Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Staff PD Experience...

On Jan. 25th I gave a short PD session to my staff. It was a bit rushed and I had a few troubles, but I believe it to be a success.

I started with discovery learning. I got every staff member to log in and go to the website. I showed them how easy it was to find videos, what grade levels, different subjects, the whole works. A few of them were quite impressed. I have to kinda chuckle at that, because for the amount of times I have sent out notes, told each of them individually or in staff meetings about Discovery Learning, they seemed really shocked - it is as though they never looked at it before - funny huh?

Then I continued on with the Luseland School website, Miss Cameron's website, then the Luseland School Library Wikispace - which is really well done by one of our resident computer wizards Mrs. Olfert! Kudos! I showed them how a wikispace works, and lead into my own wikispace. I showed them the links I have - which was the links from our in school tech support wikispace - thanks Donna! I have added some of my own as well, but the majority came from there. The teachers seemed really impressed! The wow's I saw and heard were satisfying.

I showed my staff imagechef, cartoon machine, animoto, Piczo, bubbleshare, and a few more. I left that for them to play with. Maybe I will do some more on that stuff once I get more time during another PD. But I did tell my staff about how relevant it all is, how I have used it in my classes, a couple examples of how they could use it in different subject areas. Since I was running short on time, I talked to them about how there is a teacher in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick area that is using Piczo as his website as he teaches a music class online, over the Internet to students across that area. That got some "cool"'s and some "I never knew you could do that"'s. Again, very satisfying.

Then I talked to them about my classblogmeister. How I have used it, how it is protected, how everything goes through me, how to address issues of privacy, etc. Then I got into my professional blog. There have been only a few that have really looked on my blog and now there are many more. It is great that more of my staff know how to get on here and read my posts. I showed them how to comment, and how to make a Google account so that they can post comments. I wanted to get more into it but was again, running short on time. Next time!

Lastly, I showed them Centralischool. The web resources, how I use it for science 9, how another teacher in my school has been using it for History 10,20,30. Wonderful things, those online resources. My older post about re-inventing the wheel gets into it more....

Now for reflection.....
I am only going to be positive. It is a start. I cannot judge myself too harshly on my first ever staff PD experience. It is a growing thing that will only get better with time. The reactions I focused on were the positive ones, and I will thrive from those. The ones that were not so positive, and mostly nonchalant, I will ignore until I get more time to focus on technology that will hopefully intrigue those few. My teaching skills grow with each new experience as a teacher in general, and as a presenter. I know I felt a bit nervous in front of my whole staff, trying to not stumble on my words, to be prepared and not make a total fool of myself. I do not present in front of adults often so it was definitally a learning experience. Of course I became more comfortable near the end, and the next time will be much better. I just needed more time. I really feel that giving my staff too much too soon would not have been better, but that if I had more time to concentrate on a few specific things, then that would have been beneficial. All in all the experience was a good one, and I am actually looking forward to doing it again soon. If you have not done this with your staff yet, my only suggestion would be to take no more than 2-3 things and concentrate on that, and leave the other things until next time. Overwhelming leads to resentment. Keep it short, simple, and be enthusiastic!!! It is infectuous!