable with their educators as their first audience.

Take the idea one step further.  If we have success within our districts, why not farm out professional development to our local colleges, universities, and junior colleges?  Students can train future teachers and fulfill goals of closing the gap on introduction of students to student teachers (often the first experience for teachers in training).  Many teachers become overwhelmed with student teaching.  Here is a way to start the communication process between student and future teacher in the infancy stages of teacher training. I think having an ice breaker using technology training as a platform might be a viable idea.  I am literally just brainstorming as I write this post but would really like to hear from educators regarding this idea.

Keep moving forward and take those steps one at a time.  Implement, but remember to implement technology as a meaningful tool that engages the students mind in deep learning!  Have an inspired day!

sway-development-tech-knows

Hornet Hive Tech Know Secretary creating a SWAY for practice to help develop her skills as she prepares to deliver a workshop in late November

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