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Posted by on in Professional Development

neurons

Spring is here. The birds are chirping. The grass is growing. The weather outside is beautiful. So, what do you think teachers are doing on those beautiful spring evenings and weekends? Why, professional development (PD) of course. More specifically, gamified PD. Over the first 30 days of our gamification approach to PD, we have had our pilot group of teachers put in over 300 hours of learning during their own time.

Driving back from PETE&C 2016 with my district's technology director, Justin Arthur (@JustinTech), we started talking about all the fantastic things we saw like blended learning, G Suite for Education, and the gamification of classrooms. This lead to a discussion on professional development, and how we could bring those aspects from what we saw at PETE&C 2016 into PD. That discussion became the starting point for the gamification of PD in our district, which evolved into what it is now, Learning Pathways PD.

What is  Learning Pathways PD?

It brings all of the elements of collaboration, customization, relevance, supportive, engaging, competitive, anytime, anywhere learning together through the use of G Suite for Education. We call our gamification of PD, Learning Pathways PD.

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Posted by on in Professional Development

Professional development has changed drastically, for the better, since I began my career. Long gone are the days of “sit and get, one size fits all” pd. Thank goodness! Professional development is more personalized with teachers taking control and leading it often.

The tenets of high quality professional development include:

Job embedded

Ongoing

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Posted by on in Professional Development

Earlier this year I connected with other educators who like to blog. We came together over #sunchat, a Twitter-based Sunday morning chat. We called ourselves the #Sunchatbloggers! We provide each other with feedback and encouragement. Someone in the group suggested we all post on the same topic: our “Top 5”.  Some people will post about strategies, others activities, others technologies—I’ve decided to focus on “needs”. 

What are my 5 “essentials” for effective teaching? What do I need to teach?

After much reflection, I’ve identified my 5 teaching must-haves:

Trust

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Posted by on in Professional Development

computer typing.preview

Over the past few years the rate at which educational books are being written (mostly by connected educators), has increased rapidly. Thanks to such independent publishers as Mark Barnes and the Hack Learning Series, Dave Burgess Consulting, and EdTechTeam Press, the process of getting a book to market is now that much easier. Many of these books I have read, and here are two from each publisher I can easily recommend (and I’m still making my way through some of the others):

Hacking Leadership by Tony Sinanis and Joe Sanfelippo

Hacking Assessment by Starr Sackstein

The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros

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Posted by on in Professional Development

Does your doctor use leeches? Does your dentist use doorknobs and string? Of course not. If we want medical professionals using contemporary practices, shouldn't we expect the same from other professions, especially teachers? The best way to stay current is to be a connected educator. Being a connected educator means using social media to improve your practice and help other teachers improve theirs. Here's how to do it.

First and Foremost - Twitter

Twitter is the main event for connected educators. It's where we live. It can be overwhelming. Start small and start learning from others. Create your account. When choosing a handle, your name is best. If you can't get that, pick something simple and avoid numbers - they're out of style in Twitter handles. Use a picture of your face and write a bio that includes what you do. Profiles with Twitter eggs for pictures and no bios are not taken seriously. Start off by following a few education Tweeters to start learning.

EdWords bloggers who tweet include Ross Cooper, Oskar Cymerman, Neil Gupta, Jon Harper, Rae Pica, Debra Pierce, Sean A Thom, Julia G Thompson, and Rita Wirtz.

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