Seated at an airport charging terminal with my Mifi and an off brand vanilla latte (ugh… No Starbucks in PHL), I wanted to share a few Professional Development resources that I have found useful over the past few weeks.
Truly PD comes in all shapes, sizes, and formats from traditional workshops and seminars to more nontraditional flavors (e.g. podcasts, Twitter chats, and Smores). For the purpose of this post, I want to spend some time focusing on alternative means of professional learning.
“Truly we are a heterogenous group of adult learners and we respond differently to multiple approaches to instruction and learning.”
Smores: Laura Chaffey (@laurachaffey) uses one of my favorite web tools, Smore, to create beautiful technology infused newsletters that accompany an on-site professional development and then pins them on Pinterest for quick reference. Laura shares multiple forms of media in these online posters on topics ranging from literary resources and digital texts to apps and even student examples. Whether you are able to attend the sessions in person or simply consuming them from afar, these Smores are a tasty morsel! (Another tool to create these types of resources for teachers is MailChimp – stay tuned for an upcoming blog on this tool).
Twitter Chats: Recently I co-moderated my first twitter chat – #caedchat (9/29). The topic for the night was “iPads in Education” and Jessica Pack (@Packwoman208) and John Stevens (@Jstevens009) did a most excellent job of preparing questions ahead of time to lead the discussion. The 8 questions for the hour ranged from “What iPad setup do you currently have at your site/classroom? (1:1, 2:1, some, 1, etc)” and “How do you incorporate the SAMR model when designing activities?” to challenges, tips for integration, and even student samples.
Definitely a lively chat with lots of great tweeps chiming in! If you decide to take the plunge into Twitter Chats, I would highly advise a tool like Twubs or TweetChat to channel the #. Many of these tools will allow you to control the speed of the conversation and even pause it. It is an extremely rapid fire approach to PD and certainly not for those that find it difficult to follow more than one conversation at a time. The good news is that it is archived so you can always scroll through the chat at a later date and time but I think there is something so meaningful about synchronously participating in the live discussion with educators all over the country and receiving immediate feedback.
iVengers Radio: I might be partial to this little gem. As Yolanda has moved to Qatar, I think it is suffice it to say that “Appy Hours 4 U” is probably dead. Pause for a moment of silence… But in its wake, Carl Hooker (@mrhooker), Greg Garner (@classroom_tech), and @iPadSammy, and I have initiated iVengers Radio. While iPadSammy is no longer with the Eanes iVenger crew in the second season (he has moved in to the private sector), the show must go on…
Fighting for Truth, Justice and the Ed Tech way! The show can be watched live via a Google Hangout (seen below) or with audio only via iTunes or PodBean (which includes audio and a link to the show notes).
Differentiated Professional Development: While we may consider providing choice to our students, many times a one-size fits all approach to professional development is prescribed. Truly we are a heterogenous group of adult learners and we respond differently to multiple approaches to instruction and learning. Whether you relish a firehose of educational support and lively discussion via a Twitter chat, prefer to scan through your PD in a newsletter fashion, or enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park or grocery store accompanied by your earbuds and the iVenger crew, consider the multitude of non-traditional approaches to professional development for yourself and fellow educators.
What is your favorite flavor of PD? Well, to find out the answer… I enlisted the help of a few tweeps and FB friends using the Google Form above. Truly, I may have slanted the responses a bit as the three I shared in the blog as well as “Other” were the only 4 choices provided. That being said, here are the responses from the survey:
“Consider preparing a delectable medley of these possibilities and other creative solutions when developing a professional learning platform for your staff.”
Interested in 1:1 Deployment and PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (email@example.com).
Contact TechChef4u to schedule Fall and Spring PD and Workshops: firstname.lastname@example.org