Posts Tagged 'professional development'

Transforming Learning with Innovative Uses of Technology


This morning I read, “The Digital Promise: Transforming Learning with Innovative Uses of Technology” by Jeanne Wellings and Michael H. Levine–a white paper that I highly recommend reading if you are looking for rationale to support the integration of technology and edtech PD within your school.

To summarize, the article points out that when technology is skillfully integrated into school curricula, the benefits are many:

  • Technology supports student achievement. (ISTE 2008)
  • Technology builds 21st century skills. (ISTE 2008)
  • Technology engages students in learning and content creation. (America’s Digital Schools, 2006)
  • Technology increases access to education, virtual communities, and expertise. (ISTE 2008)
  • Technology fosters inclusion. (Apple Inc. 2009)
  • Technology helps prevent dropouts. (Smink & Reimer, 2005)
  • Technology facilitates differentiated instruction. (Apple Inc. 2009)
  • Technology empowers learning and research in critical STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. (CEO Forum, 2001)
  • Technology strengthens career and technical education. (Apple Inc. 2009)

And, if that is not enough to make you want to brush up your school technology plan, think about this and ask yourself how comfortable you are with media:

A Kaiser Family Foundation study, “Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds,” confirms the immersion of American children in contemporary media. The average child spends over six and a half hours per day engaged with various types of media,  television, movies, music, electronic games, and computers. Over one week this equates to a full-time job with a few hours of overtime (Rideout, Roberts, and Foehr, 2005).

Wow! To find specific examples of resources and innovative things you can do as an educator to promote student learning via creative and engaging uses of technology, check out the blue call-out boxes throughout the report!

For more practical and easy-to-read research on the impact of technology and digital media on children’s learning, visit the Joan Ganz Conney Center. You won’t be disappointed!






I recently discovered Teacher-to-Teacher. The Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative was created by and for America‘s teachers in 2004. The Initiative supports teachers’ efforts in the classroom through professional development workshops, digital workshops and Podcasts, and by sharing relevant information through email updates.
Teacher-to-Teacher will be sponsoring several workshops this summer, in places such Denver , New York , and Los Angeles . Check the Summer 2008 Schedule to register for a workshop near you. If you cannot attend one of these sessions, make sure to check out the session materials. They are all available online and are packed with useful information to take back to the classroom. – Melissa

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Teacher Tube

I just discovered Teacher Tube, the You Tube of Teachers.  Wow!  According to the site, the goal of Teacher Tube is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos.


After beta testing for almost two months, TeacherTube officially launched on March 6, 2007. Our goal is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos. We seek to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. It is a site to provide anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, it is a site where teachers can post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill.

TeacherTube divides its videos into channels, such as Elementary, Writing, and Professional Development.  The site is easy to navigate, and fun to search.  Since we have had so much discussion and questions related to fluency on Literacy is Priceless, I found a great video that demonstrates a Kindergarten class using a drama center to practice Fluency.  -Melissa

Literacy Connections

Literacy Connections is a great place to go for general literacy resources. 

Literacy Connections provides a wealth of information on reading, teaching, and tutoring techniques, ESL literacy, an adult literacy.  We recommend resources that are useful for teachers, volunteers, and directors of literacy programs.  Topics include the language experience approach, phonics, word study, and the best in children’s literature.


As a teacher on a small budget, I found the article, Books on a Budget particularly useful.  I also took notice of their collection of writing prompts.  I hope you find this site as useful as I have.



While I was searching the Internet over the long Holiday Weekend, I came across Edutopia.  Edutopia is a part of the Geroge Lucas Educational Foundation.  From the website:

The George Lucas Educational Foundtion (GLEF) was founded in 1991 as a nonprofit operating foundation to celebrate and encourage innovation in schools.  Since that time, we have been documenting, disseminating, and advocating for exemplary programs in K-12 public schools to help these practices spread nationwide.

 We publish the stories of innovative teaching and learning through a variety of media – a magazine, e-newsletter, DVDs, books, and this website.  Here, you’ll find detailed articles, in-depth case studies, research summaries, short documentary segments, expert interviews, and links to hundreds of relevant resources.  You’ll also be able to participate as a member of an online community of people actively working reinvent schools for the twenty-first century. I clicked on the video page found a variety of PD videos, ranging from assessment to Community Partnerships to Parent Involvement.  I found the High Expectations Video, a 9-minute documentary on a low-income elementary school in Portland, Oregon to be very useful.  I just subscribed to their online newsletter, so I’ll see if any other great resources come up.-Melissa

Thinkfinity: Free Online PD and Resources For Teachers and Parents

Today some colleagues referred me to the website. The website points out:

“Thinkfinity Literacy Network (TLN) is part of, the Verizon Foundation’s signature education and literacy platform. TLN features content specific to the adult and family literacy communities. It offers teachers, volunteers, parents, community groups, adult students and program administrators free online courses, best practices, program assessment tools, teaching and learning tools, model programs that demystify technology for parents, and abundant research highlighting the importance of literacy development across the life span. All TLN content is free and is developed and approved by leading literacy experts like the American Library Association, National Center for Family Literacy and ProLiteracy Worldwide.”

There is a ton of free and informative resources on this site! Check out the online literacy PD courses here. Each course is short (~60 minutes) and packed with useful and research-based teaching tips. For example, the course objective for “Before, During, and After – A Reading Comprehension Technique” is as follows:

“Comprehension – obtaining meaning from text – is the purpose of reading. While the definition is simple, the skills, strategies, and techniques that good readers use to comprehend what they read can be quite complicated, especially for someone who is learning to read. The fact is, adults with low literacy skills need direct instruction in reading comprehension because they will not discover effective strategies on their own. This course features the Before, During, and After reading technique. Tutors and teachers can use this technique to help students interact with text and systematically apply reading strategies that will improve their comprehension.”

Also take a look at the Verizon Lifespan Literacy Matrix. When I taught literacy in Japan, I was always looking for materials I could send home with parents to inform them about their children’s literacy development. This matrix is something you can send home to parents, so that they can learn the stages of literacy development and help their children learn how to read.

-Anna 🙂

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