Professional development – don’t teach tools (podcast)

At TCEA 2008, Tim Wilson of the Apple Distinguished Educators interviewed me about the Generation YES approach to professional development. The 14 minute podcast is on the Apple Learning Interchange site.

Podcast link

We discussed how to help teachers quickly move to student-centered uses of technology. Many professional development sessions focus on teaching tool features, yet this method can sometimes result in less teacher confidence as they become overwhelmed. By teaching students, or teaching students and teachers together, teachers can see how quickly students learn technology and that their fearlessness overcomes many obstacles. Teacher fears need not translate to student fears, but it’s hard for teachers to believe that until they see it with their own eyes.


One thought on “Professional development – don’t teach tools (podcast)”

  1. Back when we were first starting all this, we made a huge error in teaching Word/ClarisWorks/Word Perfect instead of “the writing process using a word processor”. If we had focused on concepts instead of specific menus and buttons, we might not have so many people who are afraid to experiment when they are faced with a new piece of software (or a new edition).

    And maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have so many people who are surprised by the fact that cut, copy, paste, drag-and-drop, etc. works with video audio, video, and other non-text media. 🙂

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