Professional Development



Initiatives

Teacher Training


Ref: 8.1.3, 8.1.4, 8.1.5, 8.2
The district adopted the National Education Technology Standards for Students and Teachers (NETS).  These standards are incorporated in the technology training offered for teachers. Technology coordinators, working with teachers at their school, worked more than two years to develop indicators for each of the standards at the elementary, middle and high school level. These indicators will help teachers have a better understanding of what is expected of students at each grade level. 

The department of Curriculum Services coordinates a variety of technology training initiatives. The district maintains five labs located in schools and one at the administration building that are used for training.  There are also mobile labs that can be taken to schools that do not have the facilities on site.  Training is offered in a variety of formats from district components, customized school workshops, train-the-trainer, and distance learning offered both on WPDS-CH.14 and over the Internet. 

The district explored a variety of training delivery systems that minimize teacher time away from the classroom.  Training is delivered on professional education days, early release days, and in the evenings and on Saturdays.  The district has developed and purchased online training that can be delivered so that training is available anywhere at any time. The district films two Digital Learning shows each month on topics designed to show teachers how to integrate technology in the classroom. Tapes of earlier shows were sent to the schools for future training.  They are now digitized and available on the instructional technology website. Teachers can view the show, check out the tapes, or check the website and complete a project to earn in-service points. In addition, online courses have been developed which offer teachers an opportunity to take courses at times and places convenient for them.

In an effort to offer anywhere, any time training for all employees, the district is developing and has purchased online training. For example, video-based training is featured on the instructional technology website to assist employees in creating school, classroom, and office websites using Novus software. The district purchased the online training curriculum, How to Master, to assist with the training needed for the Windows transition initiative. How to Master is an online service that offers training on some of the more common PC software applications and operating systems. Employees can earn component points for completing the Microsoft Office courses. Other courses that can be taken for personal improvement include Computer Fundamentals & Operating Systems, Microsoft Project, digital imaging, Palm & Pocket PC, effective business writing and time management. The courses are designed to be easy to navigate so that you can find training for exactly the skills you need. Lessons are complete with audio narration, colorful graphics, and animation. For more information, visit the district How to Master website at: http://schools.pinellas.k12.fl.us/itu/htm/default.htm

The district utilizes a variety of delivery systems for providing technology-based staff development including:

  • Curriculum Services Staff Development
  • School-based technology coordinators.
  • Components offered through Curriculum Services
  • School-based classes offered by outside consultants
  • Online classes Digital Learning classes offered on WPDS-Ch.14
  • District-based administrative training

 

Digital Learning
The shows are targeted for teachers and are offered on WPDS-Channel 14. Some of the topics include:

“Windows Tips and Tricks”

“MovieWorks”

“Electronic Portfolios”

“FileMaker Pro”

“PDFs and Adobe Acrobat”

“Inspiration”

“Word”

“Windows XP”

“FCAT Explorer”

“Foolproof Ways for Integrating Technology”

 

Online and CD-ROM Training Development
The district also has developed several curriculum-based CD-ROMs and web-based curriculum for training. Many of these CDs and websites are a result of our partnership with USF with funding from the Technology Literacy Challenge Grant program. Other CDs have been created with district funds. The completed resources and courses include:

• "FCAT 4th Grade Reading: A Staff Development Tool"
• "FCAT 8th Grade Reading: A Staff Development Tool"
• "FCAT 10th Grade Reading: A Staff Development Tool"
• "FCAT 5th Math: A Staff Development Tool"
• "FCAT 8th Math: A Staff Development Tool"
• "Math Portal: Resources and Web Links"
• "Classroom Assessment"
• "Using Data to Make Decisions"
• "Multimedia in the Classroom: Engaging Students"
• "Making the Connection: Working with the Web"
•" Exploring Florida: Social Studies Resources for Students and Teachers"
• "Algebra I Best Practices"
• "Classroom Learning Systems (CLS)"

 

 

Curriculum and Technology Integration Project
Eight years ago, the district began the Curriculum and Integration Technology Project (CTIP) to develop model technology integration classrooms in every school. For the last five years, 100 teachers have been selected by content supervisors to take part in a yearlong, 60-hour program. Teachers receive a laptop, digital camera and software. Recently, teachers also received a projector. These teachers receive four days of face-to-face training during the summer and then participate in an online learning community throughout the school year learning new skills each month. These teachers are required to train other staff members, which solidifies the skills they are learning and provides extra technology resources at the school. This program has proven to be extremely popular and has produced many effective technology integrators across the district.

Further staff development of these CTIP-trained teachers will focus on coaching skills for the classroom teacher.  The need exist for these teachers to coach other teachers in the classroom, both in lesson plan development and for management of the classroom technology.

Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Grants
The district entitlement and competitive grants have focused on teacher training. Pinellas was awarded a competitive grant in 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005.  In addition, the district was awarded $800,000 to collaborate with FSU and USF to create several statewide projects including the 8th-Grade Technology Inventory Tool, a Technology Integration Matrix, and administrator technology indicators. Two of the competitive grants were addressed training middle school teachers. The district used capital funds so more teachers were able to participate.  Each teacher is given $1000 allotment and must complete the following:

• A minimum of 20 hours of training
• Complete two electronic lesson plans a month showing the integration of their content standards with technology standards
• Publish a classroom website
• Develop student portfolios with at least one class of students that show evidence of mastery of both content and technology standards.

 

During 2005, the competitive grant is a partnership with secondary reading to assist teachers in using technology to incorporate reading skills in their content areas.


General Staff Member Training

Availability of training facilities and time will continue to be in short supply.  Online training courses as a part of a structured curriculum tied to minimum job qualifications will provide incentive and opportunity for further learning for general staff members.  Current examples are at www.pinellas.k12.fl.us/itech/training/index.html and vendor sites, such as
www.microsoft.com/learning/default.mspx

In addition, hands-on lab facilities are needed where instructor guidance is necessary.

Parent Training – Internet Safety

Students, in most cases, know a lot more about computers and the Internet than their parents. While they are often more savvy, students don't understand the risks associated in our technological world. We are facing many cyber issues that included ethics and a new range of dangers posed on the web. Schools can assist both students and their parents understand these issues. It is recommended that this content be included in the social studies curriculum at both the middle and high school levels. Listed below is an outline of topics to be included in the Internet safety curriculum:

  1. Protecting your computer
    1. Firewalls and spyware - protecting your data from hackers
    2. Anti-virus programs
  2. Inappropriate content
    1. Pornography
    2. Harassment and bullying
  3. Predators
  4. Privacy Issues
    1. Sharing personal information
      1. Chat rooms
      2. Instant messaging
  5. Legal
    1. CyberCrime, sharing resources (music, movies, etc.)
    2. Financial-scams, credit card issues
    3. Identity theft (http://www.ou.edu/oupd/inetmenu.htm)
  6. Netiquette
  7. Signs that Your Child May be at Risk (Parents)

The following is a brief list of websites that are available to provide information concerning Internet safety.  Each of these sites has appropriate information for students, teachers, and parents to learn more about various areas of Internet safety.

1.  FDLE, Missing Children Information Clearinghouse
http://www3.fdle.state.fl.us/MCICSearch/  (Click of the “Safety Tips” tab)
www.fdle.state.fl.us/Publications/safety_forum/rules.htm

2.  Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction
www.jimmyryce.org/ Provides tips on how to be a predatory smart kid.

3.  National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
www.ncmec.org/ (Click “Child Safety” link on left)
www.safekids.com/contract.htm
www.Safekids.com/kidsrules.htm
www.netsmartz.org/ Provides information about Internet Safety.

4.  National Crime Prevention Council – McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog
www.Mcgruff.org/FunStuff/InternetSafety.htm

5.  Office of the Attorney General of Florida
www.myfloridalegal.com  (Click of “Child Safety” link on left)

6.  Department of Education Office of Safe and Healthy Schools
www.isafe.org


MIS Staff Training

Training for the MIS staff is key to the continued evolution of technical predominance for the district.  In addition to professional organization training such as FAEDS or FETC, ongoing technical training is required.  This training is provided through classroom instruction, self-learning online courses, and vendor updates.  For the technical staff learning needs are usually identified by immediate job needs.  Training tools as shown in this web site www.microsoft.com/learning/elearning.asp show the variety of courses and delivery methods available.  The majority of this training is delivered through e-learning, using online courses or electronic books.  Where appropriate, training leading to technical certification levels is encouraged.

 

 

 

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