Using the classrooms@work resources for professional development
The classrooms@work/tools@hand resources support professional development for teachers in several ways, from independent study to large-group workshops. They promote learning about technology integration in events of varying length and cross grade levels or subject areas.
Short presentations of one-hour or less can focus on one classroom by viewing one video and demonstrating some of the Web site materials related to that classroom. A short session can be sufficient for engaging teachers' interest in further independent review of the Web site resources.
Longer workshops allow hands-on learning with better transfer to a teacher's own context through group discussion of instructional strategies. Workshops can target a group of teachers by grade level or subject and focus on one classroom or learning project. For a mix of K-12 teachers, a workshop can cover more than one of the classroom projects and include a survey of strategies across the grades and projects at the site. Workshops might also focus on instructional components, such as assessment in the Assessing Learning sections of each project or on project learning design in Learning That Works.
These products will best meet the needs of K-12 classroom teachers who are using technology for student learning and recognize the organization and management issues that arise when integrating technology. They have a working knowledge of computer use and are familiar with applications such as e-mail, Internet searching, spreadsheets, databases, and CDs for information retrieval.
Teachers learning from classrooms@work resources will explore authentic models of technology integration to:
- Develop more focused and personalized visions of technology integration
- Identify new strategies for technology-supported project learning
- Find and adapt classroom-tested materials that support integration of technology
- Consider new methods to meet technology integration challenges
Suggested Workshop Agenda
The agenda below briefly outlines sections of a 1 1/2 to 2 hour hands-on workshop. It includes a few helpful pointers and time estimates.
Check the facilities and equipment:
Presentation station: Computer with broadband Internet connection or with a CD drive; high quality projection (for both video and computer); and VCR
Participant workstations: Broadband Internet connectivity or CD drive; current browser with plug-ins installed (Adobe Acrobat reader and QuickTime)
Connect to Web site; www.netc.org/classrooms@work; test projection; adjust display, if needed
Cue video; test video projection
Check workstations for plug-ins (Adobe and QuickTime)
Following the welcome, introductions, and any get-acquainted activities; review the goals, agenda and the classrooms@work resources. If workshop time is less than 1 1/2 hours and if participants come from several grade and subject levels, you may need to poll the participants for their preferences on which classroom video to view. (10-20 minutes)
3. Show a video
The online video segments (in the Animal Research Report) and the three videotapes give a visual overview of an individual class and a learning project and provide an introduction to the Web site. Prior to showing a video, prompt teachers with the following:
As you view the video, make (mental or written) notes of what interests you:
What do you want to know more about? What would you like to have?
What would you want to explore further on the Web site?
4. Discuss video
Share and discuss answers to the above questions. Make notes about the areas of particular interest to the group to use in the next demonstration. (10-15 minutes)
5. Demonstrate the Web site
A quick demonstration of the Web site should focus on introducing a few organization and navigation basics and not on content. With monitors off, walk participants through a few preliminary features of the Web site.
- Point out opening page options, such as the Introduction and Ordering links
- Show the Site Map (Note: This site map is for organization overview and is not used for navigation)
- Select the classroom associated with video
- Show that there are four orientation sections for background information on a classroom
- Review the five main organizers on the Contents page and how they align with the video
- Select Learning That Works and demonstrate some secondary pages and show navigation back with the back button of the browser
- Demonstrate navigation buttons at the bottom of the main section pages
- Return to opening page for selecting classrooms and select site map to review and end
6. Explore the Web site
Get teachers started by having them type in the complete URL: http://www.netc.org/classrooms@work. Depending on time available, structure the hands-on time with pauses for group discussions. It may be helpful to use a prepared handout with questions to prompt discussion. The following handout has discussion questions that can be downloaded and modified in a word processor:
Some natural breaks and discussion points include:
Review classroom context and description
Encourage participants to start with the contextual information at the Orientation page before moving to the project description in Learning That Works. When the majority have moved through this material, pause and discuss:
- How is this classroom similar to or different from your classroom(s)?
- What aspects of the project are appropriate for your classrooms?
- What project ideas does this classroom bring to mind?
Review management and organization strategies
The Working Together and Using Workspaces sections contain a lot of material on specific strategies and activities. A discussion of these strategies generates many variations and new possibilities among a group of teachers. Pause and discuss strategies:
- What strategies does this teacher use to keep students organized and managing their group work? What do you use?
- How are computer and non-computer activities scheduled in this classroom and in your own? How do students rotate or move from activity-to-activity?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the workspace arrangements in this classroom? In your own classroom?
Review monitoring and assessment practices
The Assessing Learning section contains many student work samples, scoring guides, and description of assessment for the project. After reviewing the materials, pause and discuss:
Review of school support
- Extended projects often result in a culminating performance assessment, what kinds of performance assessment do your students do? How do you assess final projects?
- In what ways are the scoring guides and student monitoring tools useful for projects you do or may do?
- In what ways has technology supported student learning?
The final section, Supporting Success, addresses school leadership and structure that supports classroom use of technology.
- In your school, what structures are in place that support your use of technology? What has helped you the most? What support would you like to have?
7. Wrap up and evaluation
Participants can use the Web site to order copies of the videos or CD of the Web site.