L.A. Teacher Training Goes Interactive
By David Pierson

The district is implementing a development program blending classroom time and online instruction.
(The file excerpts below were all that I could download and enter. - A. Klinger)

Ann McGuire was able to observe closely as a student struggled to answer a math problem posed by her teacher--without even entering the classroom.

Instead, she followed the interaction on her computer screen. "It's so like being in the classroom," the veteran elementary school teacher marveled.
The videotaped lessons are part of a teacher-training program at the Los Angeles Unified School District. The 40-hour program is meant to improve upon more traditional--and costly--teacher-development workshops where participants hear lectures but rarely have input. Through computer classes, taken at designated sites throughout the district, they are encouraged to question their own assumptions--and everyone else's.

A facilitator gives teachers a series of questions after they watch an online video, then the teachers discuss their answers both in class and via the Internet outside of class.

"Each teacher has to respond and reflect," said Maria Fergosa, the co-director of the LAUSD/UCLA Collaborative Institute, which created the videos for the L.A. district.

"We can then go in and look at the responses and discuss them. We've never been able to do this before."

After watching the video with about 30 other teachers, McGuire was asked by the facilitator to devise different questions that would best engage the struggling student. ... LessonLab, a Santa Monica company that sells Web site access to educational organizations ... has done business with UCLA, a Florida school district and pepperdine University. It has also joined with the publishing company Pearson Education to use the company's textbooks online.

[Other entities mentioned in the article:]
  1. LAUSD/UCLA Collaborative Institute
  2. Teachscape
  3. Scholastic