Twitter as Choose your Own Professional Development

There you have it – COPD. Choose your own PD.

Yesterday I received the following tweet:

Dear #PLN, who might be interested in sharing their expertise on assessment with some colleagues? Would you, @mraspinall , @kmalandruccolo

— Robin Dubiel (@RobinDubiel) February 10, 2014


And I quickly shared:

@RobinDubiel Any particular subject area? Immediately I think of @Socrative and byod.

— Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall) February 10, 2014


@RobinDubiel try polleverywhere, quizlet & kwiqpoll too-maybe google forms ? Sounds like you want a quick way to check for prior knowkedge.

— Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall) February 10, 2014


Now I have no idea if Robin has used Socrative before but that’s beside the point. Robin was searching for resources from people in her PLN and was willing to explore new ideas.

Now, imagine you were sitting in a meeting on a PA Day and told about a new app. “Today I am going to show you (magical-app-name-here)”. How likely are you to want to give it a try? Sounds like something new is being added to the plate.

If a teacher, new to Socrative, seeks it out on her own, she is more likely to use it in the classroom. We need apps for our own specific needs, not because of the bells and whistles they offer.

I have read a few articles recently about PD Days beginning to resemble the edcamp model. People willing to share can host a session at a specific time in a specific room and other teachers with similar interests may choose to attend. This model just makes sense. I don’t want to sit in on a session about “magical-app-name” when I can figure it out myself in a quarter of the time. Teachers have such a varying skillset that PD should be about their own needs in the moment.

If we give our students so much choice in their learning nowadays, why can’t the same be true for teachers?

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2 Responses for this post

  1. dougpete
    | |

    I think, in so many ways, the PA Day that you describe is a “check mark” on someone’s job descriptor. As you note, there are questions about stick-to-it-ive-ness in that approach. The ultimate irony is a full day sit ‘n git on differentiated instruction. Is our culture ready for the Edcamp approach for everyone?


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