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TF-V Productivity and Professional Practice

Posted by Hope Scott on Sunday, June 12, 2011 Under: Internship
TF-V          Productivity and Professional Practice
Educational technology facilitators apply technology to enhance and improve personal productivity and professional practice.  
Self –Assessment
Some key points from Chapter Five, Productivity and Professional Practice (Williamson and Redish), that learned and need to remember as technologist are: 
    •Students benefit indirectly when educators use technology to enhance their own productivity and professional practice.  When teachers know and understand what to do with technology they can assist students.  There are many times when I have had to help seniors with the dreaded research paper.  English teachers give the assignments giving students just the outline and very few instructions.  Many are frustrated until one of the computer teachers gives them directions on how to complete the task.
    •Technology plays a vital role in transforming schools into professional learning communities.  We have the technology, but many teachers only know the very basics.  They cannot use technology to its full potential. As facilitator, I want to show teachers bells and whistles that are inherent in new technology and how to use them effectively.
    •Too little time to learn new technology.  This is the biggest complaint from all teachers.  We have a once and done presentation.  When teachers try to use the new technology, they do not remember how to even get started.  
    •Teachers need help envisioning how to use technology to meet needs and purpose.  Time required to mastery hinders effectiveness of technology. Many teachers want to know how to use new technology, but few have the extra time needed to learn all the benefits of the technology.  The bells and whistles do no good if they go unused.  This happens more often than we care to admit.  Providing templates and offering support can help alleviate the waste of time and money on technology that will go unused. 
    •The learning curve can lead to educator frustration.  Faculty and staff complain about new technology that is not intuitive.  If the learning curve is not simple, or practical, they will feel frustrated and not use the technology.  Many teachers on campus will not use the QOMO Document Camera and Tablet (QOMO Hite Vision, n.d.) that the district purchased because of the learning curve.  It is not hard to use, but it does require training to be able to do everything it can do.
This information has helped me realize that training is imperative for technology to be effective.  I need to remember learning styles as I process training for adult learners.  I also have to keep in mind that faculty is on shutdown mode after a long day.  This means that training must be relevant, timely, and engaging.  
I have been guilty of being the chauffer to colleagues.  Many times I have been asked for help, but so that I can move on, I will complete the task.  The teacher will not learn how to implement technology if they are not allowed to learn how to use it effectively. 
Learn as a Learner
My approach and strategies in implementing the Standard and Indicators was into the role of a chauffeur.  This is unfortunate and has to change.  I need to step back and allow user to learn technology.  My role needs to be support or scaffold user instead of doing the task for them.  I learn by doing, so I need to allow and encourage colleagues to do the same.  Also, I learn by trying, even if I make mistakes.  Faculty and staff need to understand that there is back-up at the district level for all data.  Also, if they think of something that the software or technology should be able to do, ask for help or try it for themselves. My interaction with colleagues was limited to doing what they should have done for themselves.  I feel so gullible, but I now know to step back and facilitate learning. Teachers, as well as administrators, need to see themselves as learners, eager and capable of improving their practice when given support (Edutopia, 2011).
Lifelong Learning Skills
I have to keep reflecting upon my role as facilitator and not chauffer.  I know that technology allows and enables professional learning communities to thrive.  I need to help teachers create these learning communities within their departments.  We do this in the CATE department because we all have edmodo.com accounts.  We are able to share lessons and thoughts.  I will encourage implementation of online communities in every department that are generative, meaningful, collaborative, and participant-centered (Williamson and Redish, 2009, p. 108).  My past interactions and collaborations with colleagues will keep me from taking the role of chauffer to teacher learning.  As a lifelong learner, some questions or issues challenge that are worthy of future research or investigation with regard to the implementation of the Standard and Indicators are: 
    •How can I design, prepare, and conduct professional development that is relevant and timely? 
    •What can I do to facilitate learning of new technology? 
    •How can I transform our school culture from isolated to collaborative?

Edutopia. (2011). Four conditions essential for instructional coaching to work.  Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/four-conditions-instructional-coaching-elena-aguilar
QOMO Hite Vision. (n.d.) Products. http://www.qomo.com/Default.aspx
Williamson, J. and Redish, T. 2009. ISTE's Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards. International Society for Technology in Education. Eugene, OR.

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Hope Scott I am a Web Technologies teacher. I created this blog as part of my Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership for Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

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