New Paradigm for Professional Development – Part 2

Work Towards Curating

In my last post, I wrote about the knowledge phase of changing your professional development model. In this first step, I encourage teachers to be consumers of content. In a nutshell, teachers use TweetChat to discover new teaching strategies and resources. Then, they incorporate this new information into their teaching practices. That’s it! It’s simple because it is meant to be a non-threatening starting place. I don’t want to trivialize this because using Twitter to improve teaching practices is huge. So, this process of having teachers use TweetChat to find resources is simple but very powerful.

When teachers are fully onboard with the consuming phase, I move to curating. Teachers can curate and share resources in a zillion different ways. Here’s the two ways I promote. The more challenging of the two is using a school hashtag and using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to discover tweets by colleagues. For you pro Twitter users this may seem so simple. But, for teachers just learning Twitter, this is a huge leap. An easier to implement curation strategy is to create a Diigo group. This takes a little training but teachers quickly learn how to bookmark teaching resources and the growing list is a huge benefit to your school.

New Paradigm for Professional Development

Then Create

Teachers who become comfortable with curating content for their colleagues soon become ready for more. Now move to the creating stage. This is the part when teachers start writing their own blogs and creating their own content. Facilitate and encourage this by helping with spaces to create. Set up a private social network for you school with Yammer, Ning, Wall.fm, etc. Creating is not only the top of Bloom’s but is also the highest level of autonomous professional development.
When moving from traditional professional development to self-directed, relevant PD, I encourage you to follow the Consume, Curate, Create model.
Let me know what you think…post a comment below.