iNACOL 2015: Having Fun & Sharing Our PLN

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010The 2015 Blended and Online Learning Symposium Call for Proposals included this twist from iNACOL: “... priority will be given to sessions that provide an interactive format for attendees to engage in deeper learning on best practices, draw in participant experiences, and promote meaningful dialogue.”

Our session proposal on professional development took those words to heart.

As educators working outside the classroom to develop classroom resources, we keep up with the latest trends and ideas in education. Equally important, we listen to teachers as they navigate the world of education technology. The growth of new, individualized  opportunities in professional development—such as Twitter chats, EdCamps, and online learning—offers us a dynamic window on the world of teaching. We can listen, ask questions, and share, in real timewith real teachers.

859Our session was part of iNACOL 2015's P2P Exchange. Titled “The Changing World of Professional Development: Building Your PLN: Twitter, EdCamps, and Online Learning,” the session focused on how we've learned over the past few years. But we structured the session not to just share our ideas, but to draw on participant’s experiences and provide a forum for discussion. In the end, we learned as much from our participants as they did from us.

We structured the session as a mini EdCamp in three quick, round-robin discussions: Face-to-Face, Twitter, and Online Learning. Attendees discovered new opportunities and also participated directly in a Twitter chat, hearing firsthand from others about their experiences at EdCamps and in online learning, both formal and informal.

Our plan worked even better than we'd hoped: when the session ended, most participants went right on participating!

Here’s a look at how it all went down.

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We were thrilled to have the talents of SAS graphic recorder Lisa Morton (@Lisamoshow) to help illustrate both our session and the participant's ideas!

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Lucy Kosturko (@LucyKosturko) led the #P2Pchat, with an assist from Lee Ellen Harmer (@LeeEllenHarmer).

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Mimi Stapleton (@MimiStapleton) shared her enthusiasm and experience on conferences and #EdCamp.

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Yours truly (@RalphMoore_NC) dove into online course opportunities.

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So many great answers to the final question!

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Seriously, this was the group remaining almost 20 minutes after the session!

 

 

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About Author

Ralph Moore

Ralph Moore coordinates and conducts professional development for Curriculum Pathways. He works with schools and organizations around the country and has presented at conferences for organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. A former army officer and social studies teacher, he spent 10 years on the Curriculum Pathways humanities team creating new digital curriculum products.

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