Which Would You Prefer?

I am tossing around the idea of offering up some professional development for my staff, but unlike any I have done before.  Personally, I am done with the “training model;” that’s not what these are about.  I want conversation and dialogue around an idea.  Once the idea is situated in someone’s head, then we can get practical with it, but we have to want the idea first.  That’s what I want to do–create an itch.  It sounds icky, I know, but it works.

I wanted to try the PollDaddy function in wordpress, and this gives me reason to do that too.

If you care to, in the comments section, I would love some recommendations for content you would include in the sessions as well.  I have so much in mind, but due to time constraints, it will be limited.  The format for these classes would most likely be two, one-hour sessions a few days apart (still unsure about that too).

Thanks in advance!


9 thoughts on “Which Would You Prefer?

  1. They’re all excellent ideas patrick. I can’t choose one over the other.

    But here is an idea for format…how some type of blended experience, with one f2f meeting for starters to ask questions and set the goals, followed by a time period where participants would do some readings and interact in a moodle community/forums or something like that. I tried something kind of like this last year, and while it wasn’t even close to a total success, it did get the ball rolling in the direction of using a blended model for PD.

    Or if this won’t work and it will be a series of f2f meetings, consider using a teacher leadership model where 2 teachers take the lead for planning and facilitating each gathering with you taking the lead on the first of course.

    Just some ideas to bat around a bit…good luck and keep us posted!

    Matt Montagne
    Palo Alto, CA

  2. Patrick, I’m with you on shifting PD to this direction. We are trying a different approach. I have a team (a tribe??) of teachers who are are already involved in these discussions. We decided each of us would go to visit one department meeting and ask similar questions to only those teachers, including this one: what does this kind of shifted learning look like in the _____ department? That way our team can help define those terms if they are unfamiliar and begin the conversations in smaller groups. Then, our team will come back together to decide how best to share the results and move forward.
    I like Matt’s idea of then having those conversations in an online forum of some kind, especially offering readings on which to base the conversations.
    (This is supposed to happen over the next two weeks. I’ll keep you posted!)

  3. Patrick,
    I love your idea. Literacy is my cup of tea, so I would say that content topics under that category could be: visual literacy, video or digital storytelling reponses as opposed to written (what would the criteria be), speaking and listening through podcasting/voicethread, digital ways to publish or process writing, audiobooks (Google books), collboration
    Just my thoughts…coming from an elementary perspective.

  4. I had a hard time choosing one. I guess part of that is because they are all interconnected, in my mind at least!

    I really like the idea of starting the discussion online, preparing the way with readings and some ideas to ponder. Or maybe you do it the other way around — start with your 2 hour discussions and then move online. Hopefully people will be hooked by then and want to learn/discuss more.

    I’ll be interested to see what you decide to do and how it goes.

  5. Patrick-

    All good ideas. How about you have staff who are participating come to the meeting with inquiry questions that you can then tweak as a group? (A variation on the old K-W-L chart). When an individual develops a question that they personally want to find the answer for, you can steer them in the direction fo resources and support for them to find the answers. Sort of guided action research– very empowering.


  6. @Matt-
    I like the blended approach, and we have tried it here to the tune of what you described. Your idea, coupled with Barry’s has me intrigued; what if I used that opening session to pique interest and send them out, each with an inquiry-based “agenda” to research. Then our next f2f meeting would be to present and share (all the while having shared using moodle/wiki/something).

    I am really looking to use some of Scott McLeod’s K12Online talk on disruptive innovation and both Tim Brown’s and Ken Robinson’s talks on creativity and play to get them going.

    Your ideas push me to present them with opportunities to see literacy from all angles. I’d like to see what types of examples I could pull in from classrooms all over the world. Additionally, a discussion of the recent downturn in print media and the constant assault on children from media in the form of advertising. Do we teach our children to question what they see and hear?

  7. And one other I think I might include on this list: Teach them to Teach Themselves: Creating Learners and Leaders. Ooh. I like that one. Now what the heck does it look like?

  8. Disruptive innovations? First and foremost, I can’t imagine throwing that term around and having people know what I am talking about. Maybe that is why it is winning your poll, or have your teachers taken it? The best part is how this all comes through conversations. I agree with all the comments before, offer up some reading, don’t require people to attend, and I think you could really see about who is on the journey.

    Here is another topic, Implications of 21st pedagogy on planning in the long-term and short-term. This is something that has been troubling me lately as midyear approaches. How do I set feasible and achievable goals? How do I handle not meeting them? How does planning change in this new pedagogy? What tools will I employ?

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