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Professional Development "In-Hand"

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Saved by Lucas Gillispie
on November 5, 2009 at 4:40:54 pm

Professional Development "In-Hand"


Strategic Priorities from Technology Plan (Programs 4 & 1):


1.  NC public schools will produce globally competitive students.

2.  NC public schools will be led by 21st Century professionals.


Brief summary statement: 


Professional Development “In-Hand” will target a single school and attempt to bring about an environment of professional connectivity, both among staff members and to the worldwide education community through the use of the iPod Touch as a multi-function device


Program Description:  


During the 2009-2010 school year, Pender County Schools will target one of our middle schools, Burgaw Middle, a small, rural school, for the Professional Development “In-Hand” program. This program will serve a number of functions at this school.  First, since state funding has been drastically cut for the purchase of hardware, it is critical to “stretch dollars” to be as efficient as possible.  Funding the purchase of a laptop per teacher and administrator is cost-prohibitive and laptops, even netbooks, are limited by size and often inefficient battery life.  Thus, this program will provide educators with a cost-efficient, portable device that can provide web access, web-based communication, and multimedia functionality.  The second goal is to provide educators with a means of building their online PLN, or Professional Learning Network, and to provide quick access to it.  A number of applications available for the iPod Touch allow this.  A third goal of this program is to encourage teachers to engage in self-directed professional development through their PLN’s.  For this technology infusion systemic change to be successful, teachers must have access to a system that seamlessly integrates into their daily routine with as little inconvenience as possible.  No device exemplifies this possibility as well as Apple’s iPod Touch.  Likewise, the versatility of this device makes it somewhat insulated from immediate obsolescence.  Thus, it will retain functionality for years to come.  If funds allow, additional devices will be purchased and distributed to district teachers and/or administrators following this same professional development model.


The second component of this program, then, is training the staff on the day-to-day usage of the device, but more importantly, how to use many of the powerful free apps that are available to:

•    Connect to each other for instant messaging (Skype, for example) and ongoing communication.

•    Use popular social networking tools such as Twitter (Twitterific) or Facebook to expand and engage a global professional network.

•    Increase productivity by having quick access to district email (Google App).

•     Become aware of relevant professional news, trends, and information (podcasts, TED Talks, RSS Feeds).


How will this program improve student academic achievement?

Professional development for teachers is a key component to successful classroom teaching.  The emergence of new technologies (such as social communication tools) and the ability for the iPod Touch to incorporate these through free Apps, means that this device (and this program) could enable educators to have a “connection to a network,” in hand, 24/7.  This tool can also provide the teacher with tools to monitor student progress, share audio/video with their classes, and enhance the overall interactivity of their instruction.


How will technology access be increased for all students and teachers in schools served?

Due to cuts in technology, funding for infusing innovative technology into the new school is very limited.  Professional Development “In-Hand” is a cost-effective strategy to both provide teachers and administrators with a highly-functional, web-enabled device and to build their awareness of emerging technologies through the development of their own professional learning network.


What research supports the use of your program activities?

A number of supporting lesson ideas and case studies can be found, online at:  http://www.apple.com/education/teachers-professors/resources/


Measurable Program Objective 4:  The district will implement the WoWinSchool Project with up to 15 student participants and up to two teacher participants.



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