Summer school: during an intensive week-long training session, educators learn how a handheld can serve as a springboard to change their schools and smooth their lives.It takes several factors to successfully integrate handhelds into K-12 education today. Sure, educators need vision and leadership, but the hardest requirement to meet might be finding enough time to consider these changes during a frenetic fre·net·ic or phre·net·ic also fre·net·i·cal or phre·net·i·cal
Wildly excited or active; frantic; frenzied.
[Middle English frenetik, from Old French frenetique school year.
For that reason, inRESONANCE has found summer to be a convenient time for educators to investigate palmOne handheld technology and refine technology usage plans. This Massachusetts firm's cornerstone professional development offering is edVentures in Technology: a week-long summer training that immerses educators in handheld, laptop Same as laptop computer.
laptop - portable computer and desktop technologies. Now in its fifth year, this program supplies the time, space and tools for educators to develop a deep understanding of how handhelds fit in a technology continuum.
edVentures at a Glance
The program offers a choice of focus in either curriculum of leadership. Curriculum focuses on tools and models of integration; this suits teachers, technology coordinators and administrators at all levels of technology competence. Leadership teaches skills, too, but addresses larger issues involving vision, implementation and support; this is geared for administrators and educators in leadership positions.
Both strands are led by experienced instructors. "The edVentures staff includes some of the best technology integrators in the country. They aren't teaching ideas they learned from a book. They're teaching handheld technology because they've lived it," says Chris Carey, instructional technology There are two types of instructional technology: those with a systems approach, and those focusing on sensory technologies.
The definition of instructional technology prepared by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Definitions and Terminology resource teacher with Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Fla.
The hands-on structure has participants explore a variety of hardware and software applications in different integration scenarios. "edVentures provides educators ample opportunity to work with new technology in depth. The six-day program helps them put tools in context of the classroom of school," says Susan McAllister, director of professional development for inRESONANCE.
Getting away from home is a plus too. "The camp format really works. You're in an isolated environment and other distractions aren't factors. Teachers gain concentrated time to absorb ideas," says Carey.
Each day at edVentures begins with a large-group discussion or presentation of a broad-based technology theme. Then educators break out into smaller, skill-building sessions to work on mastering the nuances of everything from digital-image manipulation to productivity tools. Many sessions offer both basic and advanced versions to meet the needs of all educators.
Sequential training for palmOne handhelds focuses on both built-in applications and third-party programs. In the evening, participants unwind Unwind
1. The closure of an investment position.
2. The reconciliation of an error previously unseen by a brokerage house.
1. Sometimes referred to as closing out a position. and experiment with handheld accessories such as digital cameras, MP3 players A digital music player that supports the MP3 format, which was the audio format that started a revolution in online music downloads and distribution. All portable music players, the iPod being the most popular, support MP3 along with one or more other audio formats. and MARGI Systems' Presenter-to-Go to link handhelds and projectors.
Optionally, campers put their newfound new·found
Recently discovered: a newfound pastime.
Adj. 1. newfound - newly discovered; "his newfound aggressiveness"; "Hudson pointed his ship down the coast of the newfound sea" skills to practice and do a final technology project. For example, some ambitious educators used Kinoma Producer to format an iMovie for showing on their handheld. Others created eBooks or delivered PowerPoint presentations with their handhelds. All of the projects provide educators with a hands-on understanding of how the technology can be used by students or in delivering lessons. McAllister explains, "This type of experiential ex·pe·ri·en·tial
Relating to or derived from experience.
ex·peri·en learning allows adults to cement new strategies, pedagogies and ideas."
A Solid Foundation
Rick Copp, superintendent of Motley County ISD See IDD. in Matador, Texas Matador is a town in Motley County, Texas, United States. The population was 740 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Motley CountyGR6. In 1891, it was established by and named for the Matador ranch. , reports that the breakout sessions accelerated his learning and built a solid foundation for his continued technology use. Prior to attending the training, Copp had neglected his handheld computer A computing device that can be easily held in one hand while the other hand is used to operate it. The Palm devices are a popular example. See Palm, smartphone and palmtop. . Daily training sessions opened his eyes. "Now I use it on a daily basis for my calendar and date book. I also use it for note taking at meetings. My handheld has helped my organization considerably."
Transforming a techno-phobe like Copp into a technology evangelist Not to be confused with televangelist.
A technical or technology evangelist is a person whose job or role is to promote technologies, usually new technologies. has other benefits. Copp attended edVentures with his district's technology coordinator and a group of administrators from the Rolling Plains Educational Technology Consortium. Copp and the technology coordinator are using their newfound skills to provide mini-courses for their district's teachers and administrators.
The week-long immersion immersion /im·mer·sion/ (i-mer´zhun)
1. the plunging of a body into a liquid.
2. the use of the microscope with the object and object glass both covered with a liquid. format provided the building blocks for successful technology integration and application throughout the seven-district consortium, says Cathy Morton, program coordinator for the consortium. The districts use handhelds as part of a comprehensive technology platform that includes laptops, desktops, an interactire video network and a server for online courses and information sharing See data conferencing. . Administrators and technologists share files and maintain records via the handhelds. Teachers rely on them for reading assessments.
The Rolling Plains group gained technology expertise and time for planning and reflection. "By the end of the week the administrators were asking how they could extend the experience for teachers," says Morton. Thus, edVentures is serving as a model for a three-day summer professional development program featuring an overview of handheld usage, ITV (1) See interactive TV.
(2) (iTV) The code name for Apple's video media hub (see Apple TV). training, practice in technology proficiencies and integration for regional teachers in all seven districts.
Take Home the Tools
Learning from nationally acclaimed ac·claim
v. ac·claimed, ac·claim·ing, ac·claims
1. To praise enthusiastically and often publicly; applaud. See Synonyms at praise.
2. experts and interacting with kindred KINDRED. Relations by blood.
2. Nature has divided the kindred of every one into three principal classes. 1. His children, and their descendants. 2. His father, mother, and other ascendants. 3. educators from across the country partially explains the camp's long-term impact. But participants also leave edVentures with a palmOne handheld computer, plus free and discounted products and software from vendors.
Last summer's goodies good·y 1 Informal
Used to express delight.
n. also good·ie pl. good·ies
Something attractive or delectable, especially something sweet to eat. for handhelds included Bachmann's PrintBoy, TealPaint by TealPoint, and Hands High's ThoughtManager for Education.
Carey admits, "When you first look at the cost of edVentures, it seems expensive. But when you look it everything you get, it's quite a bargain. The all-inclusive price really helped me sell it to the district."
Ultimately, professional development goes far beyond numbers. Ideally, it's about giving people new tools, new colleagues and some reflective time so they can work smarter and better. "This is a beneficial way to do professional development," Copp says of the edVentures experience.
Lisa Fratt is a freelance writer based in Ashland, Wisc.
palmOne Education Training: www. palmone.com/us/education/programs/
Bachmann Software & Services: www.bachmannsoftware.com
eBooks-Palm Digital Media: www.palmdigitalmedia.com
Hands High Software: www.handshigh.com
MARGI Systems: www.margi.com
TealPoint Software: www.tealpoiny.com