Sunday, June 29, 2014

Effective Professional Learning - Commericals

I teach a graduate level course at Johns Hopkins, titled "Integrating Media into the Standards Based Classroom". This course focuses on how media can be integrated into each classroom through a variety of tools and techniques. I have taught the course at least three times and each I tweak and update the course.

One of the topics I focus on is "Effective Professional Learning", because I think if teachers are learning how to integrate media into the classroom, then they should also be sharing with other teachers. The assignment for this topic included readings and videos on what makes professional learning effective for teachers. The demonstration of learning included:

Reflect on professional development programs and initiatives that you have experienced in the last several years.
Think about those programs or initiatives that affected your:
  • Knowledge and Skills
  • Practice
  • Student Performance
Using the tool, Animoto, create a short video that conveys your thoughts about effective professional development opportunities.

This was the first time in the this course, I have had the students summarize using Animoto and I thought was incredible. I think that several of these videos could be used at the beginning of the year to set expectations and atmosphere for professional learning throughout the year.

Here are some of the videos they made: 

Friday, June 6, 2014

#edcampusa Experience

I discovered that I only really blog after I have been so inspired that my mind is still turning hours later after an experience. Today after a two year hiatus, it has happened again because.... I have attended my first Edcamp.

Since I have taken my position as the state department, I found myself in a different part of the playing field in education. Attending conferences was no longer about bringing something back to my classroom but bringing something back to the state. To be honest, there was not a conference I attended that really help me in my role.... until today.

The USDE Edcamp was different. The topics discussed included how to include all educators in social networking so we could all be connected. One idea that was shared by the edcampers is to start the movement of state involvement. This means having SDE know what is going in districts and schools, not just policy. The state has this stigma of being unreachable and I want to change that.

No matter what happens in the future, the SDE will always have to monitor policy and ensure compliance but there has to be a middle ground in which we are still connected to the classrooms and to each other.

My one take away from #Edcampusa is to connect to other state departments, share ideas, and start the State Edcamp Movement.