Professional Learning Plan Outline: ePortfolios

I’ve included a snapshot and link of my PL Outline for the professional learning related to my ePortfolio initiative.  I have developed a month by month plan of the learning that teachers and administrators with be a part of, while developing and helping students develop their ePortfolios.  My innovation plan goal is for students to develop an ePortfolio to reflect, collaborate and make meaningful connections through the learning process to prepare them for post-secondary life by enabling them to be lifelong learners.

PL OUTLINE

 

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Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

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To be comfortable with being uncomfortable means that an individual is okay and willing to be challenged and take risks. Adjusting to something new or trying something new can be scary. I feel that as teachers, we all need to be able to adjust. Whether it’s teaching a new class, getting a new student, or having a class completely miss how a certain skill or concept that was taught. We need to be flexible and willing to change b to best help our students. Our goal is to help our students be successful and changing to meet their needs is the answer.

I believe that with be open to something new or accepting challenges, an individual needs to be okay with making mistakes. I tell my students that everyone make mistakes, no one is perfect. If I’m solving an equation or expression on the board and I accidentally write the wrong number and a student corrects me, I thank them. I try to let students know that mistakes happen all that time and it’s not a bad thing. It can be a learning experience. I really feel that that’s how learning really sticks. If I make a mistake and I learn from it, it helps me to make a more meaningful connection to the skill or content. Reminding students that they will need to continue to learn even after they leave school and with learning comes mistakes.

Students need to always be encouraged to want to learn and become lifelong learners, so they can be prepared for their future. Whether they are in a school setting or work setting, learning is constant. If students want to be successful in any post-secondary they need to be willing and want to learn. If they don’t become lifelong learners they might get fired, from a job, because they don’t read want to read the new protocol they’ve been given. If they aren’t open to taking a risk they might not apply for a job or school that they really want because they are nervous about not getting in or it being too challenging.

To encourage this, I really think that co-learning models that you are a teacher and still wanting to learn. Students see teachers as ones that know all and that isn’t the case. Letting students know that you a teacher is willing to learn, accept that they don’t know everything and are will to be challenged will encourage them to be lifelong learners as well.

Professional Learning: Call to Action

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Step 1: The Call to Action

 

PL: Call to Action

Step 2: What is the Story behind the Story

The Why:

I don’t believe I can take anymore of the standard PD days anymore.  With some of the classes I’ve taken, especially this course, I now feel like I can do something about it.  I want to show my school that professional learning can take place and be enjoyable.  I want them to feel like they are getting something out of it and that it is relevant.  Most importantly, I want my co-workers to feel like they have a choice in their learning.  I mean isn’t that what we preach to students?  If we want our students to learn that way, shouldn’t we?

My school primarily does a set and get, one size fits all professional development.  Although they haven’t really been innovative with this, they have shown that they are open to change.  Just recently they supplied Chromebooks to all students.  After this, they switched our learn platform from Blackboard to Canvas.  To prepare teachers, they had multiple sessions some that were just sit and get while others were go and show.  They also had multiple sessions that cover a variety or needs for teachers.  Lastly, they appointed a teacher to the be the “Canvas Guru”.

All these little steps make me feel that they will be open to switching things up, with professional learning.  Soon, I will be moving forward with my ePortfolio initiative and I want to ensure that teacher feel like they are truly getting something out of my presentations and that they want to continue using ePortfolios in the classroom.  I don’t want to be the presenter that has to fight for the audience’s attention.  I really want profession development days to be seen as a positive experience.

The What:

My what is the video above.  The video captures the ideas about professional development now and how it can be changed by incorporating the five principals of effective professional development.  I plan on showing this video to my co-workers, in hopes that professional development will change.

The How:

I started this plan about alternate professional learning about my call to action, with a script.  I usually type all of my assignments on Google Docs or straight to WordPress, but for scripts, I’d rather not click from tap to tap, between the document and the video production program.  For my script, I decided to write in down on paper.

After I finished my script, I was then ready to create my video.  I used Adobe Spark, because I used it in the past and really enjoyed working with the program.  When creating the video on my call to action, I needed to find pictures to go with my script.  I used Pixabay, because the pictures are free and don’t need to be cited.  The awesome thing about Adobe Spark is that when recording, the individual doesn’t need to be pressured to keep each slide up for a certain time frame.  The user just chooses a picture and then records what they want the audience to hear, when they are looking at the particular slide.

My video was also complete, now I needed to connect my script and pictures to be one cohesive entity.  My computer had some issues with the microphone, but I was able to get that resolved.  When the video was completed, I created a post and added it.  After completing the video, I then needed to create my why, what and how.

References:

Adobe Spark. Free graphic design app. Retrieved from https://spark.adobe.com/

Collection of Professional Learning Cliparts (39). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://clipart-library.com/professional-learning-cliparts.html

Duarte, N. (2013). Resonate: Present visual stories that transform audiences. John Wiley & Sons. An online media version of Resonate can be accessed for free at http://resonate.duarte.com/#!page0

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/Professional%20Development.pdf

Pixabay. Free images. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/

The Hook

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When thinking about how to start a presentation for professional learning, the  How to Begin a Presentation video with Simon Sinek really resonated with me.  When trying to create change someone should start with a story and most importantly is “to come with the spirit of giving.” (Sinek, 2015) I’m not sure how anyone else feels but I honestly hate when someone is being a pushy salesman and trying to sell me something.  I’m very strong minded and do what I want, so when someone is trying to sell me something, I’m completely turned off to the at idea.  When I’ve walked into stores and someone tried this tactic and it just make me want to run away.  It’s gives me a super uncomfortable feeling and I definitely don’t enjoy it, so I would never want to create change by using this strategy.

By starting with a story, it gives the audience a way to connect to the the change you are trying to create.  It opens up the audience to being accepting this change in a no pressure situation, rather than feeling forced.  I know that I want to feel that I have a choice and I’m sure others feel the same.  In past courses, I’ve learned that leading with that heart can really create change.  The head won’t go where the heart hasn’t been.

As much as we like to think, we are not the heros.  We are the mentors that guide the audience along through this presentation and process of change.  I would start with my story.  After watching the videos this week, it helped me to keep in mind to keys details and dos and don’ts.  I would then bring up what it currently is and what it could be.  I would remind them of the obstacles that we all face and offer a solution to get through those obstacles.  I think that by sharing a relatable personal story, bringing up a relatable roadblock and offering a solution will help to create change and help our students be successful.

I feel that I’ve have been given so much useful information and hope the be able to develop an effective call to action for alternative professional learning.

References:

Sinek, S. (2015, May 5). How to begin your presentation [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/e80BbX05D7Y

Tedx Talks. (December 10, 2010). Tedxeast- Nancy duarte uncovers common structure of greatest communicators 11/11/2010 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nYFpuc2Umk&feature=youtu.be

Collaborate with the End Goal in Mind

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I think that collaboration is always a great strategy to see other view points, but it sometimes individuals collaborate for the sake of collaborating.  I think that the key is to keep the end goal in mind.  By letting this goal lead the professional learning and working backwards, collaborating can assist with learning new, helpful strategies.  Collaboration between teachers is helpful, but it think it’s equally as helpful when the administration is involved.  With any change or initiative, such as specific professional learning, it’s important for administration to see why the change is necessary not just hear about it. It usually hard to convince administration to change, but I would suggest in addition to having them participate in the professional learning, that they observe classrooms after the learning to see the true impact.

I’m currently in a co-taught classroom for my algebra class and I absolutely love it.  My co-teacher and I are able to collaborate when planning, teaching and assisting the students.  With a majority of our students being struggling learners, we really need to look at their needs and address them in a way that is favorable and easier to comprehend, for the student.  When collaboration is done correctly, it shows success across the board.

In the OCSB video, they had teacher-led professional learning.  This allowed for teachers to think of their needs, share ideas, and have a more hands-on approach to learning.  In my opinion, I feel that I’d be more invested in learning strategies related to my specific needs, rather than a “one size fits all” lecture.  The one aspect of the video I really enjoyed was that along with it being teacher-led learning, the one teacher saw it as student driven, pretty much fusing that it’s a student/teacher-led learning.  Letting the students be in the driver’s seat really helps to have a COVA classroom and allows for more meaningful learning.

The OCSB video really gave me the reassurance that my innovation plan is helping to prepare my students for the new way of learning.  I really feel that teachers need to prepare our high school students for the future, by preparing them for their post-secondary lives and to be lifelong learners.  I really feel that ePortfolios will assist students in this process.  If we were to have this opportunity, I would definitely share this need of my students and how to address this need.

Reference:

Edcan Network Le Reseau Edcan. (May 19, 2016). Innovation that sticks case study – OCSB: Collaborative professional development [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUusuw-xdr4&feature=youtu.be

How Do You Work This Thing?

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The Review of The Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth about Our Quest for Teacher Development stated:

The description of district and teacher investment in professional development is followed by an analysis linking improvement in teacher evaluation scores to particular formats of professional development. The authors begin by noting that teachers seldom improve; only about 30 30% of public school teachers raised their standardized test scores during the years of the study, around 20% declined in performance, and approximately 50% remained stable (p. 13). (Hill, 2015)

I really can’t imagine all of teachers’ and administrators’ time being practically wasted.  Teachers and administrator learn and/or plan ant to possibly have a decline in process can be a crushing thought.

When I hear the words “professional development”, I’m usually overcome with a sense of dread.  For a long time, I really felt like it was a “filler” during our in-service days and mandated professional development days that my district has once per month.  Up until this year, everything that I learned, during professional development was with not relevant to me or sounded like a good idea but I never followed through with it.  In Empowering the Teacher Technophone Ted Talk with Kristin Daniels , she mentions that after being taught information during a professional development session is simply not enough.  When I was watching the video, I could totally relate.  There have been some things in professional development that I thought I could use in the classroom, but the same question would keep appearing.  Where do I begin?

Professional development is not and should not be “one and done”.  If this is truly a strategy or program that an individual or group that wants a district to learn, they must continue to provide support to help those individuals trying the newly taught strategy or program.  By providing merely the professional development session, it is ineffective.  Kristin Daniels stated that teachers need the assistance when they take the knowledge back to their classroom, during the application phase.  Previously in this post, I stated that I considered professional development to be ineffective prior to this year, but this year I was able to be a part of professional development being done right.  Recently, my school district switched out learning platforms from Blackboard to Canvas.  This was quite an overwhelming change for the district because teachers had all of their materials on this platform, along with the confidence of how to use it.  My district offered professional development in the beginning, but also continued to offer support on how to get started and how to keep up with the platform.  Administration appointed a fellow employee to be the “Canvas Guru”.  We were offered many more opportunities to train, but also time to meet with this individual one-on-one to get assistance.  This follow-up is on-going and helped me to find direction with this program and to keep me on track. I was able to ask specific questions related to my needs and get ideas for using it in my classroom.

All schools are composed of teachers ranging from low-tech to high-tech ability.  I would consider myself to have high-tech ability but I’m not living up to it.  The quote that popped into my head is one that I say to some of my students: “you’re not living up to your potential”. I’ve been working with the new learning platform and, as of recent, a new math program for my students.  I feel that I’m making steps in the right direction, but I need to continue because I know I’m capable of much more. I think that if I were propose my innovation plan, to implement ePortfolios school-wide, I would be showcasing my tech ability.  I would have to say that my co-workers are mid-level tech.  Everyone has really been stepping up their game, with this new learning platform.

I truly feel that my district is starting to dabble with alternative approaches to professional development.  They created a position for my co-worker to learn about Canvas, to use it, to help others with developing their Canvas page, and even stop into classrooms to provide feedback.  This has extended far beyond the one workshop we had last school year.  This continued assistance has helped so many teachers with the consistent usage of Canvas.  My hope is that administration takes this one positive experience with Canvas as the framework for professional development and the standard way to introduce, teach and foster new strategies and/or programs.

References:

Daniels, K. (2013, November 6). Empowering the teacher technophobe: Kristin Daniels at TEDxBurnsvilleED [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puiNcIFJTCU&feature=youtu.be

Heather Hill. (2015). Review of the mirage: Confronting the hard truth about our quest for teacher development. Harvard graduate school of education. Retrieved from http://www.greatlakescenter.org/docs/Think_Twice/TT-Hill-TNTP.pdf