I have been frustrated lately. Part of my contract states that I will offer weekly morning technology mini workshop sessions for teachers in our district. I have been planning these and offering them every Thursday morning all year long. Unfortunately I am lucky if I get just one or two people in attendance. I know it is not that teachers don't want or feel they need this training, it is a time issue. If you are strapped for time you are going to cut out everything that is not essential. Attending an optional training session is usually viewed as something that can be cut out if there is no time unless what is being offered is crucial to what is happening in your classroom today. I find my position is far more effective as an on demand resource that teachers can call in when they need something NOW or if they have specific projects they want to work on and need advice.
I am going to try a new approach. Instead of always planning a session, showing up, and having all that planning time and energy wasted I am going to make these sessions available in small snippits that can be viewed when teachers have time or when they are at home. Hopefully this will help. For this I am going to use a combination of Screencast-o-matic and Ustreamtv. I have set up a training blog that I will post these to for our district teachers.
I believe this approach to professional development is in keeping with what we are trying to accomplish with these new 21st century tools and is a step toward developing a new 21st century pedagogy. If teachers are going to alter their teaching methods they need to experience alternatives from the learner's perspective. Hopefully this method of content delivery will be more effective, reach more of our staff, and in turn have an effect on how these tools are utilized in the classroom.