& Professional Development

I never realized that there was a resource like out there, but I am really excited to start using it. It pools a number of professional development opportunities and tools for enhancing the curriculum in one place for teachers, administrators and other professionals.

I had to laugh while reading the blog prompt because I did create my professional development toolkit based on purely selfish instinct. However, I chose to share it with my colleagues in the English Education cohort at Rutgers because we all share very similar interests. Tools like “Book Builder” and “Web Quests” can be brought into any English classroom and provide a platform for students to use technology interactively. I also added a file converter to the toolkit to make it easier for teachers to use Youtube videos and other files that may be blocked on a school server.

In addition to tools, I included links to professional development specifically for teachers interested in using technology in their classroom. Having training and background knowledge in cyber bullying before implementing collaborative technology can prevent a number of issues from arising. In addition, several of my colleagues are also pursuing their special education certifications and might be especially interested in learning more about differentiation through technology, as well as UDL principles

If I were to send this to an administrator rather than my colleagues, I would also include articles and webpages that show how to practically integrate technology into the curriculum. I would also include professional development and training on using technology safely in the classroom, so that they could then disseminate this information to teachers and possibly use it to revise the schools technology policy as needed.

If a teacher is new to technology and reluctant to use or implement it, I might add tools that help them learn how to use the technology, making it clear, easy and simple for them to begin to adjust to using it on their own. One example is the article titled “Better Web Searching”. I would also introduce them to Classroom 2.0  a social networking site for educators who are interested in educational technology, and can field any questions they may have at a moments notice . I would also consciously choose articles that highlight the benefits of technology use for students through anecdotal experience and statistics. Creating toolkits for a variety of purposes can make it easy to access  information when it is needed. It serves as a way for teachers to challenge themselves to continue learning through online professional development opportunities., is a great resource for this.