At the beginning of this session, I submitted a number of CPD ‘twighlight’ courses that I planned to present to teachers here who were willing to give up two hours of their own time after a day at school. This is quite a responsibility, I think, because I didn’t want teachers to go away believing that:
” Well that was ok – but I could probably have spent that time doing something more productive”
I know that I’ve attended quite a few of those sort of CPD sessions in my time 🙂
I wanted to hear the, ” Thanks for that – I feel that I could use some of these ideas tomorrow in my class” type of comment. I was delighted, therefore, that this was exactly the reaction I got from the last two sessions I provided. The first session was on Digital Storytelling. I’ve included a slideshare version of the handouts I provided for the session.
Producing something like this before a CPD session helps me to focus on what it is I’m trying to portray – the theory behind the practice sort of research. Being seconded, however, means that I usually have practical examples to show. The short ‘story’ below, for instance, was made by the primary 7 children after a class trip. They were faced with a number of potentially dangerous scenarios and this helped them to become more aware of water safety, fire safety, first aid, safety with animals, food safety, etc. When we returned to school they were asked to use the pictures taken during the day as prompts to remind them of what was learned. A digital story resulted …. well it wasn’t what we called it at the time – but it almost fits the definition??
Untitled from Education Services on Vimeo.
This was just one of the examples I was able to show. There are lots more on our class blog ….perhaps another good reason for keeping a blog – a record of what has been covered / learned etc. in class
One of the things that surprised me during the CPD session, however, was the interest in my wordle pic I’d used on one of the powerpoint slides:
We spent a fair amount of time exploring http://www.wordle.net/ and looking and the great possibilities for interesting ways of using it in class.
Because of the interest shown, I made sure that ‘wordle’ was included in the next CPD session on ‘motivating learners through the use of freely available online tools’. I decided to focus on just a few so that they wouldn’t be too overwhelmed.
The handout for that session is included here.
I sensed that the teachers were interested in what I was saying and, as a result, I went off on a tangent (once more!) and introduced them to a number of other tools. At the time, I worried that I was going too fast too quickly and had possibly bombarded them with too much information – I even pointed them in the direction of http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/ . I think this is a fantastic resource, but can find it overwhelming sometimes 🙂
At the end of the CPD session I was pleasantly surprised again, though, by the feedback – especially the verbal comments as people were leaving. A few of them stopped to thank me, and the impression I got was that, although they felt a bit ‘snowed under’ they valued the many practical examples of how I’d used most of the tools mentioned in my own practice.