Posts Tagged professional development

What I Am Proud Of… Developing Online Professional Development

This past week I moderated the 6th PD in your PJs for my district.  On the second Tuesday of the month we host a Google Hangout On Air about a topic chosen by the teachers.   This has been years in the making as I began to search for ways to provide professional development in a alternate ways to fit the busy lives of teachers.   I had began attending sessions at TCEA that addressed online professional development the past few years, but all those folks had used a paid for service to host the sessions.  Something my district was not going to pay for.

In the meantime I enrolled  Lamar University’s online master’s program for Educational Technology Leadership.  I chose this program because I had two small children at home and a husband that worked long hours.  I needed to have flexibility in when and where I attended classes and got my assignments done.   Most of it happened after 8:30 at night and on the weekends.   Getting my mater’s was a life long dream of mine, it just took a while to figure out what I wanted it in.  I appreciated that this program allowed me to further my education and still be a mom to my kids.  I wanted professional development to do the same thing!

Enter Google Apps for Education and Google Hangouts.  Finally tools that were free and that worked for what we wanted to do.     It started with testing out the tools within the department I work for with Lunch and Learn type of  training.  This allowed us to learn in a safe environment.   After a few months of that I wanted to branch out and offer this type of training to teachers so that those with outside commitments could still increase their knowledge and become better technology users.   We offer 1 hour of professional development credit for attending and filling out the reflection form.  Participants get to hear from knowledgeable folks from across the district brought to their living rooms.   The nice part is that the program is recorded and is available for viewing at any time to fit any schedule.  So far we have given over 200 hours of pd credit to teachers.

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make this work, but it is doable for anyone that wants to offer teachers flexibility in how and when they learn.   I am excited to keep this opportunity going this school year and to see what else will come of this.

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Infographics

I was inspired at TCEA to start exploring a model of Flipped Professional Development.   After a week of toying with the idea I decided it was time to actually work design and complete a flipped training to get my feet wet.  I’ve learned a lot so far and I am only in the beginning stages.

Here are my take-aways so far:

  1. It is a lot of upfront work!   
  2. Have a good outline of what you want to cover and then create your presentation.  I started with the presentation and had to scrap it as I needed to get a better focus on the outcomes of the session.
  3. Determine the best format to present the information.   What needs to be video, what needs to be written and what should be done face to face.
  4. Choose a presentation tool to fit your audience.   I chose Prezi for this training because it allowed me to zoom in on the images so I could point out the details.   I thought using powerpoint would be too flat for a video and would lose their interest for this.  Also – I haven’t played with it in a long time and wanted some practice.
  5. Make sure you are having a good hair day if you are going to include a webcam shot of you during the presentation.  Vain I know, but this video will be around for a long time.
  6. It takes a lot of work!   I know I am repeating myself, but I have spent hours on a simple presentation becuase my hope is to create something that I can use again and again with different groups.  That makes the time investment worth it.

I am going to set up the video in our district’s moodle and will incorporate an embedded google form to ask questions after the video.  I am choosing google forms to demonstrate how the teachers can use them on their own websites when they are intimidated by moodle.

Here is my Prezi that I will be narrating and recording with Camtasia Studio.   The topic of the training will focus on creating Infographics in the social studies classroom using tools they are familiar with, more specifically Powerpoint.

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