Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD - Day 1

I had my first of two face-to-face 3 hour sessions with teachers yesterday (the high school group).  As I mentioned in my previous post, Planning for Hybrid PD - Comfort Level and Confidence First , the goal was to figure out where the teachers were at and meet them at their comfort zone and give them confidence to start the journey of integrating the technology.

Lesson one was to "Begin a professional development experience assessing the background skills of participants.Ensure they are given the necessary tools, starting points, and resources to feel comfortable with what they are going to be doing, see the purpose behind what they will be doing, and know where and how they can get continued support". I think I accomplished this fairly well, but can I just say, 3 hours goes fast!  I thought I had it mapped out well, but of course, the reality is there are questions and technology issues.  I spent less time on the software introduction than I wanted, but I made the executive decision that since we had the month to continue to play and explore that component, the more important items to focus on were the online ready to use lessons (Sketchpad LessonLink) and the online course itself.  Getting teachers registered and navigating the online course would allow them to get immediate access to me and support as they played more with the software. 

One thing I think was accomplished was that all the participants realized that this first meeting was really that - a first meeting to introduce them to the software, resources, and online environment and that we had time in the online environment to explore more.  It was refreshing for me to be able to offer the time and continued support to them, as usually I only get a day or two.  And, I think that's all most teachers get themselves, so perhaps there was a bit of disbelief that this was actually the reality. These teachers and I are on a journey, and I made sure to emphasize that as often as possible that the feeling of being overwhelmed and things moving too fast in this first meeting was natural and normal, but we had a whole month ahead of us to continue to ask questions, work together and alleviate some of their concerns. From my perspective, it did seem to almost relieve them and allow them to move to the next topic in are quickly passing time!

Overall, I thought it went well and am looking forward to the next step - the online environment.  Tonight I meet with the middle school teachers, and will take lessons learned last night to heart - little different focus on how I introduce the software, more time on the LessonLink as it leads to the software use, and then a little more time making sure the online course registration works and that everyone understands there.  It's always nice when you have a second chance at something - practice makes perfect as they say!

Will keep you posted on how Day 2 goes.

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