To add to that idea, I read a post by Patrick Larkin, Burlington High School Principal, about their flipping the Smackdown to the beginning of their Professional Development as a preview for their breakout sessions.
Our Collaboration Coaches, are just the people to introduce this idea to. They are passionate learners, collaborators, and focus on creating student-centered classrooms.
Our version of a Web 2.0 Smackdown
Any participants could share whatever tools/resources connecting to lesson improvement, coaching skills, or tech integration. The process:
- Submit topic and link to your visuals before we meet (collected in a Google Form).
- On the day we meet, present for 2 minutes live or show a recorded "trailer" for us.
- After smackdown, we'll vote for one to learn more about.
Here's what they shared:
- MuseumBox, a tool that helps make a collection (anything from text files to movies) on any given topic, shared by Bethany Myers.
- SpicyNodes, an interactive mindmap which is fabulous for supporting ideas or giving resources, shared by Valinda Wells via her Screenr:
- Screenr, a web-based screen recorder that captures anything on your screen and your voice, shared by Tina Jada.
- Twitter Chats, focused discussions/professional development on Twitter that takes place at designated times, shared by Shauna Hamman.
- Sqworl, to create collections of bookmarks on the topic of your choice, shared by Amber Moore.
- Interactive Websites, oodles and oodles of resources for your subject matter, shared by Patti Carpenter.
- Wacky Web Tales, is like a Mad Libs where you fill in parts of speech for a story, shared by Gina Fraher. Fraher also shared a Mad Libs widget to add to your blog.
Their enthusiasm as they shared the impact this made on their learners was awesome. It didn't matter which we voted for because we all heard many new ideas, tools, and resources.
It was also encouraging to see how this group of educators took to a Web 2.0 Smackdown so readily. I am grateful that we have a culture that:
- encourages us to try new ideas
- focuses on our learners
- engages us as active participants
- fosters leadership
- cultivates learning
- promotes collaboration
- How does allowing the teachers to step into leadership roles impact the educators' active participation in professional development?
- How does their shared ideas reflect our focus on 21st century learner-centered classrooms?
- What would you like to add to the list, share back to our coaches, or add to this discussion?