Technology-based professional development opportunities are one of our main focuses in this issue of Multimedia & Internet@Schools. We know you are charged with guiding your schools and districts toward the fulfillment of NCLB and state mandates for highly qualified teaching staff and the integration of technology into the curriculum.
Professional Development …
Educational technology leader and pundit Steve Hargadon has authored our cover story, which is on the role of Web 2.0 in education—particularly in professional development for educators. Steve is an ardent evangelist for thoughtful, functional use of Web 2.0 features. He is well-known for, among many other things, his work as founder of the Classroom 2.0 social network and his live, interactive interviews of leading thinkers on Elluminate’s LearnCentral platform. His article, Educational Networking: The Role of Web 2.0 in Education (p. 10), is adapted from a paper he wrote recently.
And in his second Tools for Learning feature, Victor Rivero, whose new series we introduced last time, covers additional tech tools and platforms that can further professional development. As Victor notes, “Teachers are students too. With online learning growing by a rate of 30% over the past few years … once-lonely and isolated education professionals are now taking advantage of tech-based tools and platforms and connecting like never before.” In Tools for Learning: Technology-Based Professional Development (p. 18), Victor looks at the offerings of Curriculum Associates, Discovery Education, GlobalScholar, Key Curriculum Press, PBS TeacherLine, PD 360, and more.
… and Beyond
Of course, Web 2.0 isn’t just for teachers’ development. Carolyn Foote has written eloquently for us on teaching research skills in this 2.0 and high-stakes testing era. As Carolyn notes: “When students enter the professional world … utilizing research and evaluation skills to create products using Web 2.0 tools will be the name of the game. These uses are real, authentic, and crucial.” Read more in Empowering Students for Life: Research Skills in the Age of Testing (p. 28).
In addition, this month Johanna Riddle elucidates how you can move beyond the concept of “technology inclusion” to the more valid “technology infusion” model in her Tech Effect column, 21 Things: Kinder, Gentler Tips for Effective Technology Infusion (p. 25). And Charlie Doe’s A Look At … roundup focuses on online learning communities in what he calls their more formal implementation: learning management systems. He covers no fewer than seven of them.
David Hoffman , editor