Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Changing up the way we do PD

I've had this conversation before, but it is always at the back of my mind - especially as we gear up for the end of the year and approach upon the infamous "staff development days."

Last night, we did our fourth virtual PD event of the school year (having only started in February) and, thus far, we have over 102 logged PD hours from staff. We keep them between 30 minutes to an hour in length. And, the response has been steadily growing. Teachers seem to enjoy  being able to re-watch the PD and watch it when they have a chance (and, would you rather watch a rerun or learn something new?!). Surprisingly, though, this idea is still foreign to many. And, my district is not alone.

We are doing an EdCamp style PD event for my high school in just over a month. Though we have had teachers start supplying topics and start putting their name next to ones they could facilitate, there have been many fearful teachers - teachers afraid to put their name to something. The concept of collaborative learning or of not knowing all of the answers is a source of fear for educators. How do we help guide them to this more personalized style of learning? At my high school, we are doing it by doing a modified EdCamp (sourcing ideas ahead of time). But, even with that, the concept is still so new. We need to incorporate this model into all things so it is reiterated and not a new concept - or a source of fear.

Because, once teachers are brought into the world of personalized learning, they don't stop. When I attend conferences now, my goal is different - it's to network and not walk away with a ton of new ideas. Why? Well, because I'm able to learn all the time now. I can learn in my PJs or learn over lunch. This is the shift that others need to grab onto.

EdSurge had a great diagram on this learning shift in their article:

To help facilitate this more diverse approach to PD, I want to try out the "recipe" toolkit on EdSurge. Check it out and share approaches you have found to work!

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