Notes from Educon 2011: On Professional Development

Below are some of the notes that I took during the Educon Conference in Philadelphia which I 'attended' from my home in Massachusetts. In total, I spent 12 hours connecting, contributing, thinking, listening and learning. Processing continues and will continue to over the next several months as every conversation had relevance to either my specific teaching reality or our school district's current reality-namely attaining relevance in quickly changing (and digitally-driven) times.

Notes in this blog post pertain to Professional Development and are in no particular order. Please comment, contribute, should you have the time or inclination. More notes to come

  • Personalizing professional development means: 'I define those people and resources myself'. It's not given to me. Most professional development in schools is in a box. If it's in a box...It's hard to individualize it.
  • How about certificates of completion for attaining certain tech benchmarks? For example, learning how to use Google Forms.
  • Professional Development would be more relevant if there were a menu of options. What would that shift look like?
  • On the other hand, you can't just dump resources in teacher's laps (such as Classroom2.0). Teachers (who are used to boxed professional development) will get frustrated because they don't know where to start.
  • How do you build a professional learning environment? Helps to have weeded, culled and sorted the best of what's available. Need to bring something ('nutritious') to the table.
Have you done any of the above? Are you having conversations about changing how professional development is delivered in your district? We are involved in the process right now. We're hoping to bring PD online and to offer more autonomy for teachers and to use teachers as leaders
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