I spent 3 days last week being trained, along with about 20 other elementary teachers in my school district, in using a Promethean ACTIVboard. My classroom was picked to be the model classroom for this pilot so an ACTIVboard and ceiling mounted projector were installed. Way cool stuff.
The best part of the training was the teachers that attended. They are all getting ACTIVboards installed in their classrooms and they each got a new laptop (HP). Most of the teachers were at least fairly comfortable with tech, but a few were not. Never-the-less they all had a can-do attitude and when anyone was stumped – are you ready – they asked questions and found out how to do it. They were excited and enthusiastic and it rubbed off on me. The trainers spent the most time on having teachers make “Flip-Charts” which are basically like doing a Powerpoint presentation with a few twists – you can even bring Powerpoint files into the Flipchart software and run it there which many liked.
Making the Flipcharts also required teachers to learn to obtain and use images and other files from multiple sources (clipart, internet, photos, scanned images and text) and other skills like using a scanner, digital camera, various software pieces, which most participants were not familiar with or had little experience in using in a presentation format.
The idea here is to include the students in the interactive presentations by having them come to the board to interact with text, sound, video, etc. which is a great concept (and even design their own Flipcharts). My one reservation was that no time was spent really discussing doing things differently, not just adding the technology and then pretty much doing things exactly the same as before â€¦ but baby steps. We will be meeting once a month to discuss and share and there is talk of setting up an online bulletin board or some other way to stay in contact between meetings and share content and lessons and since only 2 or 3 of us even knew what that was it will introduce more teachers to the possibilities of conversation using tech, which canâ€™t be bad.