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Assistive Technology Professional Development

Assistive Technology Professional Development

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Assistive Technology Professional Development

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  1. Assistive Technology Professional Development Overview – SED 579

  2. Successful Professional Development • Share some example of successful professional development experiences • In which you participated • Which you developed • Why were they successful? • How do they represent the models for successful professional development presented by Gordon?

  3. Typical Approaches Fail (Fullan, 1991) • One-shot workshops • Topics selected by non-participants • Lack of follow-up • Failure to evaluate • Failure to address individual needs and concerns • Failure to address individual needs within schools • Absence of conceptual basis for program planning & implementation

  4. Professional Development Key Components: • Strong leadership & support • Collegiality & collaboration • Data-based development • Program integration • A developmental perspective • Relevant learning activities • Professional development as a way of life

  5. Strong Leadership & Support • When leadership comes from an administrator or staff developer, teachers are involved in leadership early on • Develops culture of trust & support • Encourages risk-taking • Examples?

  6. Data-Based Development • Effective PD is driven by variety of data • Examples? • All participants are involved in continually examining, analyzing, & using data to make decisions

  7. Collegiality & Collaboration • All school personnel are equals • Collaborate in all phases of planning & implementation • Examples?

  8. Program Integration • School-wide goals are integrated w/ individual, team, school, & district goals • Examples?

  9. Developmental Perspective • Effective PD programs embrace long-term planning • Participants take an incremental approach • Most attainable are addressed first • Examples?

  10. Relevant Learning Activities • Differentiated learning takes place at school site • Meet individual or small group needs • Are participatory & experiential • Can be applied immediately at classroom level • Examples?

  11. PD as a Way of Life • Peer norms among teachers influence desire to participate in PD • Teachers want to go to conferences and meetings to learn new skills • Examples?

  12. Principles of Adult Learning • Educating adults involves 8 basic principles that form the basis for the adult learning environment.

  13. Principles of Adult Learning • Principles support the practices used in planning, conducting, and evaluating adult education activities. • To facilitate learning, adult educators must understand the adult learning process. • Principles provide guidelines for decision making. • CAVEAT: The one universal truth about principles of adult learning is that there are no universal truths. * Birkenholz, R.A (1999). Effective Adult Learning. Danville, IL: Interstate Publishers, Inc.

  14. 1: Learning is change • Learning is a change in behavior. • Change in knowledge or skill is the most common result of adult learning. • Acquiring new information and knowledge is part of everyday adult life. • Adults seek out learning opportunities. • Learning is an individual process.

  15. 2: Adults must want to learn • Adults are free to choose to ‘become’ in learning activities. • Some programs require participation. • Potential for learning diminishes • Learning efficiency and achievement is directly correlated with personal motivation. • Lack of internal motivation • Inservice programs, update training workshops • Be prepared to identify factors in adult learning. • Must develop a “felt need” for participants.

  16. 3: Adults learn by doing • Adults learn best through direct participation in the learning process. • Adult educators must plan programs that begin at the “entry level” then increase opportunities for adults to become engaged in learning. • Significant barriers to learning: • Low self-esteem • Unconfident in own abilities • Fear of ridicule or failure • Organize activities that ensure success.

  17. 4: Focus on realistic problems • Focus on knowledge and skills that have immediate application. • Most adults do not have time, patience, or inclination to learn irrelevant information. • Eliminate: “What does this have to do with me?” • Use the inductive approach to learning. • Educators use realistic situations • Case studies, role play, demonstrations, etc. • Identify and define problem • Propose alternative solutions • Conclusions involve a general principle or concept

  18. Ex. 1 Ex. 1 Ex. 3 Ex. 3 General Principle General Principle Inductivev.Deductive Ex. 2 Ex. 2

  19. Inductive strategy is more effective than the deductive approach with adult learners. • Use many examples that lead to solving the problem or increase knowledge, skills, and ability. • Information and knowledge are retained longer for adults using the inductive approach.

  20. 5: Experience affects learning • Experience influences (+ or -) adult learning. • Experience is a cumulative characteristic • Varies widely among adult groups • Participants’ sets of previous experiences • Foundation may be broad and firm or lacking in scope • Adding new knowledge or skill is “life dependent” • Educators must recognize + and - affects. • Positive experiences enhance quality of learning • Negative experiences inhibit the effect of learning • Adults may need to unlearn and relearn in today’s society to be successful.

  21. Foundation for Learning Your job may require you to fill in the blocks of experience, knowledge, or skills for another adult. AT Leader’s Role Knowledge, Skills, and Experience Base

  22. 6: Informal learning environments • Rules inhibit adult learners. • Full immersion in the educational process. • Most adults accept behavioral guidelines. • Refreshment breaks are a necessity. • Scheduled breaks enhance the learning process • Allows for interaction among all participants • Promotes informal and relaxed discussion

  23. 7: Variety in teaching methods • Adults learn through their senses. • Inclusion of all senses increases learning effectiveness for adults • Incorporate activities that require sensory stimulation • Multiple use of senses promotes retention rates. • Trade-off between instructional efficiency and instructional effectiveness in adult education. • Maximize effectiveness: long-term retention • Maximize efficiency: transmission of information • Educators must recognize this trade-off when planning programs. • Purpose of the program • Objectives of the program

  24. 8: Guidance, not grades • Adults are individualistic in evaluating their achievements or performance. • Do not enjoy being used as an example to others • Fear humiliation or ridicule • Desire external affirmation of progress - peer group • Avoid application of rigid, external performance standards except when required by certification. • Offer suggestions for improvement in performance • Use tactful non-threatening manner • Incorporate self-evaluations among adult learners • Adults benefit from encouragement of their capabilities as learners.

  25. Source: Gordon. S. P. (2004). Professional development for school improvement. Empowering learning communities. Boston: Pearson.

  26. Critical Aspects of School Improvement • Shared governance • Transformational leadership • Teacher collegiality • Student-centered teaching • Cultural change