Flipping Professional Development…pros and cons

I recently attended the MassCUE technology conference and was asked to write up some articles for an internal technology publication our department plans on developing.  I thought I would share some of the articles on my blog as well.

Flipping Professional Development

The Flipping PD session was lead by Joe Spano who discussed what worked (and did not work) when trying to flip PD at a technical school.  The presenter learned that flipped PD for beginner teachers works best when using brief teaser videos only.  This will give teachers enough information to peak their curiosity to seek out 1-1 assistance/training to learn the actual technology.  Joe learned that more advanced/independent users are more able to take advantage of full flipped PD.

Successful models for delivering professional development have been via Tech Cafe/Lunch & Learn (where he arranged food delivery during training time with the cafeteria for lunchtime or after school sessions).  You will need a lab or training area with lots of equipment.

Joe recommended using Screensteps Desktop for creating step-by-step instructions.  He also suggested that students could make instructional videos for teachers during their study period.     When generating instructional videos, investigate putting them on cable tv as well for parents.  To determine whether a staff member is a beginner or advanced user of technology, Joe suggests having teachers evaluate themselves or to develop an evaluation for teachers to fill out.

Rewarding Failure

In another session, Technology Integrator Peggy Harvey discussed her desire to implement a reward system for teachers in her building who are taking a risk by using new technology, even if they fail.  She will highlight the efforts of teachers who take risks with tech in the classroom (just as we encourage our students to do) during staff meetings and give them a small prize.  She plans on introducing the concept to the staff by showing a Youtube video about famous people who have learned much through initial failure.

photo credit: notsogoodphotography via photopin cc

Today I was Madame Spang!

I was visited by a high school French teacher yesterday.  Last year he had his French III students create a survey (using survey monkey) in French. They emailed the link to their survey to the teacher.  The teacher then had to post each link on his webpage so that the students could take each others survey.  Some of the links did not work properly.  My challenge was to use technology to improve the work flow and eliminate the bad link problem.

We decided to set up a blog (using Kidblog.org) for each class.  I used Kidblog because students do not need an email address to acquire an account and teachers do not need to know how to access the student’s blogs…they are all easily accessible from one url.  So the students created the survey in survey monkey, copied the link to the survey and placed it in a blog post.  Then each student answered every survey on the class blog.  Over the weekend the students will analyze their survey results in survey monkey and create a second blogpost to create a narrative in French about their findings.  Voila!