Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tech Camp--A Successful Model for Professional Development

I'm going to try to blog while attending this session, so please forgive awkward wording, etc.

Presenter: Alma Row
Idea for camp from Keystone Technology Integrator Summit.

Where did she begin?
Got administrative approval. Scheduled a week in summer when nothing else going on. Budgeted funding.
Developed theme for each day (Media Day, Collaboration Day, Multimedia day--most fun--saved till Friday, etc.)
Got tech department support. Chocolate works well! :)
Invited teacher-trainers, including Keystone Technology Integrators.
Set a date when nothing else going on--early August.

Met with teacher-trainers. Discussed topics and asked each trainer to develop a handout, 2-page maximum. Just included basics. Had to develop a "teaser" to get teachers interested in their workshop. Asked them to develop a logo for the camp. Had graphics arts teacher conduct a contest with students to put on t-shirts, etc.

Meetings with tech department ongoing.
Equipment and software needs. Gave them a list.
Some machines required reimaging.
Not every teacher had a laptop. Also had guests from outside district that needed network logins and computer accessibility.

Had to work around the summer cleaning schedule.

Approached local businesses.
Bought prizes from tech budget, like Flip video cameras.

To Do List:
CPE application--teachers could get CPE credits.
Developed booklet to promote camp. (Needed 50 participants to make worthwhile financially.) Put on www.mixbook.com. Create a virtual book instead of printing. Center was grid of schedule for each day. Each day color-coded. Courses with descriptions.
Created wiki http://dallastowntechcamp.pbwiki.com

Check, check and recheck
Trainers (handout & teasers)

Created handouts booklet--got handouts from every session. (Showed them enough to be "dangerous." Show them ONE way to do things.)
Developed shared drive that included all resources. Trainers put their materials on there so everyone could access.

Ordered t-shirts; different color for each day.

Structure of each day of camp:
Began with opener (35/40 min) Had music blaring that related to day's topic, balloons--sign in and raffle (everyone got one raffle ticket/day); gave "Type A" awards--had to complete 2 projects during the week to receive award
Put up schedule for the day.
Each presenter had a teaser that gave preview of their workshop. (Showed edited photos in Fotoflexr, video on before/after digital pictures, "Who Knows Me Better?"--Skyped his mother and wife.)

Ran workshops (8/day offered; each participant attended 2/day)
About 2 1/2 hrs. long
Started at beginning; could repeat sessions if wanted to. Didn't sign up for sessions ahead of time. Decided what to attend after seeing teasers. Teachers spread themselves among workshops pretty evenly.
Trainers were their own teachers who knew the district curriculum.
Included play time. Showed a little, played, showed a little bit more, played. Allowed for 1 on 1 time. Then had time to work together and collaborate.
Ran workshops once in morning and again in afternoon.

Reminders and bookkeeping
Refocus of day--copyright discussion at end of media day; played a game
Gave out extra raffle tickets for answers
Raffle of prizes--Flip cameras, wireless mouse, microphones, web cams, digital cameras--remained district property but stuff that teachers didn't have.

Week was about building confidence--not technology. Gave teachers the confidence to try! Had lots of fun in relaxing atmosphere.

Lessons learned
It was huge to use own teachers as trainers. Need "hand holders" as trainers.
Prizes made it fun. Ask vendors!
Assignments built in accountability. Otherwise, they may just show up and not participate.

At end of day, will have Encore Period when they can go back to lab and work. This is before the closing. workshops, lunch, workshops, encore pd, closing.

Every day a new theme. Themes: 21st Century Communication, 21st Century Collaboration, Data, Digital Media, Smarter Office

Teach "image editing," not FotoFlexr.

Teachers got paid less than teaching contract but were willing to do it. Partipants did not get paid but got CPE credits.

Tech director gave $1,000 out of tech budget for prizes. Participants didn't know about the prizes ahead of time. Buy t-shirts only for instructors. Gave out t-shirts to participants at end of week, but won't do that again.

Planned for 100 people. Opened to other districts and charged them $150 to attend. About 1/4 of faculty attended. One board member attended.

Provided no food. 45-min. lunch so could go out to eat or bring lunch with them.

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