Learning the Ropes: Take Advantage of Net-Based Professional Development

Article excerpt

You wouldn't give a 16 year-old the keys to your car without making sure he or she had completed driver's ed, so why expect teachers to know how to integrate technology into their classrooms without proper training? These online professional development opportunities help teachers build instructional strategies and master the basics of popular applications.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: LTS Online Help Documentation (www.uwec.edu/help): This skill-builder powerhouse site features guided lessons for popular software products like Microsoft Office, Office XP/2002 for Windows, Microsoft Publisher, Outlook, Entourage, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and others.

LearningElectric.com (www.learningelectric.com): LearningElectric.com offers free tutorials for several Microsoft applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint Publisher, and FrontPage, as well as tutorials for AppleWorks, Inspiration, KidPix, and Easy Grade Pro. You'll need QuickTime to access the site (a free download).

enViSION your WORLD: Educational Resource Guides (www.envisionyourworld.com/index.html): At this enVISION site (developed in part with support from Olympus, VayaVentures, and faculty at Teacher's College, Columbia University) you'll find images, lesson plans, timelines, and other resources to help you integrate photography into social studies and science curricula.

Learner.org (www.learner.org): Register at this Annenberg Media site for free downloadable print materials that support its professional development videos (available via video-on-demand or live simulcast) on topics like art, literature, economics, and critical issues in school reform.

Technology Professional Development (www.ncrel.org/tech/tpd): This North Central Regional Educational Laboratory site offers helpful planning resources for technology professional developers, including activities and bibliographic resources organized around five different themes.

Digital Workshops (www.paec.org/teacher2teacher): The Department of Education's free Teacher-to-Teacher online professional development Web site offers free digital training workshops in reading, math, science, history, standards-based assessment, and data and inclusion, among others. My favorite is Shannon C'de Baca's "'Taking the Dense' out of Density."

Good Mentor (www. …

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