Sometimes providing meaningful professional development can be challenging because everyone is hoping to achieve something different from the experience. This blog outlines an approach I have just used to meet the individual needs of my adult learners.
The question I am most commonly asked by colleagues is ‘What are the best Apps for teaching?’ There are so many Apps out there now that it is all about finding the right tool to support the particular learning goal.
So I invited my staff to take up a dating challenge. An email went out to staff asking them to use AnswerGarden to respond to the question ‘What happens on the third date?’ The responses were interesting and mostly socially acceptable.
Then the ‘Third date PD’ was promoted at the staff meeting. The PD session itself was split into two main parts.
First Date: Speed Dating with Technology
In the first 20 minutes, I introduced them to a wide variety of Apps for education and a few online tools, which they could use in their classes. They had a printed list of the core Apps (which can be found below) so they could write notes.
Second Date: PLAYDATE – People Learning & Asking Y Digital Age: Teacher Exploration
We then had one hour of playtime with the Apps where participants could explore and see which ones suited their purpose. Essentially, it was guilt-free downtime. The tools which most teachers downloaded immediately was the Google Chrome Momentum Desktop and Adobe Voice.
The PLAYDATE initiative was started in the U.S. and I first heard about it through an educational Podcast, where co-founder Jennie Magiera (@msmagiera) was talking about the new style of PD. I found it combined with the Speed Dating concept really well.
So what happens on the third date?
The third date is where the teachers’ trial an App they like in their classroom. Ultimately, this is where they will decide whether they want to go all the way with their chosen App and integrate it into their pedagogy.
The PD session next week will incorporate staff who went on the ‘third date’ as a result of participating in the PLAYDATE. They will each have a couple of minutes to present about their favourite App and what happened when they used it in the classroom.
Third Date Handout (PDF)