Time is one of the biggest obstacles to technology integration for my staff, along with just being aware of what can be done. Our district requires 3 days of technology based staff development over the summer (these days are comped during the school year). The staff may plan their own staff development based on their needs and interests. Some of the plans have included, courses offered by our educational service center, one on one sessions with other staff, tutoring sessions with high school students who are familiar with a program needed, independent study and courses offered locally by staff. We finished a week of such courses in June. We offered some basics (email, internet) (both very well attended) and some classes more geared to the classroom teacher to point out features of the Internet such as Blackboard and Quia. It is my plan (I am the district technology technician and wear many hats) to reinforce training received through a district newsletter and short tech staff development throughout the year. Offering these sessions in June gave me a real feel for what is needed and I plan to use that information to keep my staff headed into further use and integration of technology.
Another area we have added to this is an online needs assessment that each staff member takes prior to creating his or her plan. The assessment is in conjunction with the Profiler. We create a customized technology needs assessment (though there are many on that site that can be "borrowed") and each staff member signs in and takes it. They use the individual results to plan what they wish to work on, I take the results for the group and plan our offered courses. This year we offered sessions on general Internet and computer as well as session on Excel, Publisher, Power Point, web page making, and lesson plan software. It really helps us target our needs.
Submitted by:Sarah Wood