In Stage 1, Ana, Derek, Katie, Rene, Rob, and many other educators shared that tailored, realistic video - from classrooms and other professions - makes more of an impact than current video offerings. In Stage 2, Ashley, Efundunke, Faith, Fred, Heather, Katie, Kristin, and Marisa shared their ideas for personalizing PD video and bringing inspiration to educators. Check out how they're bringing these ideas to life to transform PD.
-Computer (or smart phone)
-Facebook account (free), though you may try this recipe with other social media networks, like Pinterest.
-Enough participants to ensure that new content and responses are added almost daily—at a minimum, half-dozen active members, but preferably more.
-Interest among a group of teachers in contributing to an ongoing exchange of ideas on teaching.
-Basic facility among teachers in social media networks, or willingness to try them.
Problem Statement & Description
Innovator Ashley Lamb-Sinclair envisions an online community in which members share videos, articles, and other materials—along with their own thinking—on specific teaching-related topics. Driven by teachers’ own curiosity, she calls it “Curio.” Say you’re looking for new ways teach Romeo and Juliet: Create a shared space in Curio for the topic, and start adding ideas and content. Maybe you add a TED Talk video on love you found, and ask others in your group how you might use it in a lesson. Says Lamb-Sinclair: “I guarantee you there are numerous teachers out there trying innovating things with Romeo and Juliet.”
To test her idea for a new platform, she created this recipe using Facebook. Use it yourself to form your own “Curio” group for sharing ideas and insights on whatever’s of most interest to you and your colleagues.
"At school we have our neighbors across the hall who we can share with, but with this we can get that kind of help at any time." - Tina Beck, Social Studies Teacher and Facebook Curio User
Recruit community members. Advertise your intent.to potential participants, be they in the same school or in different states. Explain the goal of creating a forum for teachers to engage in ongoing discussion about the ideas and strategies in which they’re most interested. Summarize what the process will look like for participants (e.g. joining a group via social media, and two-to-three times a week posting ideas and questions, and responding to others').
Launch the group, and share guidelines. Send invitations to join the group to teachers who expressed interest. Begin with a post welcoming everyone, and summarizing guidelines and expectations for participants (i.e. with a few sentences on "Here’s how this’ll work …")
Join the discussion, and keep it going with minor nudging. Teacher curiosity is the engine that drives a Curio group. If it’s successful, teachers will contribute with minimal facilitation. It may help, however, for an organizer to model the process of contributing and commenting until momentum builds.
Refine the process, as needed. Look for trends among the most productive discussions, and consider how changes in the process might increase their utility.
Protips for Practical Problem Solving
In tests in her school, Lamb-Sinclair found teachers more likely to share strategies that could be used across subject areas than in sharing subject-specific content. If Curio involved many more teachers—across schools, districts, and states—she expects more sharing of new content among those who teach the same subject. Meantime, teachers in her school from different departments started collaborating for the first time.