Today was our last McREL training for the year. This multi-session training has been supposed to teach us best practices for integrating technology. Overall, I've been disappointed with the things they've shown us, having used many of them for years - things like a delicious account for bookmarks, twitter, google docs, LinkedIn, etc.... Other sites they touted looked great but required a fee for use, or had a 30/60 day free trial period. A whole other set of apps were specifically for iPads or iPods, even though our entire ISD which was the target audience for the PD sessions just got netbooks for all students 7-12, NO iPads on the horizon. The presenter showed us how to use Word - insert tables, cut & paste pictures, track changes, etc... All things most teachers can and do use already. It was a canned, one size fits all approach which was itself anything BUT best practice.
I suffered through the first sessions, gleaning bits and pieces of useful stuff but nothing earth shattering, but overall, the trainings were OK, despite the redundancy of the material to things I had already learned.
But today... OH GOOD GRIEF... today was BRUTAL (the word used by my principal), torture, unbearable.... useless....
The other sessions we met in other locations with other schools and at least had a presenter present. Today, I suppose in an effort to save money, the program was a webinar. Not a well-done webinar. We basically saw the view you get when you take a screenshot of your computer - you know.. that minimizer, not quite right view... with lots of dead air time, no way to engage in the conversation - she kept talking about a way to give our input, but I'll be darned if any of us could figure out how! We couldn't individually see the webinar on our screens, instead, it was projected on the screen in the cafeteria, which meant we couldn't read MOST of what was on the screen.
Others at other locations - was she maybe presenting live somewhere to a real audience??- were able to interact with her. But we were like the black sheep, just there, listening, not a real part of the process. And one by one, we all tuned out, and found other ways to engage ourselves. How sad for all the money spent on that with our budget the way it is.... what a brutal shame.