Teacher Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP)
We constantly talk in education about the fact that students need to have individual education plans to support learning that adjust to the individual's needs and meets their preferred learning styles. But then we forget that this model should also translate over into professional development for staff. Instead, educational leaders often organize PD opportunities centered around what the majority of the staff may need, focusing on the movement of the entire district and forgetting about or neglecting individualized growth.
Now there are certainly times when a K-12 vision and expectations need to be verbalized and drawn out with all of the stake holders in the same room, however, true growth comes from each individual finding something that lights a spark in them. Something that each educator can grab a hold of and take off running with immediately. These "ah-ha" moments that eductors find within the classroom from their students should also be the outcomes and expectations in dynamic PD opportunities.
For this reason, online tutorials, modules, and exercises have been cropping up a lot lately on the Web. After all, it would be very difficult to employ enough trainers within a district to meet the needs of every individual educator. It is a mind shift for a lot of educators though that are used to the one-on-one times. We have to start to get creative with PD opportunities and make it real for everyone.
How do we also measure growth when it comes to levels of effectiveness? There are many models out there, rubrics, matrices and theories. Many of them have levels and mention moving up the "ladder" of achievement, but in the world of technology integration, not all lessons will be increasing and climbing the "ladder". There is a place for low tech lessons, or even an absence of tech completely. Balance is the key.
Carl Hooker explains his theory about using a pool as the metaphor for an infographic using the SAMR model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition). In his redifined model lessons move more fluidly and students and staff can "swim" between the shallow end and deep end all within the same lesson or unit. He also shares that there are times where "pool breaks" are necessary as well, and tech can be absent from the lesson.
I believe Mr. Hooker is onto something here. Instead of always reaching for the next rung on the ladder, it's time to observe that life is fluid and therefore learning should be as well. Each individual learns with their own preferred learning styles and pace, and yet we also don't learn at the same pace all of the time and also should not only learn with one particular style of choice. A variety of options should be offered and explored. That has been engrained into our brains as educators with Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences which has been remixed and mashed up so many times it is hard to keep track of all of the versions.
But why don't we practice what we preach? Teachers work on these skills in the classroom with their students, but then do not see this when they attend a teacher inservice day. What if professional development days were more centered around the individual? The beginning of the day could address the "big picture" and the vision of the K-12 model, but then the remainder of the day would be flexible enough to offer teachers time, something educators never seem to have enough of, to collaborate with peers, learn a new skill or tool online that they can use imediately within their own learning space, or dive deeper into enhancing a lesson and reflecting on influences and effect on their students.
In a world where just about any answer can be "Googled," it is important to teach both students and educators how to advocate for their own learning and find the best way to research solutions to their problems. The online solution for help seems to be the most effective, when used, as it offers "Just in Time" learning 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Would it not be a bad idea to have all of the teaching staff become students in a Google Classroom designed to promote growth in technology integration? Learning along with the students is often the best way to reach "ah-ha" moments together.
At it’s simplest form, the SAMR model states that when you introduce technology to an environment, like a classroom, generally the first thing the user will do is figure out a way to use technology as a Substitute for an existing task.
SAMR Swimming Lessons Redefined
The SAMR Model redefined, or remixed, to show a more fluid movement between the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition stages of the original "ladder" model, with a Pool Break thrown in to balance out the tech use and screen time.
Recently I was having a conversation with educators and they asked me the question, “who is the leading thinker in education right now?”
John Hattie developed a way of ranking various influences in different meta-analyses according to their effect sizes. In his ground-breaking study “Visible Learning” he ranked those influences which are related to learning outcomes from very positive effects to very negative effects on student achievement.
10/13 Application Deadline for Google Teacher Academy
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10/13 Google Play for Education RoadshowGrand Rapids, MI
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10/14 Virtual Field Trip with TIME - Meet Lemony Snicket
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10/19 Google for Education Marin County SummitMill Valley, CA
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New Links for Teachers
If you use Google Chrome as your go-to web browser, you may have seen a little icon for the ‘Store’ (like what you see on the right) when you attempt to open a new tab.
Newsela makes it easy for an entire class to read the same content, but at a level that’s just right for each student.
Over 10,000 complete Common Core-aligned lessons from our 130 Master Teachers.
ThinkCERCA is an online, CCSS-aligned literacy program with tools and content teachers need to help students learn to read closely, think critically, and develop powerful arguments.
FineTune is a first-of-its-kind professional development platform designed to replace the workshop model.
New Google Tools
Learn how to better manage your Google Apps and life with three Google Tools with Google Tasks, Todoist, and GQueues.
A geography trivia game featuring Google Maps
The iPad is well-known as an amazing creation tool, but with Google Drive’s “Open-In” feature on the iOS platform - the iPad has quickly become a collaboration device extraordinaire.
Out goes the student paper planner, Meet Google Tasks and Google Calendar!
If you started using Google Classroom this year and your school is using iPads, I noticed a few consistent issues today when students brought their iPads into our tech force room.
Save As Doc is a free Google Spreadsheets Add-on that enables you to select a series of adjacent cells and turn them into an easy to read Google Document.
Don't run out of time: Did you know that if you type "timer" into a Google search, you get a timer instantly? Update the time, go full screen, and voila!
Discover exhibits and collections from museums and archives all around the world. Explore cultural treasures in extraordinary detail, from hidden gems to masterpieces.