Thursday, April 24, 2014

Where Do You Get All These Great Ideas?

This is the fourth in a series of posts about a movement that I am starting in my school.  My school predominantly instructs in a teacher-centered model, and my aim is to shift that to a student-centered instruction model.  This series will serve as a means to flesh out my ideas as I plan for professional development during the 2014-15 school year.

Today's post will share the resources available to help in planning for professional development.  You can read my previous posts in the series here. A future post will focus on an outline of how I intend to structure my professional development sessions.  In the fall, I will revisit this series to assess how the professional learning is going, identify areas that I need to address, and share any lessons that I have learned.

When researching resources that I could use during this professional development, I tried to identify tools that would meet the varied needs of my teachers.  There is a mix of styles included on this list.  

For example, some teachers prefer to watch videos of a student-centered classroom in action, so I have identified some sources for real-life video examples. Other teachers may prefer talking with teachers that are currently working in a student-centered classroom, so I included a list of Twitter chats for those teachers.  I have also included resources that have tutorials that will walk the teachers through the planning of lessons for a student-centered classroom.  

At this point, you may be wondering why I have done this when I will be leading the teachers as they learn this material.  Simply put, I want teachers to have a source of go-to resources for when they are not learning with me.  This will provide an added advantage of on-demand PD, places where they can go to learn more that fits their schedule.  

One more thing before you get to the list, this list by no means is all of the resources available for teachers.  It is a comprehensive list that I feel provides a great starting point for you to use when planning your own student centered classroom professional development. Please feel free to add more suggestions in the comments, and I will gladly add them to the list!

EdTEchTeacher focuses on inquiry-based learning in a student-centered environment.  They offer many resources for professional development, including conferences, keynote presentations, and a webinar series. Their free, live webinars focus on effective integration of technology in the classroom.

Created by the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) (another great resource for project-based learning)  to help provide more deeper learning opportunities for teachers and students. PBLU includes exciting new projects from partner organizations and sponsored classes by BIE, allowing for teachers to learn different facets of PBL on their own terms.

There are chats for just about any topic you can think of.  Search for some of these chats-
#PBLchat- Project-Based Learning chat (Tuesdays @ 8:00 pm EST)
#21stEdchat- 21st Century Education chat (Sundays @ 8:00 pm EST)
#TLAP- Teaching Like a Pirate (Mondays @ 8:00 pm CST)
#EdTechchat- Educational Technology Chat (Mondays @ 8:00 pm EST)
#byotchat- Bring Your Own Technology Chat (Thursdays @ 9:00 pm EST)
#edchat- Education Chat (Tuesdays @ 12:00 and 7:00 pm EST)

The goal of TeacherTube is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos. It fills a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers and schools. It is a site to provide anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, it is a site where teachers can post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill. 

Galileo Educational Network is dedicated to improving student, teacher and leaders learning through creating and researching 21st century learning environments. Galileo is about teaching for deep understanding. The site supports teachers to design inquiry-based projects in which students use the digital technologies of their time in creative and thoughtful ways.

Learning Styles Inventory

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