Because I had created a unit plan for Course 2’s final project, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to branch out and try something new. While I have presented at a few conferences, I have never developed any session that was longer than an hour. This was a new challenge for me. I was so grateful to have worked in the team that I did as they had so much valuable experience to draw on and learn from. (Thanks Reyna, David, and Liliana!)
Developing our Workshop
With an emphasis on visual literacy and collaboration, we worked together to develop a 4 hour professional development program. After reflecting on our own PD experiences, it was clear that we wanted to develop a workshop in which participants had the opportunity to engage with the content in a variety of ways. We wanted to value learner agency, and provide participants with choices in their learning, opportunities to learn from a variety of sources – videos, text resources, hands on experiences, and most importantly each other!
We decided to split our workshop into four distinct sessions. The focus for each session roughly aligned with the big ideas from the first 4 weeks of this course. We chose to focus on ISTE Standards 4a, 4b, 4c and 6c, 6d. We felt these related most to our focus on digital creation and collaboration.
We felt that an important aspect of any professional development opportunity is to provide participants with the time to think about and share with others how you might use it in your own teaching practice. We decided to have one full session to focus on this. We also gave participants the opportunity at the end to reflect on their learning by responding to a prompt and posting their response to a flipgrid. This will allow them to view and respond to the learning of others.
Growing as a Collaborator
David did a great job of getting the ball rolling by creating a Slack Channel for us to communicate through and by creating a couple of Google docs for us to start adding our ideas to. We all live in different places (in different timezones) and have very different (and busy!) schedules, so we found it impossible to find a time in which we could all get together to share our ideas in real time. As a result, we needed to find alternative ways to communicate with one another.
The first step in our process was to jot down the ideas we had in the doc that David had set up for us. We used different colour text to share our thinking and responded to others/asked questions using comments. As a group, we all worked to take these ideas and turn them into a workshop. Reyna set up a slideshow and we added in slides to align with our plan as we developed it. I enjoyed this concurrent model of creation as it helped to see how it would all fit together.
While we definitely faced some challenges, overall this was a great opportunity to work with new people and develop a plan for a PD that I hope to have the chance to facilitate one day.