For approximately the last seven years, my school district has acquired a decent amount of Apple Professional Development training. These training days have been obtained as either part of larger computer purchases for teachers and students or outright PD purchases. We’ve used this training days for our teachers each year. As a predominately Mac district, our goal has been to train teachers on the numerous ways they could use computers to integrate technology in their classrooms. Many different groups of teachers, called cadres, were selected over this period of time. We had cadre groups from all levels and disciplines participate in the trainings from an outstanding Apple Professional Development trainer. The idea was to build capacity within buildings at different grade levels from many disciplines. These teachers, after going through the eight days of training, were then charged with being “go-to” people in their buildings – they are to be leaders and support their fellow teachers regarding integration.
I believe this program has been quite successful for us, in fact, we continue to have multiple requests each year to be a technology cadre member. Despite the success of this program, I always felt as though there was some component missing and that was the participation of administration. I believe their involvement was important for multiple reasons: learning what good integration looks like, collecting more tools to help teachers, and staying current with technology in the classroom. This is not say that good administrators don’t do this on their own, but they are incredibly busy and have so many things on their plate that it’s difficult to keep abreast of everything!
With this in mind, a colleague and myself wrote a proposal to use two extra days of our Apple professional development to hold an administrative cadre. After some initial concerns and limiting the training to one day, we received the thumbs up to proceed. The upper administrative team made it a voluntary day for administrators to attend and agreed to have them all train on MacBooks since that’s what the teachers and students use (most administrators in my district use Windows machines). The day of training included some short, easy uses of technology to podcasting to documentary filmmaking. We had nine administrators stay through the entire day of training. My colleague and I were thrilled to bring the admin into the fold regarding the integration of technology. I’ll leave you with some of the positive comments from the administrative participants:
“The hands on approach and the relevance to the classroom teacher. Many of the ideas were quick and simple strategies that won’t burden teachers.”
“It was all new to me and very beneficial. I will be able to use it with my staff and know what I can expect from them and what I can expect to see in the classrooms.”
“Knowing what programs can do will help me encourage and monitor their usage in the classroom environment.”
“Knowing the capabilities of the programs was most beneficial. It would be improved only by seeing more.”
I’d be happy to answer any questions or help with any planning of something similar in your district.