How often have we sat in a Staff Meeting or Professional Development day and listened to the talk turn into a complaint session with no real solutions being offered?
I have one suggestion, join Twitter and start tweeting. This has been an invaluable tool for me. I started about a month ago professionally, meaning before that it was mostly sports, celebs, and leisure activities. I am not an expert, and I make mistakes. I have messed up hashtags and @ signs and have learned they are not the same or used for the same reason. I follow more than follow me. I have also learned more in the last month then ever before and have been exposed to so many fresh ideas. These ideas I bring right into the classroom, which means the students are being exposed to some of the newest and brightest ideas out there.
Imagine going to a faculty meeting and hearing great ideas in 140 characters or less from everyone. If you can’t say it in 140 characters, chances are, it is not worth saying. Contributors are adding ideas, including links to items that are of interest. These people love to learn and have a passion for learning, not just educating. They welcome change, love to try new things, and are not there to tell you how they do it in their room and “all the kids love it.” These are the people that you want around you, sounding boards that are so current they actually change by the minute. They are reflective teachers that are constantly looking to improve.
Quite often if we can take ONE thing away from professional development we say it has been valuable. Well in one month, and 100 tweets these are some of the gems that I have learned about and used in my classroom.
GoNoodle: This is a great resource that teachers can use to get the students up and moving. It can also be used to let the students focus and teaches them to calm down. This program builds self confidence. It is an excellent program to use with a whiteboard and a projector.
Backchanneling: This is the process of learning what the students know by having them respond with devices and showing those results to the class on the whiteboard. Socrative is a great platform for this type of assessment.
Snapshot through Edmodo is an outstanding resource that can show data broken down by Common Core Standards. Snapshot has great upside and I look forward to seeing how great it can be.
Genius Hour: Great way to energize a room full of third graders in the last months before school ends. Keeping track of it with Trello.com is a bonus.
Again, this is one month or 100 tweets and if you are not on twitter you are missing out on some of the most current and innovative solutions for a classroom. Get on, break the egg, and start real professional development.