Tweets, Common Core, Tech, & Streaming
A great professional development technique is letting educators tweet from presentations is a great way to share beyond the presentation walls. What they tweet in multiple 140 character statements will not only get around the Web, and PLNs, but it’s a fantastic way to archive snippets of professional development for future use and gather ideas. Do it on a live large screen at the presentation, or have a tweet historian keep record of all the tweets. You might be able to get rid of all those awful end-of-presentation surveys. Presentation leaders can be leaders after presentations, as well, just by having the audience follow them. That really should be a prerequisite.
Personal as well as a company a presence on Twitter is best, and that goes for schools and districts, too. Staff should be encouraged to share under personal Twitter handles, and develop and join PLNs, while school and district tweets can share news, events, and ideas.
Common Core forcing the tech issue—tipping point may be close.
Companies, foundations and districts teaching teachers, or providing professional development that doesn’t include technology need to get there fast. I see so many training sessions that still look so 1990s. While you can teach without wiring, or tech, there is no point in doing it today. If you think that what you’ve been doing for years will continue to work, I’ve got new for you. You may be the last to know that it doesn’t.
Experimenting with streaming professional development presentations, possibly as unconferences, should be a goal. While this may be a reach for most districts at this time, and possibly for some companies, it is something to put on a reachable shelf for the near future. I’ve seen some interesting approaches, already, using UStream and Adobe server options, and I’m sure there are others in the works. The technology isn’t perfected, and may cost to do it best, but it is something that will to happen.