A tool in hand is worth… nothing without proper PD

A new ISTE-Verizon program offers schools and districts research-based support and PD for successfully implementing mobile learning

pd-mobileImagine what would happen if hospital leaders announced to surgeons late on a Friday afternoon that when they came to work on Monday they would no longer be doing surgery using the tools they have always used—such as  scalpels, scissors and clamps—and all procedures would be done using new high-tech laser tools, with which they may or may not have familiarity.

How do you think the medical team–the doctors, the nurses and other supporting professionals–would respond? What do you think the patients would say about this abrupt change in standard practice?

Yes, hospital leaders who are mandating this change could argue that technology provides a more accurate way to do surgical procedures, lowering the risk of infection, and potentially decreasing medical expenses. Yet, would this really be the case when the new technologies are being handled by professionals who have not been properly trained in this new way of doing surgery?

Of course, a change of this magnitude would never be implemented in such a haphazard way in medicine–lives are at stake!

I would argue that lives are also at stake in education, and the scenario described above is analogous to the transition to mobile learning in schools. Oftentimes, school leaders announce that the school community is making the switch to mobile learning, pass out devices to everyone, and expect not only that will things continue as they have been, but that the learning environment will be transformed and student achievement will soar.

(Next page: The benefits of truly personalized PD)

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