Three members of the AppsInClass team were chosen to pilot our district's student-centered Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pilot for the 2012-2013 school year: John Stevens, Mike Cloutier, and myself. Our pilot was quite successful, and as a result, Mike and I were asked to work with two other members of the AppsInClass team (Lee Grafton and Eddie Rivera - both Instructional Technology Specialists), to put together a training series to prepare teachers to make the shift to a BYOD environment, as well as utilize other cutting-edge technology to elevate the pedagogy in PSUSD classrooms. This coming academic year, our district plans to roll out some BYOD classrooms at every secondary school. Purchasing will be concentrated in provide supplementary devices to flesh out each sanctioned BYOD classroom, as well as increase the student-technology ratios at the elementary level.
As anyone who has ever written a tech plan or rolled out a new tech program knows, professional development is essential. The best P.D. is relevant, practical, hands-on, and teacher-driven, so that's just what our district asked us to develop and present/facilitate. Our district had already received a DigiCom grant to provide a four day digital storytelling workshop with the fabulous Bernajean Porter (DigiTales). I was lucky enough to help facilitate the first two days of the workshop, which was such an honor and a pleasure, before our own training series began. From that point, we offered eight additional days of training on each of the following subjects:
Presented by Jessica Pack and Lee Grafton/Bhavini Patel (Team 1) and Mike Cloutier and Eddie Rivera (Team2).
Presented by Jessica Pack and Mike Cloutier.
Presented by Mike Cloutier and Eddie Rivera.
Advanced Flipped Classroom
Presented by Lee Grafton, Jessica Pack, and Eddie Rivera. Resources housed on a private Haiku page.
Overall, I think the 10 day Technology Bootcamp was a huge success. Most encouraging to me was the knowledge that teachers in my district are truly enthusiastic about leveraging more student-centered technology in their classrooms to enhance learning. In every session, there was an almost palpable undercurrent of energy and excitement as doors to new pedagogical opportunities opened and professional horizons expanded. Now, as I sit here writing this blog post, I feel an overwhelming appreciation for the AppsInClass team, Palm Springs Unified, and all of the teachers who gave up a portion of their summer vacation to edge a little closer to #EduGeek.
What kind of professional development have you been able to participate in lately? What makes good P.D. from your standpoint? Continue the conversation by commenting on this post or hit me up on Twitter @Packwoman208.
By Jessica Pack