Planning for Teacher Professional Development Across the Curriculum Using Videoconferencing and a Blend of Technologies

Danny Maas

Project Coordinator, Videoconferencing Stakeholder Technology Branch, Alberta Education

Session Overview
• A snapshot of the research • Teacher PD • VC teaching, learning, meeting • Collaborative PD planning scenario • Group Share

What are elements of the best PD you’ve ever had?

Scenarios – Start thinking about how you would plan for these scenarios

Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon (2001)
3 Core Features of Effective Teacher PD:
1. Focusing on content – specific content, teaching strategies, and how students learn were focused on 2. Active learning through the PD activity – observing and being observed teaching, planning for classroom implementation, reviewing student work (through discussions and examples), and presenting/leading 3. Coherence - activities which built upon one another in subsequent activities, aligned district/provincial standards, sharing solutions/ideas/reflections through discussion

Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon (2001)
3 Structural Features of Effective Teacher PD:
1. ‘Modern’ activity structures – study groups, mentoring, coaching (as opposed to those disconnected from the classroom or which did not provide sufficient time/activities/content necessary for fostering meaningful change) 2. Collective participation – groups of teachers with rich discussions, more ideas, more questions asked and answered as opposed to isolated individual 3. Duration – PD activities over a sustained period of time allows for deeper discussions/reflections, more content/teaching strategies, more time to try out/receive feedback on their teaching

Educational Videoconferencing
What we’ve learned about effective teaching, learning, & meeting with VC
• Logistics of VC communication – time delay, speaking order,

transactional distance, camera operation

Educational Videoconferencing
What we’ve learned about effective teaching, learning, & meeting with VC
• Need for a prepared facilitator at each site and one LEAD

facilitator

Educational Videoconferencing
What we’ve learned about effective teaching, learning, & meeting with VC
• Establish, communicate, monitor, assess session goals

Educational Videoconferencing
What we’ve learned about effective teaching, learning, & meeting with VC
• Blend of technologies – shared interactive

whiteboard/desktop, document camera, multimedia, online tools (blogs, wikis, online courseware)

Educational Videoconferencing
What we’ve learned about effective teaching, learning, & meeting with VC
• Planned participant engagement strategies

• Chunk ideas/content into meaningful portions • Planned interactions during/between portions (numerous
people talking)

Educational Videoconferencing
What we’ve learned about effective teaching, learning, & meeting with VC
• Technical support/testing

• Communicate plans with your tech early • Full testing • Have a backup plan

Educational Videoconferencing
What we’ve learned about effective teaching, learning, & meeting with VC
• Materials at each site

Educational Videoconferencing
What we’ve learned about effective teaching, learning, & meeting with VC
• Guest presenters? Prepare them!

Considerations for using a blend of technologies

Shared interactive whiteboards/desktops

•Test this out at every site well in advance •Set up connection 30 minutes before session •Screen size – can everyone see? •Video •Training •
Online learning spaces

•FOIP •Housed on a district server •Blog SPAM

One model for organizing a PD experience

Group Collaboration Trust Multiple Experiences

Scenarios – Given what you’ve seen and discussed, how would you plan for these scenarios?

Your Task
• • •
Choose a scenario Your group is the planning committee Applying the ideas on PD core features, PD structural features, and VC research, sketch out a plan for how you would actually structure the PD activity (or activities)

•Pre-activity planning •Activity structure(s) • •
It does not need to be perfect or complete Consider the barriers and how they might be overcome

Your Roles

Group Share
• • •
Key features only Challenges/uncertainties 2 stars and a wish – peers share two things they like about your scenario planning and one wish or suggestion they would share to improve your scenario planning

http://www.2learn.ca/VCRLN/

http://www.vcalberta.ca/socialnet

http://www.vcalberta.ca/elevate20

Final Advice
• • •
Start simple Plan & over plan Give yourself a deadline to lead a PD activity