I was excited to work with other teachers directly on a collaborative project. I used this project as an opportunity to get to know Jen and Lina and to connect with them on a deeper level. I wanted to work with teachers who taught different levels/subjects than I do to get a varied perspective on professional development and teaching. Jen and Lina brought ideas to the planning process that I wouldn’t have thought of which is the benefit of a collaborative project. The ability to work with others outside of my own school is one of the benefits of COETAIL and shows how email and GoogleDocs can be used collaboratively.
Lina and I are both working on our GET certification, so we chose to create a 2-4 hour PD about Gsuite tools for the teachers in our schools. The tools teachers will learn about are Gmail, GoogleDocs, GoogleSheets, GoogleSlides, GoogleClassroom and GoogleEarth. We decided that these were the most relevant and useful tools for teachers. Google Classroom was new to me so my teammates were able to fill me in on how to use it during the creation of our project, which was great. Working on a collaborative project like this allowed each of us to complete our portion of the plan, yet still work together to share ideas to create a cohesive professional development plan. I enjoyed working on this type of project and would like to continue to use collaborative projects/lesson in the future.
We all have had to sit through PD courses that are not the most useful or practical. Which is why we agreed on a carousel early on in the planning stages, which would allow us to differentiate for teachers’ needs, but also allow us to leverage the “experts” on staff to guide others in the learning process. With 6 sessions to choose from, teachers could select the tools that most fit their needs. As with all technologies, there are varied level of competencies, so we chose to have both beginner and intermediate sessions to differentiate and allow for teachers to learn what they need.
As teachers, we tend to focus on students and their learning. Rightfully so as that is our job. Instead of teacher/learners being lectured to and told to do it, we would start with the Visible Thinking Routine “Connect Extend Challenge,” and refer back to it throughout the PD. This would allow them to guide their own learning, reflect on what they learned, and consider how they could continue to using Gsuite tools. I am glad that Lina thought to add the Visible Thinking Routine, as I have recently taken Project Zero’s Making Thinking Visible course and am interested merging tech with Visible Thinking Routines.
This is the type of PD I wish we had more of. Learning from each other and being able to choose what we want to learn about. If it works for kids, it works for adults.