Tag Archives: Professional Development

Connected Educators Month. Is your district on board?

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13 more days! Is your district ready to take advantage of this opportunity?

It is difficult to have connected educators without connected districts.  The CEM District Toolkit is filled with everything a district needs to become connected and to support professional learning on every level, no matter where they are on the connectedness spectrum. It is easy to use…embedded with videos and suggestions.

“The Connected Educators initiative’s mission is to help educators thrive in a connected world. Such environments are envisioned in the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan and are soon to become the norm due to efforts such as ConnectED. Connected Educators pursues this mission through seeking to understand and promote educators learning and collaborating through online communities of practice and social networks.”

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Don’t miss out. Jump in!

Professional Development Discussed by some Ed Rock Stars

GETIdeas

An opportunity to attend a conversation by some of the biggest Rock Stars in Educational PD was something I couldn’t miss. It was truly informative and insightful from all angles of the educational landscape.

During the conversation, Don Buckley, Director of Innovation and Technology at the School of Columbia University, discussed an article from Edutopia, he quotes:

“When teachers receive well-designed professional development, an average of 49 hours spread over six to 12 months, they can increase student achievement by as much as 21 percentile points. On the other hand, one-shot, “drive-by,” or fragmented, “spray-and-pray” workshops lasting 14 hours or less show no statistically significant effect on student learning. Above all, it is most important to remember that effective professional-development programs are job-embedded and provide teachers with five critical elements:” (see those at the end of this post or in the original article).

The panel of thought leaders in the discussion:

Don Buckley, Director of Innovation and Technology at the School at Columbia University, Alice Barr is the Instructional Technology Integrator for Yarmouth High School, Michelle Bourgeois is the Instructional Technology Coordinator at St. Vrain Valley School District, Noble Kelly has been a High School Educator and now founder of Education Beyond Borders, Julie Lindsay is an international educator and co-founder of Flat Classroom, and Sylvia Martinez is President of Generation YES.

Here is the recording from @GETIdeas.org

The five critical elements from Edutopia

  • Collaborative learning: Teachers have opportunities to learn in a supportive community that organizes curriculum across grade levels and subjects.
  • Links between curriculum, assessment, and professional-learning decisions in the context of teaching specific content: Particularly for math and science professional-development programs, research has emphasized the importance of developing math and science content knowledge, as well as pedagogical techniques for the content area (Blank, de las Alas, and Smith, 2008Blank and de las Alas, 2009Heller, Daehler, Wong, Shinohara, and Miratrix, 2012).
  • Active learning: Teachers apply new knowledge and receive feedback, with ongoing data to reflect how teaching practices influence student learning over time.
  • Deeper knowledge of content and how to teach it: Training teachers solely in new techniques and behaviors will not work.
  • Sustained learning, over multiple days and weeks: Professional-development efforts that engage teachers in 30 to 100 hours of learning over six months to one year have been shown to increase student achievement.

Help Educators take the First Step into Professional Learning Networks

Writing about PLNs on an online blog is a problem. Anyone reading it is already part of a PLN.  All of us have stories like the one I encountered today. The real question is how to bring this understanding into our buildings and neighbor classrooms. Here is a snapshot of a single event I was part of just today.

There is a teacher in Honduras who asked for help from her PLN yesterday.  Her school’s new strategic plan includes moving towards discontinuing their stand-alone computer labs and incorporating tech directly into the classroom.  She is a Tech Integration Specialist, and she needed help. Within 24 hours, after several group emails, resources started pouring in. Areas were identified and a google doc was established. Turns out that her school is not the only one doing this, and she was not the only one with questions. No doubt that everyone involved will come out better for the involvement.

There is no way to overstate the power behind this kind of collaboration.

Here is a link to a wiki that helps educators take that first step. It was originally used for a series of workshops, so feel free to join and use it the same way. Add your own resources if you like. Becoming a Connected Educator for Teachers and Administrators using Twitter, RSS feed and Global Collaboration. If you have other resources, feel free to link them here.