David Warlick’s recent post suggests replacing the notion of a staff development plan for schools considering 1:1 computer or tablet initiatives with a more comprehensive concept of creating a staff development infrastructure. That infrastructure would include some key components of building ongoing communities of practice where teachers could support each other in managing their own learning:
- Have the time to reflect and retool (at least three hours a day),
- Have ready access to local and global ideas and resources that are logically and socially indexed,
- Have the skills to research, evaluate, collaborate, remix, and implement new tools and techniques (contemporary literacy),
- Are part of an ongoing professional conversation where the expressed purpose is to provoke change (adapt),
- Leave the school from time to time to have their heads turned by new experiences,
- Share what they and their students are doing with what they teach and learn — their information products and relics of learning become an explicit and irresistibly interwoven part of the school’s culture.
Back in the olden days I did lots of workshops on professional development for student affairs folks in higher education based on my dissertation research. One of the points that I made in those workshops was that professional development was more about the attitude of continually extracting and sharing meaning from the work they were doing than it was about participating in activities. David’s list is an excellent summary of how to operationalize that attitude using a set of tools that we weren’t even dreaming about back in 1991.
It would be interestsing to reframe this list to clearly articulate how we could use these tools in build that culture at William and Mary to support our 1:1 computing initiative.