As promised, I gave my teachers a very informal technology survey, and the results are in. I simply sent an email asking them to respond with suggestions for after-school technology workshops that would meet their needs. I included a few examples of possible topics, and left it wide open for them to reply with whatever interested them. Out of 45 teachers, I received 12 responses, and some people made more than one suggestion.
Using Promethean Software (our brand of interactive whiteboard) – 5
eChalk (our web authoring software) – 4
PowerSchool (our state’s new school management software) – 4
Accelerated Reader – 1
Starting a Blog – 1
PhotoStory – 1
Excel – 1
Publisher – 1
School Set of Laptops – 1
So there you have it.
I wish I had heard from more teachers. Granted, there may be any number of good reasons why most of my teachers failed to respond, but it’s still a bit discouraging. Hmmm, I bet I wouldn’t be lacking for responses if I had polled the students on what they are interested in! That will be my next survey….
Last Thursday the results of my district’s annual Professional Development Survey were made available. Teachers were asked to choose three topics of particular interest to them from a list of seventy possible training opportunities. Now, with that many choices in the list, only one topic is really going unify people and that is Power School, our state’s new school management system, which garnered a whopping 155 votes (11%). (“It’s coming in April whether you’re ready or not!”) So let’s just move on to the other choices.
It was with great interest and some trepidation that I looked to see where the Technology options had placed in this popularity contest, and I guess it could have been worse. Interactive Whiteboard training was third in the rankings with 87 votes (6%), which shows that teachers are eager to get the most out of the Promethean boards that were installed in all classrooms this year. The next most popular technology choices were Technology for Teachers: Intermediate with 29 votes (2%) and Technology for Teachers: Advanced with 23 votes (2%), which indicates that those who are already comfortable with using technology would like to learn more.
Interestingly, there was no Technology for Teachers: Beginner option, so I’m left wondering why not. Are our teachers all presumed to be farther along than beginner at this point? (Surely not!) Were those who are beginners were expected to pick and choose from the more specific technology offerings such as Using eChalk (our web page authoring software), Classworks, or TestView (which all placed near the bottom of the list)? Or perhaps the survey creators thought no one would admit to being a beginner? But I digress.
The option I was most interested in was Integrating Technology into the Curriculum, which in my opinion is our best bet for giving kids those 21st Century Learning Skills we keep hearing are so important. And how many chose it as a priority workshop topic, you ask? Continue reading