In Julie Coiro’s session at TRLD on “professional development, educational leadership & digital age thinking” she pointed out that “the most successful PD models” engage and empower teachers to have a stronger voice in directing their own learning. Then she went on to say that effective PD models for integrating literacy & technology follow three premises:

  1. They recognize the developmental process through which teachers use technology.
  2. They validate the different attitudes and dispositions that teachers bring to their use of technology.
  3. They employ job-embedded study groups as a means of empowering teachers to take a more active role.

Then she stated that study groups have been proven particularly effecting in supporting technology integration among teachers. The 4 phases are frame, analyze, implement, and reflect.

My thought was that all of these phases are so important yet it is rare that it happens in schools.

Next Julie led us to a discussion of the dilemmas school leaders face:

  • Paralysis by assessment and the irony of NCLB
  • Accountability vs. recognizing the power of classroom intellectual capital
  • Meeting professional development needs vs. meeting hardware and equipment needs
  • Lab model vs. individual classroom model
  • Ensuring access vs. protecting children

Julie showed us some very interesting policy initiatives around the world:

Ireland – manufactures more software than the US or any other nation

Finland – 5 weeks paid leave for PD for integrating new literacies

Japan – has broadband in nearly every home that’s 16 times faster than in US at $22 per month (Foreign Affairs, 2005)

India – companies provide online tutoring for students in reading math, and science (New York Times, sept. 2005)

Mexico – investing more than $1 million to install and Internet computer in every primary classroom by 2005 (Education Week, 2004)

Australia, the UK, Finland, Ireland, & Japan have Internet protals for educators far superior to anything the US has produced

On my mind – the five week paid leave for PD in Finland – hear! hear!

In my next post on these issues I’ll point you to some models she suggested.