How does your school address technology, from the angle of professional development?
Based on all the anecdotes one hears, it would seem that most schools offer the "Free Access Approach". In this approach, schools offer unfettered access to a dizzying array of tech tools for knowledge work, whether classroom work, academic reporting, or whatnot. "There you go," say the schools. "Enjoy. There's so much out there to learn and apply here. Good luck!" There is rarely substantive conversation about where to find the information, how it works, and how we might apply it in meaningful ways.
The obvious issue with this approach is that we, as schools, are counting on all faculty to define and integrate their own information environments. Let's be honest: how often does that actually occur? Which "knowledge workers" have the time, focus, or energy to do such in a thing, when faced with a fairly inflexible daily schedule and a life outside the school?
The Free Access Approach has no mission, and therefore, it is difficult to expect faculty to buy into it, let alone ensconce themselves in it and thrive. It will work, of course, for some individuals who are intense and driven, but they're in the minority. Otherwise, the greatest outcome of this approach is a further decrease in technology use (relative to the inclined growth curve of technology itself), just the opposite of what was desired in the first place.
If the Free Access Approach isn't working, what approaches might work? Does anyone have a good example of what has worked at a particular school? How did you address technology as a piece of the professional development puzzle, thereby leading to a better balance of learning/acquisition and productivity/utilization?