In my work for OCDE this summer, I lead a three-day trainer-of-trainers course for the Level 1 Teacher Technology Certification program. This program provides teachers with a preliminary level of technology proficiency in Internet, e-Mail, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and Databases. These are skills that new teachers are now trained in during their credentialing process in California, but there are many in the system who still need these skills – and perhaps not surprisingly, these skills don’t always take the first time if the new teachers (even young ones) are not digital natives.
In the past year or so, several pilot programs at specific districts (most notably the pilot at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District) have experimented with swapping out the Database portion for other skills more relevant to teachers. In our case, we chose blogging, and I’m happy to report that in this training (and the one that followed for ‘regular’ teachers) many new classroom blogs were born – and are being used already!
This particular training was an attempt to build capacity in the Laguna Beach Unified School District, by certifying all of their tech lead teachers as Level 1 trainers. (There are two teachers identified as tech lead teachers at each site – and each is paid a stipend to serve as a sort of educational technology coordinator for that site and a liaison to the district.) This training was a surprisingly fulfilling process for me. They were of course easy to work with and eager to learn, but more importantly I really got the sense (from a few in particular) that they really were planning to turn around and use this with their colleagues… and in some cases I think I’ve already seen changes in how they are using technology this year themselves.
I don’t know how much they will use it, but it was also exciting to set up a wiki for them to share custom agendas for their district and to share the many resources I mentioned off hand during the training. Ideally, I hope this will grow into a resource for the tech lead teachers there… feel free to contribute yourselves if you are interested: http://lbusd.wikispaces.org (Note: It turns out none of the blogs linked to this wiki are seeing much use yet… I’ll shared examples when I can.)
The following week’s five-day training for ‘regular’ teachers really opened my eyes in different ways, but that is tomorrow’s post. :)