Choose your own tech adventure! A new style of technology PD.

Notice that all great technology PD courses involve Mountain Dew.

We have an idea to share and want your thoughts…..

Last Oct, we ran a mini-conference at Valley Southwoods related to technology and EEI.  The feedback was positive, especially because… A)sessions were taught by district teachers  and B) everyone had choice.   Some teachers loved the short introductory sessions, others wanted extended sessions to have time to dig into the topic.

 Here’s our idea:
Instead of a traditional PD course, with only one specific topic for the entire 15 hours, we are proposing a different approach.   A staff development course that is entirely made up of multiple topics that you can pick and choose the topics that are of interest to you!    Each topic would be 3 hours of time – so you would need 5 total blocks in order to meet the 15 hour requirement for staff dev credit and/or Drake credit. 

Here’s a specific example of what the schedule might look like:

  Mon June 4th                Tues June 5th Wed June 6th Thurs June 7th
AM Sessions
8:30am to 11:30am
Using ScreenCasts Twitter Google Docs
  Safari Montage  MovieMaker Safari Montage MovieMaker
Animoto  Standards Based Grading in Infinite Campus (grades 7-12) Animoto Twitter
PM Sessions
12:30pm to 3:30pm
K-3 iPad apps K-3 iPad apps Classrooms Blogs Gloogster
  Edmodo  Edmodo MovieMaker Classroom Blogs
Google Docs  Standards Based Grading in Infinite Campus (grades 7-12) Gloogster ScreenCasts

 Here are some of the specific 3 hour topics that we think could be offered…..

1)      MovieMaker:   editing and producing short videos with Windows MovieMaker (most likely taught by Jackie)

2)      Standards Based Grading with Infinite Campus:  (grades 7-12) How to set up your grade book for standards based style grading in Campus

3)  Using kidblog for student writing

4)      Safari Montage:  How to access, search, and build playlist in Safari Montage (replacement for DE Streaming).  Also how to use student accounts, how to make assignments, on-line quizzes, and use their iPad app. (most likely taught by Jackie)

5)      Google Docs:  an Introduction to Google docs

6)      K-3 iPad apps:  A session for teachers to share their favorite iPad apps, with time to dig into why and how the apps are used.

7)      Twitter:  an introduction to using twitter for your own professional development and/or classroom usage  (most likely taught by Brian)

8)      Edmodo: an introduction to using Edmodo, building courses, getting students setup, turning in assignments, discussions, grade book, and practice tests/quizzes

9)      Gloogster: Making on-line posters

10)   Animoto:  Creating on-line slideshows with pictures, text, and music

11)   Classroom Blogs:  Creating a classroom website/blog

NOTE:  some of these topic, depending on interest, might be expanded to a second level.  Example: we might have a Twitter level 2 for those who already have a twitter account, and a level 1 for those who do not or have one but haven’t used it much.  This could also apply to Edmodo or other topics as well.

Questions for you…………..

1) What do you think?  Will this be appealing to staff?

2)  What topics are we missing that might interest staff?

3)  Please contact Jackie Neuberger if you’re interested in being a trainer.  It’s $30/hour for any session – and we’re certainly open to adding new topics/ideas.

8 thoughts on “Choose your own tech adventure! A new style of technology PD.

  1. Brian Abeling Post author

    Other ideas submitted for possible 3 hour courses:

    * flipped classroom
    * Blabberize
    * Flash Cards Options (both websites and apps) Quizlet, A+ Pro, Study Blue
    * FlexPlayer for iPad
    * iPad apps for all of K-6
    * AEA databases
    * LAN School
    * iPad use in the middle school
    * Using cell phones in your classroom
    * How to provide handouts online (many don’t do this).. with either Edmodo, S Drive, blog, Infinite Campus, how to make it work for teachers

  2. Brian Abeling Post author

    Was also asked: Why can’t we can a secondary level iPad course?

    Response: We would love to… we will need a teacher to step forward and assist with designing and running this course. I hate to over generalize, but typically 7-12 staff want the course to be specific to their grade level and content area – which makes it a very narrow audience, but if we have some teachers step up, we’d be glad to offer this as an option.

  3. Chris Pultz (@cpultz)

    I ran a grad school class a number of years ago based on a similar idea. The semester had only one assignment. On week 1 I presented them a list of 30-40 ideas for projects. Everyone chose a project and wrote up a project proposal by week 3. I approved or suggested changes by week 4, and they had to turn in the project (or documentation of it) by week 14 so they could each share their project experience with the rest of the class on weeks 15-16. Project requirements were that it A) had to stretch their learning in some area of educational technology, B) demonstrate a “graduate level of rigor”, and C) had to be directly applicable to their own work situation (no “work-for-works-sake”, all project work must benefit their professional practice or student learning). The open-ended nature of the class made it by FAR the most successful endeavor I have ever been involved with as an instructor. This reminds me a lot of that! Kudos, and thanks for bringing this up. I might push to resurrect some more constructivist approaches in my own work!

  4. Brian Abeling Post author

    Thanks Chris… That sounds like quite the course! We haven’t gotten to that level of choice – at least not yet, but the structure of what you’ve proposed sounds like the ultimate in choice…

    1. Brian Abeling Post author

      I can always use advice and guidance from Ian Coon!! We’ve done this is short 45 minutes sessions – and some folks liked it, but others really wanted more time to really dig into it, as well as time to practice.

      Just curious… what other topics/products do you cover?

  5. Vicki Wright

    I really like the idea of being able to personalize the 15 hours to meet individual teachers’ needs. Regretfully, too many staff development sessions don’t apply directly to our teaching (as a “special”) and it feels like we become meer observers.


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