Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What Should PD Look Like?

Teachers working together on a SAMR educreation
A few #edchats ago the discussion revolved around what good professional development or PD should look like.  An hour later, a lot of awesome conversation, a lot of lightbulbs, and a lot of ways PD can be more productive.  Teachers' time is SUPER valuable.  They have so many things that they are responsible for that it is important that when they do choose to spend an hour or 3 or a full day of their time in a session that we make the most of it.  There have been many ideas rolled around as to how to make the most of this valuable time, everything from flipping PD, tiering PD, and embedding it in their jobs.  Today I think I was able to create professional development that teachers found valuable and got a lot of.  I'll share what I did that I think made it valuable, I took a step back and let the teachers do the talking!
Today I led a training on the SAMR model.  This was a model that many teachers didn't have very much experience with, so this was really their first exposure.  I stepped them through the four levels, but as often as I could I had the teachers think/pair/share.  They were able to reflect and talk out what they thought each level was and apply it to experiences that they have provided to their students or things that they could do.  I was incredibly lucky to have groups of teachers who were so willing to speak and share!  That being said it is super important that the presenter have the tools to draw out conversation.  After they were able to talk it out they were able to share out how they understood the here, here, here, and here.  They were able to reflect on what they learned but also feel what the different levels of SAMR felt like.
Result of teacher collaboration

SAMR in their own way.  You can see examples
In addition to the teachers learning from themselves, when you let the teachers talk you can learn too!  I have a few new resources that I excited to play with and learn about (goanimate) , and a few new whys to reach out to teachers in my distrtict(app clubs).
I challenge all of you PD providers to incorporate as much teacher discussion into your professional development.  A great way to engage teachers, and use their time to the full extent.

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