Tuesday we had our first after school professional development VC about something other than videoconferencing. We’re doing a series as part of the RUS grant. I know you’re wondering, so, sorry, I am only offering this for our county this year. But feel free to take the idea and do it locally! The Lorain County Distance Learning Consortium is offering programs like this too (for their members).
Tuesday’s session was on Best Tech Tools. Kevin Clark, Berrien County ISD Instructional Technology Consultant, facilitated a discussion of various tools and ways they are used or could be used in the curriculum in each participating building.
We had 28 teachers from 7 buildings in two sessions. Not bad for the first time. We switched between full screen showing Kevin’s computer, and the discussion format for sharing between the buildings. It was a neat low key informal conversation and worked well.
Here are some participant comments on how the VC part of the workshop worked for them:
Thanks for the great hour! I have heard of and played with many of the sites you showcased tonight, but I was madly making notes for myself as you went through things. Sitting in on sessions like this even when the particular sites aren’t new to me give me so many ideas.
Ten minutes after you finished up, three of the five of us had to be at the high school gym to play volleyball for a charitable function. Had we had to have gone anywhere, even to the ISD, we wouldn’t have been on time to play our first game. Just going to the library in your buildin beats the heck out of taking time out of the classroom to travel elsewhere to attend conferences.
Of course I enjoy videoconferencing. And I feel it makes learning more convenient and less expensive for everyone.
Seems we’ve hit on a format that will work well. Stay tuned for reports from future sessions. (And feel free to leave comments on how you’re using VC for PD in your area!!)