21st Century Strategies for Staff Development

This is a presentation by Charlene Chausis, the District Staff Technology at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Vernon Hills. She was awarded with the Illinois Technology Teacher of the Year this year at the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators. I have heard her previously and have always learned something new from her. You can also occasionally catch her in the chat room of the Women of Web 2.0 webcasts on Tuesday evenings.

This is blogged during the presentation.
She started off by making an interaction and making staff development fun. She gave us clues and suggested directions so that we could create something to take home.

There are four ground rules

Have fun



Share ideas and experiences

Challenges or Opportunities




How to get teacher buy-in

Build a recipe

unlimited services
Ingredients – Hardware, software, peopleware

Directions -some assembly required

Be sure to include all ingredients and mix accordingly.

How many have a tech plan or staff development plan at your school? Less than half.

Web site: http://homepage.mac.com/charlenechausis/staffdev.html

each group got sets of recipe cards from the web site.

If you feed them, they will come

Responsible eating is allowed

Make it memorable and fun. Use themes ( Janet Corder and Joan Gore are authors of the book Successful Solution for Technology Staff Development, which Charlene recommends)
Find a personal connection

Provide take-aways

At Stevenson, they work around the concept of a Professional Learning Community.

How to build a Professional Learning Community

Established Goals

Shared Vision

Agreed upon outcomes

Data-driven decision making


Dedicated Time

Job embedded

Stakeholder support

Gathering the ingredients

How did you begin your planning for technology staff development?

What were your goals? How were they developed?

Explaining the role of staff development in a professional learning community?

Did you have a time line for development and implementation?

How did you find the trainers?

What skills sets did you want staff to master? How did you do that?

How do you handle the time challenge?

How are professional organizations supportive of professional growth?

How does research factor into staff development?

Blaze a Trail – Create Trail Mix

Pretzels – Flexible, interconnected, different varieties (Early Adopters)
Raisins – Transformative or shriveled old veteran. ( Adult Learners)

Nuts – IT people, think out of the box. Hard to open, sweet inside, fearless people (High Flyers)

M & Ms – Sweet, don’t know, diverse in color, same at the core, don’t meltdown when there is a challenge, (Best Practices – tap into them and bring them into the model)

Adult Learners – from Web site

Nobody is born learning stuff

A computer is a means to an end.

The best way is to learn about apprenticeship.

Knowledge lives in communities, not individuals

Take a long term view.

(From The Network Observer, Phil Agre (http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre)

Provide just in time learning from a community of learners, cadres that were developed, so it doesn’t end with an individuals.

What recipe/ingredient can you contribute to your professional learning community?

20 minutes is a good amount of time to teach one skill. Repeat the topics. Put schedule out at beginning of the semester. Most power lunches are not hands on. It is the sharing of ideas. Have to have support with administrators. What are people giving up (Social cost of training) that makes it worth the individuals time.

Go to the website to get resources and recipe cards. You will need to provide your own pretzels and trail mix.

21st Century tools for Personal/Professional Development:


Social Bookmarking (Furl or del.icio.us)

Blogging – every educator’s responsibility to reflect and share.

Special thanks for Pat Duggan, Department Chair of Maine South High School


Book – How to Thrive as a Teacher Leader

Magazine – Technology and Learning

Web site: http://homepage.mac.com/charlenechausis/staffdev.html

Grants to help support

More reflections later.

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