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Category Archive for 'Flipped PD'

Flipped Teachers

Last week was amazing.  We had an absolutely jam-packed week with 4 Flipped PD workshop days. It was exhausting but so fulfilling as we met with 40 teachers and listened to them as they shared with us their technology goals for Flipped PD.

I have said this before but… if all of our other Flipped PD goals and intentions fail, we have still won. These 2 hour blocks of time during the school day are pure gold. Wayne and I spent a lot of time talking about the Flipped PD schedule and knew that we wanted to create blocks of time that would allow us to get into meaningful work with the teachers. Although it varies from school to school, our typical schedule for a workshop day is 7:30-9:30am, 9:30-11:30am, 11:30-1:30pm, and 1:30-3:30pm. As you can imagine, there is definite lag time in between sessions (time for teachers to return to their classrooms so that the subs can rotate to release the next few teachers). With this, we are getting about an hour and a half of work time.  Beautiful.

 

 Our Flipped PD schedule last week! 

Every day last week I came home absolutely filled with energy and ideas that I wanted to work on immediately in order to start satiating these teachers. Wayne and I have started a list of movies we need to make this week that we will deliver to the teachers through Moodle. Luckily for us, there are some common interests among the teachers and our first round of content creation will be limited to a few topics including websites, newsletters, email, and Activinspire software.

 

Workshop schedule at Afton-Lakeland Elementary.

The first grade team at Lake Elmo Elementary
(left to right: Angie Olson, Ann Dahl, Claire Ackerson)

Working on individual technology goals

 As we met with small groups of teachers, we realized that these teachers were bursting at the seams with questions and ideas. The small group setting put many teachers at ease with being able to ask questions and alk about their technology experience and their personal goals for technology integration.

The first Flipped PD workshop includes an introduction to the process, a refresher on the tools (Google Apps and Moodle), creating individual Flipped PD Google docs, working on a collaborative doc, and creating individual technology goals. Towards the end of these first workshop sessions we opened it up to questions and often times found ourselves sharing little computer tips and tricks (two finger scroll was always a hit). Time flew by and many teachers were surprised when their time was up.

 

Wayne sharing an e-book that elementary students created last year.

Teachers left reluctantly and were very grateful for this first session. Some teachers shared with us their excitement for Flipped PD and others shared their gratitude for the one on one time they spent with us.  One teacher commented on that she was only nervous and “hesitant about (her) own skills.”

She continued to share her excitement about the “flipped” process.

“I have experienced enough in-services the ‘unflipped’ way where I learned for the moment but I could never put it to use, so it was a waste of time. I am excited that I will have a ‘guide at the side’ who can help me carry through the ideas I have and if I get stuck I’ll have someone to help me get untangled and proceed and not give up”

We are excited too.  Probably even more than they realize.

Flipped PD Workshops

Flipped PD Workshops

We have met with less than half of our participating Flipped PD teachers as of now. In fact, we have only had 3 workshop days (4 more this week) out of 9 – yet I feel like we have already spent an entire month with teachers. That’s probably because we have seen 36 teachers for 2 hours each during our workshop time. This time is gold. If every other part of our Flipped PD intentions fail, we have still won. Teachers have so many questions and ideas. Often times they just need some instruction, or some direction, and then they fly.

Organization.

We have established a “routine” for our Flipped PD workshops. Wayne does a great job of giving an overview of this process. Then, each teacher creates and shares a Google Doc with us. The idea behind this Google Doc is that we can have a running record of the work that we do in our face-to-face “workshop” days as well as guide the teacher to resources that will help them increase their skills and confidence using certain tools. We have the teachers use Photo Booth to take a picture of themselves so that we have a nice document with their information.

Focus on the process.

 From the beginning, Wayne and I knew that we did not want to use our time with teachers to show them how to use technology. We wanted to create a space that would allow us to dig deeper with the teachers, go beyond the basics and get to the integration of technology into their curriculum. Are we set up to accomplish this? I hope so.

We have been creating a Moodle “course” (and I put that in quotes because my colleague, Heather Wells, would remind me lovingly that it’s not a course yet) that includes almost all of our homemade digital resources that we have created to date. This includes not only our “how to” video screencasts but also a collection we call “Elementary Project Showcase”. The “Elementary Project Showcase” is a collection of completed projects from our elementary school teachers. These videos are either final products OR a video explaining the project. We hope that by providing teachers with videos from “Elementary Project Showcase” they will get ideas of projects they can do in their classrooms. From their interest in certain projects, we are able to put together a list of skills they will be required to know in order to implement the project. I call this process “Tech Sparks”.

 

Our ultimate goal is to provide teachers with a personalized experience; where we listen to their needs, provide them with resources, and then meet with them to help them integrate technology appropriately into their curriculum.  Actually, we have a MORE ultimate goal, and that is to bring our teachers full circle in the process where they will actually contribute their experience BACK into Moodle so that other teachers can learn from their experience.

Using Moodle.

We are still working on how to make our Flipped PD “course” a real Moodle course. I think that this will be the biggest challenge. We are exploring with the lesson module that will allow us to connects different activities and create a sort of “choose your own PD” adventure.

QUESTION: How have you used Moodle for Professional Development? I would love to hear some ideas of how to make this a great experience for our teachers.