Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ferriter at the Tempered Radical is talking about professional development and since his page "Won't accept this data" when I tried to comment, I figured you all could go there and read his article and then read this comment if you'd like.

Comment on Ferriter's Professional Headache.

I too am annoyed by the insistence on learning the SmartBoard and other truly simple technology tools in any kind of group setting.  Teachers seem to have this constant need for "Training" when they could buy a ____ for Dummies book and sit and read it.

Compounding the annoyance ... When the projector doesn't work with the laptop and the presenter has no clue about the use of the tool. I get very frustrated.

I wrote about it at one point ( and I still look back at that session with amazement. Just the idea that this computer teacher had had a SmartBoard for over three years, yet her uses for it were limited to using it as a projection screen and for the occasional tapping of a PowerPoint.

Her contribution to the presentation (she was one of two presenters) was "Somewhere here, hang on, let me find this really cool thing, wait, oh yeah, here it is - YOU CAN ROLL A PAIR OF DICE! Isn't that cool?)

I'm thinking "I can write programs in a whole bunch of languages, I run 13 websites using ASP, PHP, and regular HTML, am fluent with the machine and the board.  Why am I here?"

Then I answered myself, "Because the other option was even more stupid. That was learning how to teach children to count.  Let's count the circles and watch the aides and the elementary teachers get the wrong answers."

At least I haven't had the pleasure of sitting through professional development delivered by students
(  I have no illusions about that scenario - I have judged at way too many science fairs.

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