The Strength of Weak Ties

Everyone participates. Everyone contributes. Leveraging the power of digital networks to connect people, resources and ideas to drive creativity and innovation forward...and actually accomplish something!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Our day in D99

Today we had our district-wide inservice day. Here's what we offered:

1. Two general sessions on an Introduction to Blackboard. Both sessions were filled to capacity with participants building out their Blackboard sites for most of the day. Direct instruction on how to use Blackboard took a little over an hour. We now have roughly 250 teachers trained in Blackboard (about 120 power users) with 50 newbies coming on board today.

2. A single session on Advanced Blackboard. Filled to capacity with 25 teachers. Discussion boards, evaluating discussion boards with Discussion Grader from Joliet Junior College (it rocks), creating learning groups and learning units, integration, blogs, wiki tools, along with a glance towards podcasting.

3. A single session on integrating video into instruction with United Streaming. We've just started with this great product and it will be an easy sell-we'll get it to tip very quickly and it will become district-wide in a short amount of time.

4. A single session on, our online test preparation and skill building tool. Teachers really were pumped about the product, especially our special services teachers.

5. My session on emerging technologies, which included RSS, blogs, wikis, Furl,, podcasting and screencasting. Filled. Lots of people with wide-eyes. I had a blast.

6. My session on Teaching and Learning with Technology for administrators. Great conversation, challenges, concensus-building, and an opportunity for me to spend some time giving them something to think about...

7. A single session on teaching and learning with technology success stories. Let's share what works.

All presenters for these sessions were in-house, as we have spent several years building internal capacity for such programs. Registration and evaluation of the sessions was accomplished by using our online system, Electronic Registrar Online.

We'll follow this up with direct support of these sessions by myself and my staff of curricular technology consultants. We'll continue with an aggressive evaluation program targeting organizational readiness and support for these initiatives, teacher implementation, and we'll even take a stab at evaluating the impact of this day on student achievement. We know that one day staff development events can be seen as ineffective; our challenge will be to continue, extend and build upon the momentum we've started and perhaps in some cases recaptured.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home