Saturday, April 4, 2009

Journal 6-Synchronous Online One-on-One Professional Development

Journal 6-Synchronous Online One-on-One Professional Development

Yes...there were some glitches. For example, I forgot to share my screen a couple times and the movie froze up a couple times from YouTube, but all in all it went very well. I am talking about my first synchronous staff development opportunity via an on-line meeting software called Adobe Connect. I had two teachers sign up for the training, but only one teacher was able to attend. Lyn Mattern attended by sitting at her classroom computer and following along with a lesson. She practiced what she learned "on the spot" and did it on her own machine. The professional development opportunity that CA Boces offered was all about Social Bookmarking. We explored sites like and I have to be honest, it took me some time to accept these sites and even explore them since they had the word "social" in them. Social...ah, that's something you do outside of school. I also felt that if it was "social" it had little to do with school. I was wrong, which is a great example of Piaget's idea of "Cognitive Dissonance." My hope is that you will be so inclined as to follow me down this Piaget path as I diverge slightly off topic. I will not take lone. Cognitive Dissonance is the idea that what you are learning goes against what your believe. Here is how Cognitive Dissonance is defined by

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, and also the awareness of one's behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive
to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and
behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs,
and behaviors.[1] Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

What does this have to do with the training Lyn and I participated in? Well, I want to be transparent in my thinking about a tool that I thought was really not that useful and designed for something not pertaining to education what so ever, or at least I believed that, to a tool that I use just about everyday. I went from not considering it for even a bit of exploration to a tool I use everyday and now am training teacher how to use. Not only am I teaching teachers how to use social bookmarking sites, I am offering it to them in an extremely ubiquitous way by offering the trainings online and adjusted to teacher's busy schedule, not to mention possibly causing less environmental impact due to the fact that no one had to drive.

What did Lyn and I learn? Well, we learned that you can actually create groups in Diigo and join groups with similar interests. There are many teacher groups on Diigo that could be very helpful. We also learned that you could highlight and comment on any webpage with what is called a sticky note. This could be very helpful for students who may be looking at a teacher's bookmarks that were saved for a specific class assignment. We also learned that you can actually communicate within Diigo and discuss articles or websites that have been added or recommended for you. Lyn was able to share her screen and sign up for a Diigo account and install the toolbar while I watched and gave little pointers.

I must admit that I learned a great deal from this workshop. I learned that Adobe Connect can be a great product to collaborate with. I really wish that Lyn had a headset/microphone so that we could have conversed with each other. We did most of our communication by me speaking and Lyn chatting in the chat area. Well, once again, technology can be a live and learn type of endeavor so we will have headset/microphones the next time.

No comments: