This is my last session for today, possibly overall. I’m probably most excited about this, as throughout these last few months, knowing the role I’m working my way into, have been toying with the idea of changing the PD models. After the last couple days, I’m obsessed with changing everything and flipping PD.
Kerry Abbott is solo in a room of about 150 people. Brave, as most people don’t present alone in my experience. Also, it’s almost 5 o’clock and most people are wrapping up their sessions for the day, so to deal with a dying audience solo is pretty cool.
She opens her session talking about why she did this, and that part is pretty clear. Forced instruction to a whole staff doesn’t work, and teachers won’t just go out and learn everything on their own, so a change is needed. I’m with her.
A couple of things I really like about her method. First, she has a bunch of these built for a ton of tech tools (she showed a screen that listed at least 16 of them) and the teachers pick whatever tools they want to learn.
She also gives them District PD points for each lesson they complete. Points depend on how long she thinks it would take the teacher to complete. If teachers already knew the given tool, it would take them less time, but as Kerry points out, at some point they learned it and didn’t get points for it then.
Teachers are required to prove that they completed the online sessions, and she does this by having them complete a reflection on a blog. The blog is opened to the whole staff, so once they complete a reflection they can go see who else completed those, and then collaborate with those people.
The real beauty of this whole thing though is what happens with the Face to Face PD time. Kerry uses a lot of different models during her weekly half hour (that would be nice, wouldn’t it?!?!). She does a modified Ignite session using pre-recorded teacher presentations that include examples. She makes each tool-based video one minute and includes five of these before an informal reflection session.
She also does Campfires, a shortened version of an edCamp. Each table is given a topic (such as historical event, word problems, or story structure). What’s cool here is that the table groups aren’t focused on a tech tool, but an instructional concept. Then, the groups at the tables will naturally recommend the technologies they use for those instructional techniques.
Another model she uses is Speed Dating. In this one, a teacher-expert on a technology gives a quick five minute presentation on a tool, then answer Q&A, then the groups rotate to the next table. In 30 minutes they can see 4 or 5 tools with quick info about each. According to Kerry, this is the participant favorite.
There are a couple other structures she uses as well during these face-to-face times (Appy Hour, SAMR Slam, and Classroom Visits PD). If you want more info on this, checkout her resources.
Resources from her session are available here. From there, you can also see her built tutorials and PDs. It’s an awesome resource!
What an awesome session! Kerry got my mind running, and I will definitely use some of her ideas. Thank you very much!