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Staff Development

Because of rapid changes in information technology and education, teachers may need help with: 

bulletTechnology skills 
bulletInformation literacy skills
bulletAuthentic assessment skills
bulletCreating assignments that use resources in authentic manner
bulletInterdisciplinary work 

Some ways to work with teachers and staff to develop and enhance these skills include: 

bulletWhen students  are learning the skills
bulletOne-on-one instruction 
bulletLarge group sessions 
bulletTeaching small teams (e.g., grade level / curricular) 
bulletProject work 

Determining Staff Development Needs

Many schools form committees of teachers, the LMS and the technology person in the school or district to do a needs assessment through observations, surveys, or informal interviews and then plan staff development activities. Other schools have a district-wide team that does the planning. 

Adult Learners Differ from Children

While there are many obvious ways that adult student differ from children.  These need to be taken into account in order to provide meaningful direction.  Some important difference when working with adult learners to consider include:

bulletAbility to stay on task 
bulletGoal oriented 
bulletMotivated by a sense of accomplishment 
bulletStrong sense of self 
bulletBring many personal experiences to their learning 
bulletWilling and eager to learn a topic of interest 
bulletVery busy and need to fit learning into their own timeframe 
bulletSome bring psychological baggage from previous learning experiences 

Teaching Methods

Recognizing and utilizing the experience of adult learners is probably the key to successful outcomes.  Establishing a climate of trust within the group is also critical.  Active learning strategies and accommodation of various learning styles are also important. 

Planning Staff Development

Like most endeavors, being prepared is critical -- especially when working with busy educators.  While flexibility is important, the following steps are recommended to more fully ensure that staff development sessions are as productive as possible:

bulletFormulate and analyze alternatives
bulletDetermine opportunities and threats
bulletList possible strategies 
recommend solution(s) 
bulletCreate action plan 
bulletAnticipate results 
bulletCreate contingency plans 

When to do the staff development:

bulletDuring prep periods 
bulletBefore or after school 
During classtime, providing a substitute teacher
bulletIn the summer 
bulletOn weekends 
bulletIn class with kids 

Motivating each participent:

bulletEquipment, software 
bulletRelease time 
bulletSpecial project work 
bulletExtra resources 
bulletAssistance of extra person 
bulletStudent performance 

Who should do the teaching:

bulletLibrary media specialist 
bulletTechnology specialist 
bulletAnother teacher in the school 
another teacher from the district 
bulletProfessional trainer 
bulletThe materials themselves (e.g., web page instructions, videotape tutorials) 

Where to provide training:

bulletLibrary media center 
bulletTeacher's classroom 
bulletComputer lab
bulletDistrict training facility 
bulletOnline at teacher's convenience 


bulletTeams organized by common interest 
bulletTeams by level of skill 
bulletLarge groups 
bulletEntire school 

Teaching Methods:

bulletCase study 
bulletHands-on activities 
bulletPrinted guides or instructions 

Appropriate Resources

bulletTraining manuals or guides 
bulletComputer programs 
bulletWhiteboards or other place to write 
bulletComputer projection device 
bulletVCR and monitor 
bulletOverhead projector 

[ Top ]

Information Power
Information Literacy
Research Process
Evaluating Information
Lesson Design
Staff Development


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