Summer has officially started and so have the learning opportunities for our instructors. While summer training has its
challenges (vacations, other professional development sessions, classroom and curriculum revamping) and all draw on teachers’ time, it is the one time of the year to capture and focus attention on learning new things to improve instruction. Learning takes time and summer provides that extended time. Given that “this is the time!” as professional development providers/organizers, we want to ensure the sessions offered are worth the time and effort spent. This summer, we hit the mark!
During June, eleven instructors and staff members participated in iPhone Photography like a PRO with professional photographer, Holly Peevyhouse. Participants used their iPhones/Smartphones to learn tips and tricks on making images more interesting, how to use better lighting techniques and what Apps put the final touches on great picts. A repeat session is scheduled in July and I look for a larger audience given the success of the June workshop. The application of this workshop is geared toward teachers’ online materials and curriculum, making them more appealing for students. The “peas in the mashed potatoes” is the focus on subject matter and content while doing something fun and engaging. Not unlike what we hope our students experience!
Another great learning session was presented by Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity (http://www.speedofcreativity.org). The iPad Media Camp, a 2-day workshop, gave us amazing results! Twenty-two instructors experienced a blended, digital classroom while learning specific media creation strategies with iPads. Participants, in this highly interactive workshop, learned a variety of techniques for facilitating student media projects and managing student learning in a 1:1 environment. The resulting creativity and collaboration astounded everyone!
My belief is that once you learn a new skill or technique, you need the chance to “play” with that skill. So, we have scheduled 4 Open Lab times where teachers can come and simply work on anything they choose. Important to the success of Open Labs is the presence of help for technical and curriculum questions. If someone simply wants to talk through an idea… we are there to listen and make suggestions.
I feel confident that when someone asks our teachers, “What did you do this summer?” they will have not only a response but the proof to show them “I learned some amazing things!”