The 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 time—with real teachers.
Our 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.