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Can Web 2.0 Save Teacher Professional Development?. Sponsored by:. View all upcoming webinars @ r. Gerald Herbert/AP. Our Moderator:. Anthony Rebora Managing editor of Education Week Teacher and the Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook.

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can web 2 0 save teacher professional development

Can Web 2.0 Save Teacher Professional Development?

Sponsored by:

View all upcoming webinars @

Gerald Herbert/AP

our moderator

Our Moderator:

Anthony Rebora

Managing editor of Education Week Teacher and the Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook.

our guests

Our Guests:

Barbara Treacy

Director, EdTech Leaders Online, Education Development Center

Christopher Sessums

Assistant professor in the College of Educationat the University of Florida

Follow today’s conversation on Twitter. Go to Twitter, and search using keyword #edweeklive. Use the hashtag to converse, share resources, tips, and URLs with our live audience.
can web 2 0 save professional development

Can Web 2.0 Save Professional Development?

Barbara Treacy

Director, EdTech Leaders Online (ETLO)

Education Development Center (EDC)

today s webinar
Today’s Webinar

Can Web 2.0 “save”


development? NO!

Can Web 2.0 support effective professional development? YES!

questions for today
Questions for today
  • What are the elements of effective PD?
  • How can Web 2.0 and online tools help educators implement PD more effectively?
  • What are some online PD tools and models we’ve found useful at EDC?
elements of effective pd
Elements of Effective PD

Professional development should:

  • be intensive, ongoing, connected to practice
  • focus on student learning
  • address teaching of specific curriculum content
  • align with school improvement priorities & goals
  • build strong working relationships among teachers

-Professional Learning in the Learning Profession by Linda Darling-Hammond et al, NSDC (2009)

web 2 0 tools can support
Web 2.0 Tools Can Support

“Web 2.0 Definition: Online application that uses the World Wide Web (www) as a platform and allows for participatory involvement, collaboration, and interactions among users. Web 2.0 is also characterized by the creation and sharing of intellectual and social resources by end users.”

-Leadership for Web2.0 in Education: Promise & Reality by Cheryl Lemke & Ed Coughlin, CoSN (2009)

but there are so many tools
“In education…we have not really seized upon the power and the tools that are now available to us in the Internet age”

-Eric Schmidt, Google CEO

But there are so many tools!
how do we know which tools to use
How do we know which tools to use?

“Technology is a vehicle, not a destination...

Rather, aspects of technology – like all components of an effective course – should be chosen according to how they help meet the learning objectives.”

-Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching by Jim Henry and Jeff Meadows

examples of types of tools
Examples of types of tools

Course management tools

Enable educators to:

  • organize & share content, research, multimedia
  • engage in ongoing discussions
  • assess and document learning
  • build formal & informal communities of practice
  • share and analyze student work
  • examples:
voice and content tools
Voice and Content Tools

Enable educators to:

  • personalize introductions and discussions
  • provide learning or project summaries
  • explain a technical piece
  • create online discussions
  • address auditory learners and accessibility
  • examples:
collaboration tools
Collaboration Tools

Enable educators to:

  • collaborate & co-create documents, plans, materials, media
  • brainstorm and share ideas, resources, data, etc
  • discuss and communicate with team members
  • examples:
communication tools
Communication tools

Enable educators to

  • conduct “live” discussions and meetings
  • blends synchronous and asynchronous learning
  • address varying learning styles
  • collaborate and share documents and resources
  • examples:
more tool types
More tool types…
  • Blogging and micro-blogging tools

to share ideas or focus on a specific topic or project, such as

  • Social bookmarking tools to share/save resources, such as
lessons from edtech leaders online
Lessons from EdTech Leaders Online

Web 2.0 and Online PD enable:

  • PD to be extended over time (intensive, ongoing, connected to practice)
  • Teachers to implement what they’re learning in the classroom (focused on student learning)
  • Strong focus on content and pedagogy through rich readings, multimedia activities, online explorations(address teaching of specific curriculum content)
lessons cont
Lessons, cont.
  • Capacity building approaches with local educators leading the PD (align with school improvement priorities and goals)
  • Learning community models with rich online discussions with participants and facilitator(build strong working relationships among teachers)
a final word
A final word

“Some online tools have some affordances that, if the training takes advantage of them, can help with some of the classic issues of professional development.”

-Dr. Chris Dede, EdWeek interview 10/1/09

thank you
Thank you!


Barbara Treacy

[email protected]

EdTech Leaders Online

Education Development Center

Can Web 2.0 Save Teacher Professional Development?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009. presenter:Christopher D. Sessums, Ph.D.Post Doctoral Associate in Educational TechnologySchool of Teaching and LearningCollege of Education | University of Florida

areas of interest learning sciences learning organizations and participatory media design

areas of interest:learning sciences, learning organizations, and participatory media design

teacher professional development research:Much of what passes for TPD has been described as "fragmented, intellectually superficial" (Borko, 2004).On-going support for meaningful TPD is limited (Barnett, 2002).
teacher professional development research:Lack of day-to-day support and mentoring is related to the 50% attrition rate of new teachers w/in their first 5 years of practice (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 2003).
online teacher professional development research (Dede, et al., 2009):oTPD is a relatively nascent field of study.Which design features, tools, and strategies work best are still being analyzed.Evidence is mostly anecdotal with relatively few empirical studies.
my oTPD research examined (Sessums, 2009):• what works• for action research coaches• spread throughout NE Florida• how digital media supported a PLC • how this approach can be effective.
my oTPD research implications for facilitators (Sessums, 2009):• social artist an understanding of community-building & developing social connections• educative mentorsufficient knowledge of the practice itself to demonstrate credibility• community organizationnurturing and strengthening connections• expressed expectations/ground rules
my oTPD research implications for facilitators:Good online community facilitation requires special skills by the facilitator to progress conversations from trivial surface level discussion and social exchange to deeper levels of engagement.(Ambrose 2001; Sherry,Tavalin & Billig 2001; Collison et al. 2000; Sessums, 2009).
my oTPD research implications for facilitators:Create a culture of collaboration – provide activities that require collaboration, sharing, & reflection.
my oTPD research implications for facilitators:Create activities that support dedication to the endeavor (commitment) and dedication to the comm(unity). Involve participants in project planning, defining team identity, goals, and processes.
oTPD facilitator challenges:• technical frustrations• size of community• lack of time due to competing priorities• participants feeling they have nothing to share• info overload after community absence• motivations• how closely should a facil. monitor individuals participation?• standing back and letting participants work through issues
oTPD research implications for community designers:Technical designs should reflect/support the community’s goals.E.g. Task-based, practice-based, knowledge-based, mash-ups (Riel & Polin, 2004)
my oTPD research take-aways (Sessums, 2009):New resource constraints and continuing economic re-organization provides the opportunity to transform TPD activities and processes using newer and more meaningful models.
my oTPD research take-aways (Sessums, 2009):Rethinking management techniques—Use Web 2.0 tools to allow all participants to serve as reservoirs of innovation, contribution, collaboration.
my oTPD research take-aways (Sessums, 2009):Design community activities around your practice. Use Web 2.0 tools to document and share what you’ve learned/accomplished.
my oTPD research take-aways (Dede, et al., 2009):design based research needed—• document and share what works;• for whom;• under what conditions; and• how & why this approach is effective.
question answer session

Question & Answer Session

Questions and Answers

question 1
Question #1

With budgets tight, how can school districts and teachers alike know good online teacher development opportunities any more than we know which 1-day workshops might be valuable?

question 2
Question #2

How do we still keep learning personal when doing online professional development? How important is the role of "human interaction" in online PD experiences.

question 3
Question #3

What kind of structure is needed to maintain any professional development done through Web 2.0 technologies? What are the components of P.D. as it becomes a continuous process rather than an event.

question 4
Question #4

How do you ensure that the quality of the content and teaching and learning objectives do not get subsumed by the nature of the tools available?

question 5
Question #5

What kinds of funding & resources do schools need to support staff development via online services?

question 6
Question #6

How does one work around barriers set up by conservative systems that block important communication technologies without putting users at risk?

question 7
Question #7

What district is doing this well?

What objective data/research is there to show using Web 2.0 tools is having an impact?

question 8
Question #8

Are online conversations as effective as face to-face conversations in supporting the kinds of interaction needed for building trust and consensus within a group?

question 9
Question #9

I present staff development training each year to various school staff. How will this trend affect my role? How can I prepare for this new environment?

question 10
Question #10

Should administrations allow PD credit for time spent on professional social networking sites. If so, then how do they monitor the time?

question 11
Question #11

What has been the success of PD delivered in Second Life-like virtual environments?


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