I’m working on developing a system through which our staff can get the professional development they need at the time that they need it. Until then, they have to put up with me coming into staff meetings and team meetings to provide some PD.
But sometimes I can’t physically be at those meetings, either due to me being out at a conference trying to keep current or, as recently happened, due to family emergencies cropping up. Sometimes those meetings get moved or cancelled, but if I can swing it, I try to use technology to still allow professional learning to happen.
For example, at our junior high we are looking at differently literacy strategies to help students make meaning of whatever they read (or view, in the case of videos). The topic for last month was concept mapping, a strategy of which I am particularly fond because of its meaning- and connection-making goodness. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to physically attend the staff meeting at which I was to present this strategy. So what did I do instead? Write up some background knowledge and some small activities in a Google Doc and share it out via our junior high Google Classroom group for staff to complete during their team planning time:
I think modeling technology use in this way is an important thing for administrators to do, and I say “do” for a reason – it’s something that’s always acknowledged that admins should do, but it’s not something everyone always makes time to do. And I understand why – it involves a shift in how you go about your daily business, and it takes time and conscious effort to do that. And, that time and effort isn’t always something that’s at the front of your mind when you’re dealing with the everyday craziness of administrative life.
But modeling technology in this way for teachers gives them a visual and a process for how they can use technology with their own students, which, in the long run, is worth the time and effort.