If my story resonates with you, then you know all too well how ineffectual Professional Development that is not geared towards what we as educators need to bring to our learners. As I truly began to reflect on my educator’s journey thus far, I don’t really see truly memorable professional developments outside of the ones that I chose (such as conferences) for myself. I see the good memories with my fellow CTE staff members and the collaborative jokes we would make at the table. However, I also see the endless array of boredom that also came from these professional development opportunities. I saw a challenge of connecting new learning theologies and skills that truly wasn’t meant for my students.
The Meme… That’s Still Trending
It’s OK to admit that we have all been in this place before. Where we felt that the faculty staff meeting could have just been a simple email. The only reason that administration feels that we should have a staff meeting is because we are more than likely not to check the email either. However, the biggest takeaway from this famous meme is that educators time is valuable. We simply don’t have enough time in the day 2 entertain areas that don’t align with what we wish to give to our learners. Anything that wastes our time will always be treated with negative feelings and thus a lack of growth occurs within the educator because he/she is not being valued for his/her time or his/her presence.
The Current State of Professional Development
As presented by native Houstonian, educator, and comedian, EddieB. While in a joking a satirical manner, his statements in regards to PD are the summarizations of how most educators feel towards it. Part of the reason he as gained notoriety is his honest take on the state of education.
Why is the sit-and-get style of teaching also employed to train educators when it doesn’t work effectively in the classroom? Quite simply, we don’t know any better. We know we want something different, we just don’t know what to look for. With this frame of thinking in mind, I propose that we adopt a different and more successful Professional Learning approach. One that work with the learner and their goals and not a systematic approach to learning.
Computer science opens the doorways to boundless opportunities. Within the next five to 10 years, I believe that programming will become an essential skill that all children are going to be required to learn. Through my Innovation Proposal, students will have a chance to take a firsthand look at app development and also take a greater look at what motivates them intrinsically. This opportunity allows these learners to grow and focus on their lifelong goals.
Teachers must have the opportunity to experiment with coding in order to feel comfortable incorporating those skills into their everyday classroom curriculum. Holding professional learning using these 5 Principles of Effective Professional Learning and allows teachers to explore powerful concepts in app development, programing, and creative design. Through this new professional learning we can see greater collaboration between teachers on lesson plans and so much more.
The 5 Principles of Effective Professional Learning
- Principle 1: The duration of professional development must be significant and ongoing to allow time for teachers to learn a new strategy and grapple with the implementation problem.
- Principle 2: There must be support for a teacher during the implementation stage that addresses the specific challenges of changing classroom practice.
- Principle 3: Teachers’ initial exposure to a concept should not be passive, but rather should engage teachers through varied approaches so they can participate actively in making sense of a new practice.
- Principle 4: Modeling has been found to be highly effective in helping teachers understand a new practice.
- Principle 5: The content presented to teachers shouldn’t be generic, but instead specific to the discipline or grade level.
A Better Look at the Why:
The videos below represent a fraction of the people that have taken meaningful lessons from coding and the ways they have impacted the world at large or maybe just the world around them.
The How… Professional Tools Used
I developed my video using 3 different tools:
The best part about this tool was its simplicity. All I needed to do was record and download and that was it. I made organizing my audio files so much smoother and cleaner.
This tool enabled me to download only the snippet of the full YouTube video I wanted. While it was comedy gold, I only needed some of the video.
The last tool I used is the free video editor, OpenShot. With its rather simple and sleek design, using their platform was very easy for me to use to design my video. Did I mention that it was free?
Andrews, T. M., Leonard, M. J., Colgrove, C. A., & Kalinowski, S. T. (2011). Active Learning Not Associated with Student Learning in a Random Sample of College Biology Courses. CBE Life Sciences Education, 10(4), 394–405. http://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.11-07-0061
Duarte, N. [Stanford Graduate School of Business]. (2013b, February 19). Nancy Duarte: How to create better visual presentations [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so9EJoQJc-0
Dwayne Harapnuik. (2021b, April 17). EDLD 5389 introduction [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Zr3u6D3OU
Goodwin, B. (2015). Research Says/Does Teacher Collaboration Promote Teacher Growth? Educational Leadership, 73(4), 82–83. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec15/vol73/num04/Does-Teacher-Collaboration-Promote-Teacher-Growth%C2%A2.aspx
Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the Teachers Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/system/files/2013-176_ProfessionalDevlopment.pdf
Sinek, S. [TEDx Talks]. (2009, September 28). Start with why: How great leaders inspire action [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA&t=164s