Disrupting Professional Development

The beauty of the K12 online conference is that you don’t need to panic that you haven’t been able to keep up. It doesn’t matter. The presentations are all there waiting for you. While online learning implies an anywhere, anytime approach, there is great value in sharing the experience face to face. Duh.

So on Tuesday I invited a few folks together to watch some presentations, talk about them and share our own experiences. It was good. There were people there for whom they had never heard of many of the ideas and really needed to wrap their heads around the implications for teaching and learning. For those without a network to support them, this is invaluable. Even if one person can come away with a plan or at least a connection, I’m pleased.

And here’s the other thing. Traditionally we send a teacher to a local conference, pay sub costs, registration fees, mileage, meals and maybe accommodation. You can conservatively estimate a cost of about $500 a day.  I brought it supper at about $10 a person and I would say we had an experience, equal if not better than a day at your typical conference. I’m in the midst of reading Disrupting Class and Scott McLeod’s presentation deals with some of the ideas in this book. This is really an example of disruptive professional development.

I’d encourage you to plan your own local events. Use the essential questions at the bottom of each presentation to guide you. If you have something in the works or just want to flesh out the ideas some more, leave a comment.

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  • This is a great idea… Simple, effective, and easily duplicated!

    Nicely done!

  • Nice job, Dean. A simple idea that works to create a local PLN and can begin some viral learning. Thanks for sharing it.

    Scott S. Floyds last blog post..Using the “Bible” as the Ultimate Electronic Textbook Template

  • Dave
  • Damn your good.

    Dean Grooms last blog post..Animal Farm 2.0 – Reading and Talking in Google Docs

  • Kevin Jarrett

    Dean, thank you – this post, which led me to Scott’s, and a few other places, helped me crystallize something that has been rattling around in my head for weeks. The result is here:


    Would love your thoughts and comments!

    Best, kj

  • I think it’s a great model for professional development and conferences in general because you’re able to digest the material as time allows and you can step in and out of sessions without being stuck if it doesn’t turn out to be of interest to you.

    Mathews last blog post..Film School for Video Podcasters

  • Jody Watson

    It is funny (and depressing at the same time) that school divisions are not looking at this more. It is a great way to save money and allows people to do it on there time. Students benefit from this because they don’t lose their teachers, for a day or a group of days. To me this makes sense.

  • I wonder if a a few smaller schools (or independent schools, which are not connected to a district in my case) would want to do something like this, include some of the same sessions at each local school, then schedule a common, live discussion time between the schools at a later date using Elluminate, Wimba, something similar, or even just a plain old conference call.

    I realize there are places to already do this asynchronously, but some of the people whom I’d like to serve at my school would rather have live conversation than use async online tools.

    Bill Campbells last blog post..Do students really know how to read online?

  • Wow! Now that is a good idea. It’s one of those “Gee, if only I’d thought of that first” things. What a great way to collaborate, reflect, or introduce some funky new ideas to people who may never have realised they existed.

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