My group worked together to write a plan for a PD session centered around the themes we had been learning about from this unit. Here is a link to the finished plan.
On reflection, I feel I left finding a group to work with far too late. I was keeping an eye on Twitter and checking comments on my blog posts but I didn’t hear from anyone. I assumed that many of my cohort were in the same position as myself, feeling overwhelmed from work and behind on everything else. It wasn’t until I saw a post from a cohort member on Twitter saying that their group was almost done that I realized I should have been more proactive in my search.
Fortunately, I received an email regarding a member of our cohort who was in a similar position to myself and we managed to quickly start connecting and collaborating. Working with my group was really easy. The time difference between the places we live is only an hour so it was easy to meet up and check-in with how we were doing. We used Google docs to write our plan both synchronously and asynchronously over a couple of weeks. At my school, we meet to plan collaboratively almost every day so that aspect of the project was fairly easy. We divided up the ISTE standards we wanted to hit and then came up with some ideas. After checking in with each other we fleshed out our plan and delved into the various activities we felt would benefit teachers most.
In terms of the activities we chose, these were largely based on our own feelings about what made other professional development sessions useful. In addition to our own reflections we talked to other teachers at our schools about what they felt made professional development sessions a success. As much as possible, I tried to keep this feedback in mind when planning the activities the teachers would take part in.
When thinking about what to talk to teachers about I thought about the things I had found most useful and engaging from Course 2. I wanted to put together activities and resources that teachers could put into action immediately. One difficulty I encountered was there are so many different resources to pull from that I didn’t want to overwhelm teachers with too many resources or too much research. One of the huge personal benefits I found to this end of unit project was that I ended up rereading quite a lot of the articles from this unit. There were a few snippets I had missed or didn’t remember from the first time through and I’m happy I reread my blog posts too.
I have not had the chance to facilitate this PD yet, however, my vice-principal is a COETAILer from a couple of years ago and he asked me to share my plan with him after reports are in. Similarly, I am looking forward to talking to our head of technology tomorrow about the possibility of drawing up a new AUP for Lower School with some student input. The last few months have been a whirlwind but I’m looking forward to the challenges of next year and Course 3.