One of the stars of the professional development circuit, classroom tech expert Will Richardson has grown frustrated with schools’ continued use of workshops and in-service days to provide teacher training:
In the best case, they are a full day of one or two particular tools. In the worst case, they are one or two hours on a lot of tools. Either way, the experience usually serves to overwhelm, and at the end of the day (or hour) the participants head back to the craziness of their teaching lives where I’m guessing much of what they have “learned” fails to take root. Now that may be my fault to some extent, but it’s also a direct result of the “drive by” nature of much of what we call professional development. There’s little if anything to support the experience after it’s over.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Richardson believes that that very Web 2.0 tools in which he specializes give schools the opportunity to create “long-term, job-embedded, relationship- and network-building professional development” that can deepen and personalize teacher learning. His sometime partner in crime, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, is of the same mind.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.