Our district became a Google District in February of 2014. Although there were optional training opportunities offered, this caused a heightened strain on the already overtaxed Information Services department. In response, I offered 12 Google PD sessions in order to share resources with others. We set aside an hour during our work day to learn more about Google. We spent the first 30 minutes watching a recorded webinar. We used a back channel so participants could record their thoughts/questions during the webinar. It also offered opportunity to answer each others questions and share ideas. The last 30 minutes were spent exploring and testing what we learned. There was no agenda and the teacher leaders were free to explore whatever they they were interested in. My role was that of a co-learner and facilitator. I learned more in those 1 hour blocks about technology than I did as an undergrad pursuing a Computer Science Minor. A bonus was that 'tech buddies' continue to share resources today.

Discussion (2)

4 Years Ago

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Christopher B Community Guide

Downers Grove North High School

Hey Carl; welcome to the RDC. Tech training is always such an important thing recently, but I am also always aware that teachers are hesitant to do trainings that are based in tech with pedagogy and/or instruction as the secondary focus. How did/do you balance this paradigm?

4 Years Ago

Profile 2015 05 25 14.02.56

Like most things in life, context matters. If you are mixing pedagogical trainings with tech trainings, then you have to consider the wide variety of learners AND the shared Values and Beliefs within the group. If the training addresses participant identified needs and remains within the parameters of the the shared Values and Beliefs, then you will have reduced hesitancy in participation. As with the Lesson Study at your school, begin with people who have a personal interest in a particular PD topic. They become the PD ‘evangelists’ spreading the word. I know that when I hear someone say, “Wow, this really impacted my students’ learning in a positive way!”, I tend to pay attention. Whenever you are working with Adult learners, remember that they need: 1) A purpose to learn that affects them personally; 2) Permission to ‘go off reservation’ in pursuit of their needs; 3) To be trusted to do what they need to in order to grow their practice.

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