Meaningful PD

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a group of teachers in my district planning professional development for technology integration into the classroom.  I’ve loved listening to them passionately explain the highs and lows of utilizing technology with their students.  Because I’ve been there.  I’ve never left.

Where I find passion is sharing my love for technology with fellow educators.  Heck, I’ll share it with anyone who’ll listen.  I’m constantly amazed at the myriad of tech tools and uses that appear on a daily basis on my Twitter feed.  Truth be told, it’s hard to keep up.  But I keep myself focused by making sure that I’m mastering just a few tools and tinkering with the rest.  😉

I cannot pinpoint the exact year that I started using technology with my students in a meaningful way…but I’ll never go back.  And now I see my role moving more into professional development.  I’ve been doing professional development workshops since 1998.  So I’ve been around the block a few times.  I think I have an idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to professional development…because I’ve been on both sides of the table.

As a participant, I want something that I can walk away with.  I don’t need to be “talked at”…I want my professional development to be meaningful and engaging.  I want it to be fluid and I want it differentiated.  I don’t think I’m asking for much.  It’s what our students expect of us on a daily basis, so I don’t think it’s a stretch to expect that from our own colleagues when it comes to presentations.

I think what I’m trying to say is that the teachers who attend PD need to be thought of with the same mindset as we would our students.  Respect their time, engage them, meet them where they are, scaffold the process…in other words, make the whole experience meaningful.

Bloom’s Taxonomy According to Seinfeld

I’m in the midst of planning PD sessions on tech tools and in my quest to fix the issue I’m having with GoogleDocs, I happened upon this nugget!  I’m not sure how the pathway to troubleshooting my GoogleDocs issue led me to YouTube, but there I landed…and there I proceeded to spend the next 15 minutes.  =)
As a long-time fan of Seinfeld, I enjoyed this video.  I only wish that I had seen this video several years back…for now those of us in the EdTech world are using Digital Bloom’s in which (though similar in skills) the terminology and highest tier differ. 
But I think that any teacher would find humor in this video.  If only PDs were as entertaining……on the other hand, if you’re not a Seinfeld fan, I suppose these clips might be lost on you.

Summer Reads

I am a voracious reader. I’ll devour pretty much anything with words. I’ve even been known to read street signs and billboards aloud, just because. Summer affords me the leisure time to catch up on books that I purchased throughout the school year. Lucky me, I know!  Sure, I read the requisite chic lit books too (hey, don’t judge).  But in truth I enjoy reading anything about history and education (not necessarily the history of education, mind you). 
On today’s docket, I finally finished reading 21st Century Skiils. Bookmarked the important passages to share with my colleagues and students.  I even wrote notes in the margin. I’m kinda Old School like that. 
Austin Kleon’s books arrived earlier than expected (thank you, Amazon Prime). I finished Steal Like an Artist and am currently working my way through Show Your Work! I wanted to jot down key points but my iPad was charging so I had to rely on my iPhone. Everyone knows it’s not the easiest thing to type on the iPhone and for a small person of stature, I feel like I have unusually large thumbs. I spend more time retyping words because I can’t seem to hit the correct key the first or second and sometimes even the third time. So I decided to take a snapshot of the passage and much to my pleasant surprise, I could upload it to Evernote. Hallelujah! I have found yet another quick way to document things for future reference. This is one happy girl. I not only soaked up a bunch of cool stuff to use with my students in September, but I also learned a new trick in Evernote.  Good stuff. =)