The following excerpt on the effort to create more qualified teachers appeared in the article, "Professional Development Without Leaving Home," published in The New York Times (July 31):
"…A year ago, the United States Department of Education offered free workshops around the country that enabled teachers to learn from one another while earning credits for professional development. Called Teacher-to-Teacher Summer Workshops, they were an immediate hit.
‘They filled up within 11 days, and we had 7,000 on a waiting list,’ says Carolyn Snowbarger, director of the initiative. So the department took a hint from Hollywood and decided to make videos.
Currently, 23 sessions are online and closed captioned. The videos run about an hour and include questions and answers from audiences. They come with PowerPoint slides, handouts, follow-up activities, checklists for principals to assess what teachers have learned and links to more resources.
The Education Department expects the workshops to be particularly useful in rural or poor districts that cannot bring in speakers or send teachers to training.
Forty-one states give professional development credit for viewing the videos as long as teachers prove they have watched them and demonstrate in follow-up activities what they have learned.
‘Watching a video isn't going to do much,’ Ms. Snowbarger says. ‘It's what they do with the skills and strategies that they learn in the video that is going to make a difference.’"
The entire piece is available to those with access to NYTimes.com.
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