Why? Why is professional development important?
Professional development is an integral part of any profession, particularly education. Students are encouraged to never stop learning, to hold on to their curiosity; there is always knowledge to be gained. Professional development is how educators feed our own curiosity and increase our knowledge regarding the tools and resources used to enhance teaching and learning.
Professional development in higher education is most often done in one-hour, face-to-face sessions. Faculty from all content areas come together with various background knowledge of a tool and generally spend time learning the basics, viewing a demonstration, and discussing various ways to utilize the resource. This quick, full-throttle workshop setting is ideal for busy faculty. They attend training, receive the necessary information to get started, and leave with the knowledge to explore and integrate the tool on their own. They often request additional information or set-up one-on-one support sessions at a later time.
What about those tools and resources that have more to offer than a one-hour overview? What about those faculty who want all the in’s and out’s, how to’s and why’s? What about those resources that require preparation and forethought before going live? What about those faculty who crave relevance and hands-on, personal experiences with these resources?
What about Tech Shops?
The goal of the Tech Shop Series is to provide faculty with technical training, but also to provide educational training that emphasizes the use of the technology as a teaching and learning resource. Each Tech Shop offering will showcase a specific technology and allow participants ample time to develop a solid understanding of the resource. Learners will participate in authentic, hands-on experiences with the technology and reflect on those experiences. The Tech Shop Series will allow learners to develop technical skills, while becoming confident in knowing when and how to use the educational technology appropriately and effectively.
Check out the DEC Blog for upcoming Professional Development workshops. More offerings in our Tech Shop Series will be coming in Spring 2019.