I'm a member of Classroom 2.0, "the social network for educators using collaborative technologies", and over the past few months, I've sensed an increase in the number of people working in K-12 school districts who are faced with moving much of their staff development content to the web. Others are in the process of providing more on-line learning and communication opportunities for students - and parents.
Folks used to delivering workshops in front of tired teachers at a staff meeting at the end of a long day know that moving to on-line delivery methods will be a challenge, but if done right, most likely will provide our colleagues with a much richer and meaningful experience.
I my case, I can't wait to get going with Moodle, the open-source learning management and collaboration system my school district has adopted.
If you are new to all of this, keep in mind that the time-line for acceptance and adoption of Web 2.0 tools in K-12 settings varies between schools, school districts and regions. In some schools, students and teachers use blogs, wikis, on-line journals, interactive multimedia portfolios, and other 2.0 related sites to share content, upload presentations, and communicate with other classes within their school, and around the world.
If this isn't happening in your school, it is likely that you'll experience changes within the next two years or so. If you are new to "Web 2.0" concepts and scratching your head, know that there is a lot of support out there! Many members of Classroom 2.0 share resources and "how-to" information via the Classroom 2.0 forum and the resources wiki.
From now on, I'd like to devote an occasional post focused on the topic of using 2.0 tools for staff development, and also touch on the use of 2.0 tools for e-learning for students and parent education and support.
In the future, I'd also like to share information about how on-line tools are currently being used to support counseling and social skills activities for students.
Learn N.C. offers distance education for teachers and students, including interactive video conferencing, NC Virtual Public Schools, and classroom resources.
If you don't have time to take things slowly, you can get a few quick tips from Tom Kuhlman's recent post on his Rapid E-Learning blog. Although Tom's focus in staff development for people in the corporate world, the principles are the same:
How to Create E-learning Courses That Don't Waste Your Learner's Time
For school psychologists and related professionals:
School psychologists might be faced with preparing workshops for staff related to RTI (Response to Intervention) and school-wide positive behavior support implementation. Using web 2.0 tools to get the job done is something worth considering.
The first step is to take a giant step back and look at the big picture. Look at your school district's long-range technology plan, and revisit the technology plan that is in place for your school. You might also want to look at your state's technology plan and get a list of the contacts assigned to your region.
Feel free to leave a comment and share what your school district is doing!