Saturday, July 21, 2007

Technology Integration Between Friends

I just completed a 5 day course learning how to coach and facilitate a type of professional development called Critical Friends Groups or CFGs. In CFGs, groups of 10 - 15 teachers meet regularly (monthly) to discuss student work and teacher practice in an effort to improve student achievement. They do so using protocols facilitated by a trained member of the group. These protocols provide a structure that focuses the conversation, keeps people accountable for the things they say and helps the group find solutions to difficult problems.

I believe in the effectiveness of this work. I wonder how to both bring technology into the work itself and how to use the work to help increase the use of technology in the classroom. Can one support the other? I'm sure the answer is yes, but I don't yet know how. Perhaps a social networking site like ning, a blog or a wiki could help teachers to stay connected, keep the conversations going, and reflect on practice in between sessions.

I also wonder if there is a way to use the protocols Online. Could these types of structures help facilitate Online interactions? Could we create some protocols to help guide our Web 2.0 conversations? Do we need to? What do you think?
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