Professional Development Formats
Multi-Day Options
Professional Development Formats
Educators have many options for meeting their professional development needs. They may participate in a workshop or inservice, attend a regional or national conference, or collaborate in a grade level project. We encourage organizers to explore alternative approaches to professional development including ongoing partnerships, mentoring projects, and individualized enrichment programs.


Annette Lamb has conducted numerous keynote addresses during the past several years. Unlike traditional "speeches", her presentations are intended to information and entertain. She has included costumes, props, audio, video, graphics, audience participation, and other elements to make her audience of thousands feel like a small group of friends. In Strap on Your Spurs, she compared "cowboy quotes" to life in the classroom. In Welcome to the Funny Farm, she used a Fisher-Price See-N-Say to compare the animals on the farm to life in a library/media center. In Technology Trailblazers, she gets the audience to sing the theme songs from Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. In Gardening in the New Millennium, she wears kneepads and carries a water-bucket around while discussing the "weeds" found on the Internet and how to "harvest" the best Internet sites. The Student Starships, she uses books, beanie babies, and a model spaceship to demonstrate ways to motivate children through technology-rich projects.
Whether you're looking for a more serious speech related to issues on Internet Integration or a fun approach to living in a technology world, consider a keynote by Annette Lamb. Follow-up support materials for keynotes, presentations, and workshops are provided by online materials at eduScapes.
Technology Landscapes: Adapting to Changing Learning Environments is a popular new keynote that explores the "As" of the classroom technology landscape including how to apply good practice, adapt current skills, activate learning environment, address individual differences, acquire new partners, and advance new ideas.
Ringmasters, Clowns, and Tightropes: Educational Technology Management and Leadership is an exciting keynote or workshop that focuses on important questions facing teachers and administrators.


Full of practical examples, "real-world" applications, and "user-friendly" explanations, Annette Lamb is best known for her presentations. Although it's easiest to simply select from the presentation list, Annette can easily tailor a presentation to meet your particular needs. Sessions can focus on a particular PreK through university level or a specific subject area. She has spoken at conferences for every subject area from science and social studies to language arts and vocational education. Although she personally prefers the Macintosh, Dr. Lamb uses both Macs and PCs in her examples and workshops.
The presentation topics generally combine an important educational technology topic with an interesting or humorous theme. For example, Open a Can of Worms: Managing Technology-Rich Engaged Learning Environments, Roosting in a Cactus: Planning and Assessing Technology-Rich Projects, and Pigeon Power: Thinking Simple in a Complex World.
Generally, the presentations are developed in Microsoft PowerPoint and stored on a laptop computer. We'll bring the data projector, you just need to supply the screen. The presentations include screens from the Internet, demonstrations from software packages, student project examples, text, graphics, audio, video, photos, and animation.
Dr. Lamb is happy to work with all types of groups including students, parents, educators, and administrators. For example, she recently spent a day talking to language arts classes in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 about reading and technology as part of reading week.
Any presentation lasting more than 90 minutes seems to be given the name, workshop. Regardless of whether the workshop is 2 hours or 8 hours, they seem to fall into two categories: "Hands-on Technology" and "Sit-N-Git". Both of these formats have advantages and disadvantages.
Hands-On Technology Workshops. These sessions involve students working individually or in small groups using the particular technology such as computers, videos, scanners, or digital cameras. Network access is needed for Internet workshops and specific software may need to be installed for workshops dealing with a particular software package such as Inspiration, HyperStudio or Adobe PhotoShop. The workshop combines short large-group presentations and demonstrations with specific on-computer activities and assignments. The advantage of this format is that participants leave with very specific skills related to the topic or software. This is most effective when all participants enter the workshop with the same set of entry skills. This format is time-consuming. As a result, participants receive much less "information" than in a presentation format. Less motivated participants sometimes "mess-around" and slower participants sometimes become frustrated. Hands-on workshops often require extensive setup including the assignment of passwords, software installation, and other preparation that can be a problem with a "one-shot" workshop. With good local planning and support, a "hands-on" workshop can be one of the most effective ways to get teachers to move from "knowing" about technology to "integrating" technology into their daily classroom activities. We can work with you to develop successful, hands-on workshops. Focused topics work best for hands-on workshops. For example, in a three-hour workshop teachers can learn the LEAD (locate, evaluate, activate, disseminate) model for Internet Integration or explore the basics of using HyperStudio in the classroom.
Sit-N-Git Workshops. These sessions are popular as part of a conference or all-day, schoolwide inservice. The main advantage is the ability to have a large group of people participate in an expended, indepth experience with a topic. Our workshops are categorized by the depth of content ensuring that each participant gains "tons" of practical ideas they can carry back to their classroom and implement immediately. Generally these workshops combine large group presentations with small group discussions and "break-out" activities. Lots of handout materials ensure that each participant leaves with useful resources in hand. The advantage of this approach is the volume of content that can be explored. In addition, this format requires no special facility or setup and works well with small or large groups. The main disadvantage is lack of time working with the technology itself. Educators aren't used to "sitting" all day, so breaks and short, stimulating activities are important in this format.
Hybrids. We sometimes recommend a combination of these approaches to design a workshop best suited to your needs. For example, the morning may be spent with large group activities and the afternoon with a specific "hands-on" computer project assignment. Learn about web development in the morning and learn to use Claris Home Page or Web Workshop Wizard online in the afternoon! Explore more short and longer workshop topics below.
Multi-Day Options
Although many of the topics below can be introduced in one day, sometimes multiple days are required to fully explore a topic or learn to use a software package. This option may take the form of extended workshops, credit or non-credit courses, or ongoing-projects.
Extended Workshops. Sometimes one day just isn't enough to feel competent and confident in the use of a new technology. For example, in one day participants can explore and integrate WebQuests into their classrooms. With a second day, participants can learn to develop web simple pages. These skills are combined on a third day with small groups developing and creating their own WebQuests for publication on the Internet. Some sample topics for extended, hybrid workshops are listed below. These are particularly popular in the summer:
  • LEAD - (Locate, Evaluate, Activate, and Disseminate) Internet Integration
  • WebQuest - Exploration and Development
  • Web Development - personal, class, project, and activity web page creation
  • Technology-Rich Thematic Unit - Exploration and Creation
  • Creativity Tools - Communicating with Technology - writing, drawing, painting, creating
  • Multimedia - HyperStudio - text, audio, scanning, digital cameras, digital video
  • Desktop Publishing - combining text, graphics, scanned images - signs, newsletters, fliers
  • Imaging - KidPix, Inspiration, to PhotoShop - scanning, digital cameras, drawing, painting
  • Meeting ISTE Standards - grade level specific technology skills and projects for teachers and students
Credit and Non-Credit Courses. Extended workshops can easily be developed into one, two, or three credit courses. As a professor, Dr. Lamb has taught a number of online courses. Your school or organization may wish to have an on-site or virtual course designed specifically for your professional development needs! In addition, Dr. Lamb is happy to work with the university in your area to offer credit-generating courses in your geographic area. Some of her courses mix live and virtual meetings with online materials.


Ongoing Projects. The key to success with technology integration is ongoing opportunities for professional development. Consider a program that involves a series of workshops throughout the year. Each workshop would ask participants to develop and share a project in the time between workshops. Email and online support can be provided during the development months and new skills can be added with each workshop to introduce new concepts and reinforce and review existing skills. Participants are given fun, simple assignments to keep their interest and motivation between workshops. This approach is particularly successful with Internet integration. Teachers begin by learning the basics and integrating a few simple sites. By the end of the project, they are developing their own online web pages and projects.


Partnerships may be the key to effective professional development. Whether it's teacher-teacher mentorships, student-teacher teams, or teacher-professional developer partnerships, collaboration is the key to effective, ongoing professional development. Educators need support, encouragement, and meaningful ongoing projects. For example as part of a "High Tech High School" grant called EMPOWER, teachers spent five, half-days in the summer learning to integrate Internet into meaningful projects. Building level teams from each area high school participated. The teams consisted of three high school teachers, the library/media specialist, and a couple high school students. The year-long project began with the summer workshop, but also included three one-day workshops during the school-day and ongoing email communication within and among teams to develop skills and meaningful projects.


The key to effective partnerships is ongoing commitment. Lamb Learning Group is interesting in developing ongoing relationships with schools. These partnerships may include grant writing, program planning, workshops, web project support, and consulting. If you already have a grant, we're happy to tailor projects and activities that fit the requirements of your grant. For example, schools in the Kansas City area were awarded a challenge grant to develop educational materials in conjunction with the Truman Presidential Library. Annette Lamb provided a workshop for their core group that addressed issues and topics useful in The WhistleStop Project. She has also worked with the Village Green, Blazing Trails, and PrairieQuest challenge grant projects.


Dr. Lamb is currently working on a three-year project with the Evansville, Indiana schools. For more information, check out the website at iCATS.



According to the dictionary, a consultant is "a person with a lot of knowledge and experience who gives professional advice to others." Our associates have lots of powerful ideas and practical suggestions related to educational technology. We'd enjoy the opportunity to share our experience with you in the form of a presentation, small group discussion, or planning session. Whether you're revising your technology plan, developing your school website, or writing a grant, we're happy to help.

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Annette Lamb, November 1998. Updated 7/01.