Ahead of the Curve

5/15/2006 By:

Susan McLesterAlthough NCLB has "shone a spotlight" on professional development, as David Jakes reports in the cover feature "Staff Development 2.0," that light beam has failed to encompass the digital technologies so crucial to being well prepared. Enter the many successful technology-infused educator training practices showcased in this article.

From the development of goal-aligned standards to virtual conference attendance, tablet PC incentives, and next-generation Web 2.0 tools such as "defined personal environments," Jakes provides a broad sampling of innovative, practical approaches to keeping education professionals at the top of their game. You'll find much that is helpful to the shaping of your own district's program.

With the issues of universal access and funding high on the radar — as demonstrated at April's Florida Education Technology Conference — T&L is pleased to present you with updated looks at both those topics. In "All Students Being Equal," expert Janet Hopkins offers a primer on assistive technologies and the central role they play in improving the lives of students with a range of disabilities. And in this month's Bottom Line, Susan Brooks-Young looks at ways that open-source software can help you stretch those budget dollars.

A recent study from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills states that the integration of technology into education is essential to ensure students aren't "woefully underprepared for success beyond high school." One tool educators are increasingly relying on to connect students to Web resources is the digital projector. This month's What's New focuses on that technology and what it can bring to your classrooms and professional development sessions.

Stay tuned for next month's annual Leadership issue; this year's theme is the Practical Administrator.

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