Posts Tagged 'professional development'

Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus

In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology. I met with the curriculum chairs to learn about the curriculum, how it was taught, and areas in which teachers and students had the most difficulty. When I met with grade level or curriculum teacher teams, we talked about the curriculum. After carefully listening to them, I usually would suggest some technology tool that might help them in doing their favorite project or in teaching those difficult curriculum areas. I often would have a mock student product to show the teachers what the student learning with technology would look like. I focused on student learning, not on technology.

Likewise, when my Technology department provided professional development, we focused on curriculum such as “Inquiry Science,” “Collaborative Math Projects,” and “A New Look at the Writing Process.” We offered curriculum workshops that involved technology. Usually, the technology transformed the learning process.

People in  the educational technology  field are most effective when they focus foremost on student  academic learning; they are least effective when they “sell” technology to teachers.

Pollinate Great Learning Ideas Through Social Media

As administrators walk around and see examples of higher level learning,
they can capture the learning through pictures or videos. They will make sure that the pictures or videos clearly show the specific learning goal and the higher level learning as opposed to some “cute”
picture of students.  For example, an administrator takes a picture of a student made Social Studies concept map that contrasts the causes of the American Revolution and the American Civil War.  The administrator  posts it to the school website,  the school facebook page, or a flickr school page. Likewise,  the administrators can tweet  “English 8 students works in groups of three to help each other have more evidence and details in  their essay paragraphs.”  In addition, the building leader can record students talking about what they learned during a certain unit and then post this as part of the school podcasts. Through using technology, the administrators shares these great learning ideas with their buildings teachers so that these classroom  teachers can learn about  and implement new strategies for improving student learning.  Furthermore, the administrators will find that teachers will soon be contacting them about the higher level learning taking place in their classrooms so that their students can be featured in the next social media blast.

Tuttle’s Formative Assessment books

Too Much Presenters’ Dazzle, Not Enough Depth at Conference

I recently attended a conference presentation where the presenter ran through 20+ applications in a 50 minute presentation. I was dizzy at the end and could barely remember anything.  When will presenters stop doing this razzle dazzle and instead  talk about how a particular program will help  increase a precise learning goal? When will they show higher thinking examples of the programs instead of  “I made this cute  little demo” examples?  When will they be honest about how much time it takes to learn the program and how much time it takes to create something in the program? What will they talk about implementation issues? When will they not say,” I’m showing you the paid version which is different from the free version”?  When will they stop sounding like salespeople with a new cure-all and more like educators focused on student learning?

I would prefer the presenters to show a few like five  programs in-depth; this is what you can do and cannot do with this program. Here are three examples all at the highest level possible for this program. If presenters took their time to show in-depth information about the programs, more participants would feel comfortable with the programs and want to use them.

Less is more in any form of professional development or learning.

When you present to others, do you razzle dazzle or do you do an in-depth presentation?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Professional Development, Leadership and Student Learning

I’m a little confused about professional development, teacher interest and administrative leadership. I thought that all professional development should focus on enabling the teachers to help their students be better learners.

However, I know of a professional developer who gets all the topics for the professional development from the teachers. The teachers are happy because they get their topics; the developer is happy because teachers attend professional development. I was asked do some professional development there. When I found out the topics, “Math Websites”, “Social Studies Websites” and “English websites”, I asked if I could add some teaching strategies in. I changed the courses from jumping from website to website to seeing how the websites helped in assessment and analyzing the structure that the websites provided for struggling students. I found it interesting that I had to take the leadership in creating professional development that would focus on student learning.

Do the professional developers you know lead or follow? Do these developers focus the professional development directly on improving student learning? Or do they focus on the teachers’ desire for the newest tech toys? Or do they focus on productivity items such as making handouts look better? How does professional development in your area lead directly to improved student learning?

Excitement or Content in Learning

I recently attended a conference. In the first session I went to the person was enthusiastic, excited, and full of personal stories that had very little to do with the content. We got through about 1/4 of the content and then very superficially. The next session was a very methodical person who went step by step through a process and showed examples. I wonder how we are when we teach. Do we focus on content as the second person did or do we focus on being interesting & friendly as the first person? Yes, we can combine both but usually we focus more on one than the other. I spent time last year in visiting many schools and I find most teachers were trying hard to make the class exciting. They tried so hard that they spent less time on content and more on “fun and games”. One of the teachers had PowerPoints that made weird sounds and had flying things. The PowerPoint become more like a circus show than a learning environment.

How do you teach and how do you use technology to support your teaching?

Formative Assessment & Technology Workshop: Hands-On or Minds-On

I am doing a two hour formative assessment and technology “hands-on” workshop this weekend. I do not like “hands-on” workshops since they imply that the physical activity is the focus of the workshop. I prefer “minds-on” workshops where the participants spend time thinking and then they may do something on the computer. In the past, I have been amazed when people finish my workshop and they complain that they “didn’t use the technology very much so why were we in a lab?” They have just seen ten different examples of formative assessment that use various technologies; they have seen simple yet highly effective ways of integrating formative assessment into the class. They know how to implement these techniques. However, they want to complain about not using technology very much. I would like their focus to be on education and not technology.


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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