Saturday, October 18, 2014

Our Latest PD in Action

Now that our iPad deployment is complete and things are working pretty smoothly, the instructional technology team has been able to focus on professional development. One of our most recent big projects was a district wide staff development day. We have lots of creative, innovative teachers that volunteered to lead sessions. We had something for everyone and were very proud of how the day went.
We shared some of our Techie Challenge videos on the TVs in the lobby. These were fun.
I want to share a few of my favorite sessions.

Share Sessions:
We divided the staff into two lunches. While one group enjoyed several food trucks brought in for the event the other group had share sessions with the teachers that teach the same subject and level. Our teachers often say they do not have time to sit down and share with each other so we gave each group a room and asked someone to facilitate to make sure the time was well spent. We heard a lot of positive comments from these sessions.

Round Table App Sessions:
We also asked our high school advocates to lead app mini sessions during lunch. Teachers that wanted to earn an extra hour had the choice of bringing their lunch into the cafeteria and listening as our advocates traveled around teaching about their favorite apps. Those that didn't want to participate were able to eat in the lobby area and courtyard. The students did a wonderful job.

Another complaint we tried to address was that teachers hear about a lot of apps, but not necessarily how to use them in class. We hand selected teachers to lead 2 hour sessions for each subject area that would address this need. Each teacher began by sharing one of their favorite tech lessons then participants had time to design and perfect one tech lesson for themselves. These were a big hit.

The instructional technologists met with our principals to give them updates, check on issues at their school and ask about PD needs they have seen in classrooms.

One of our elementary PD sessions targeted our K-2nd grade teachers who use carts. We scheduled a K-2 Pick Six session at each elementary school. We advertised with this Smore flyer. We set up 12 stations of activities. Teachers had to complete six of them to earn the hour of tech credit. All materials are in the Dropbox folder linked in the flyer. This has led to several lessons including making adjective selfies with Phonto in 1st grade, Number Pieces math in 2nd grade and Chatterpix projects.

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