Lesson One: 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.In my first face-to-face meetings, I did my best to follow Lesson One, assessing the needs, providing the necessary tools,etc. You can read more details about that in my reflection posts related to both the first and second face-to-face meetings (Day 1 and Day 2), as well as the first online unit. I am now planning for our second face-to-face meeting, taking into account the fact that participants have spent the last month learning online, which was a new experience for most. Not only were they learning the software, but they were learning how to navigate the online course and components, interact asynchronously with others, and try Sketchpad with their students.
Lesson Two: Work on building a sense of community and support among participants, where they feel comfortable sharing their struggles, their experiences, their ideas and expertise. Providing a safe environment where it is okay to try new skills and strategies and knowing it is okay to fail or struggle and that others are going though similar experiences, gives teachers confidence to try to change and improve their own practices.