Professional Development: Web 2.0 Tools to Boost Student Research

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[Click on the image above or here for direct link to this Prezi]

My final project for EdTech 554 is to create a professional development activity for teachers in my school. This assignment is pragmatic and the training we create should be useful in our daily practice. I chose to focus on helping teachers better empower students to be better 21st Century researchers. I am not a librarian, but I have noticed that students (and often teachers) generally don’t tap into enough Web 2.0 tools available to them to help them search, organize, and annotate their research.

For the assignment, I was given the following questions to consider and I will be graded against how well I address these:

  1. Are the goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound)?
    1. Professional development goals that will improve all students’ learning?
    2. Professional development goals that will improve teacher effectiveness?
    3. Professional development goals that differentiates the learning?
  2. What activities are planned?
  3. What are the expected outcomes?
  4. How will the learning be measured?
  5. How will you ensure the learning returns to the classroom?
  6. How will you measure the outcome on student learning?

Here is my professional development plan that outlines SMART goals and expected outcomes, NETS for Teachers standards, learning activities, and how to measure student outcomes. I can’t wait to give it a try.

STEM at the Border…a Final Attempt (for now)

Butwal Access Students

I just returned from Butwal, my final technology outreach visit before we depart Nepal. It’s a hot, dusty town near Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. These sorts of trips are never convenient nor easy, on a number of levels, but the end result is always worth it. The students and teachers are inspiring and I come away enriched.

These trips challenge me to share something useful in a very limited, one-off session. With a few rare exceptions, the students don’t have personal computers or devices, and the Internet is generally very slow. Developing technology skills takes dedicated time and practice: it doesn’t come during a two-hour window. The ideal would be to meet with these students in a computer lab, over a period of time, and help them truly learn to use the Internet and computers for learning. But, that isn’t a possibility. So, I struggle with sharing something that can be meaningful and lasting. The truth is that they likely will remember very little of what we talked about. What I do hope they remember is that someone triedSomeone cared. That’s far more important than any tool or vocabulary term or Netiquette rule.

[Read my EdTech Didi blog entry for lessons learned and photos]