In my Planning Interactive Curriculum Connections online class, a discussion ensued on how to get teachers to look for and select programs. One of my local teachers, Shellie Jaques, from Watervliet North Elementary, shared these suggestions for staff training. (Shared here with permission.)
Tell your staff they should be looking for programs that are interactive not just informative. This heads-up from our assignment for class had me looking at the programs with new eyes as I searched.
I could suggest holding the inservice in the computer lab. Provide the addresses Janine did for our assignment this week and tell each teacher to search for VC programs in a subject area they would like to improve and write down their top 2 or 3 choices with the justifications for each choice. Give a time limit and discuss what each person found at that time. Once again like we did in class.
Have grade level/subject area teams go to classroom computers so discussions won’t disrupt other teams, and once again ask for 2 or 3 top choices and justifications providing a time limit and discussion time.
Anytime my principal needs us to do an online survey for the state or other things like that we start the staff meeting in the lab and just do the work right then and there, then it’s done. It provides a good environment for helping peers if they have any questions too. We are also given time limits when we need to accomplish a group task for a staff inservice. It keeps our off topic discussion to a minimum because there is always at least one “Chatty Kathy” in every group. By the way we all like our principal and this format too.
The assignment was: Pick a unit that you teach and find at least two programs for that topic. These should be two programs new to you. You will find the BCISD and CILC searchable databases most useful for this assignment. Compare the two programs. Answer these questions:
- What is different between the two programs?
- Which would you choose of those two programs and why?
- What criteria did you use to make your choice?
So, what strategies do you use for helping teachers learn what is available?