Thinking About Needs, Week Two

I read this article that blew me away and it had some points that I need to consider for my course. Whether continuing development, or simply development, a course is meant to have a learning outcome that produces change in the participant.

Slepkov, H. (2008). Teacher professional growth in an authentic learning environment. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(1), 85-111.

The article talks about how day-to-day events make it difficult for many teachers to seek professional development, yet some do. Why?

Rather than predetermining what the expected outcome of any individual professional development opportunity ought to be for every teacher, the topics of professional development opportunities must be sufficiently broad to enable the classroom teacher to construct knowledge and gather skills that are meaningful to him or her at that particular moment in their professional life (p.94).

That makes me think of my course because I think my course can be part of a curriculum, but also used as professional development. So is my outcome wrong? Since my course would more likely be an elective or taken for PD by choice, is it meaningful to the participant?

The article states that many teachers take PD classes that are predetermined by someone else, then they are expected to go back to their classrooms and implement the professional development seminar/class/program IN ISOLATION–no support, nothing.

So for the professional development to be transformed into something the teacher uses, it needs to linked specifically to the teacher and the classroom. Bingo. In my course, the teacher’s own classroom will be the focus of the new learning; his classroom will be the real life environment. Development will begin with learning reflection, collaboration, and constructivism and will involve into a website that the educator-student can use with his whole classroom.

The best part about the course I want to develop means that the need to use the technology within my course may inspire teachers to not only continue using the technology but to broaden the use of technology in their classrooms. My course is meant to be just the beginning, as a means to scaffold new and new to technology teachers to enhance learning in their classrooms.

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