Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Problem Solving as Professional Development

Always something to think about from David Warlick

David Warlick writes yesterday:

I maintain that the best solution to integrating contemporary literacy (digital literacy, information skills, computer skills, whatever you want to call it.) into what and how we teach is simple. It’s dramatic, but its simple — because teachers will do what helps them do their jobs. Teachers will do what solves their problems.

So the solution is to give them a problem.

Take all the paper out of every classroom and replace it with access to digital content, and put digital/networked information tools in the hands of every teacher and learner. Then say, “Now teach! Now Learn!”

Of course you’re going to have to provide them with time for retooling, and a little staff development, but it will happen, when they have little choice.

This would really make an interesting problem to present to teachers as part of a professional development plan to introduce new digital tools to teachers and then help them plan these tools into instruction for the school year wouldn't it? I find that the teachers I work with have a hard time thinking about starting something new once we've gotten into the school year. If they make something new a part of their routine right from the start they're more likely to work on it throughout the year. Hmm...I love new sparks!

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