The Pro-D Flip

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"The Pro-D Flip by David Truss"

Since writing my 3 Keys to a Flipped Classroom blog post, I have been reading many great contributions to the discussion around flipping classrooms. Last week I was commenting on Lisa Nielsen’s thoughtful post Five Reasons I’m Not Flipping Over The Flipped Classroom and something occurred to me…

I have flipped my Professional Development!

I’ve done this with my blog and with Twitter.

Professional Development for me used to be about going to sessions on specific days and then trying to ‘bring back’ what I’ve learned and incorporate it into my daily practice. Sometimes this was very challenging, I would get inundated with new information and find it very hard to apply what I learned into what I did on a day-to-day basis. Often my notes would be filed away, not to be seen again.

The Old Way

Sign up -> Go to session -> Take (paper) notes -> File notes away (with intentions to go back to them) -> Repeat.

Now Pro-D seems to be different for me. The key thing is that I don’t ever wait for Professional Development Days or conferences to initiate learning opportunities. In fact, my Pro-D choices stem from what I’m already learning about on Twitter, and sharing in other learning spaces like my blog, Diigo, and Scoop.it.

The New Way

Follow links on Twitter -> Dig deeper then blog my ideas -> Seek related Pro-D opportunities -> Connect to other participants -> Share as I learn -> Consolidate ideas and blog again -> Follow links on Twitter…

 

Now, Professional Development needs to change to accommodate a new kind of learning journey that participants are on:

1. Share resources, and make connecting easy, ahead of time.

2. Make sessions about action not information.

3. Use the skills of the participants (have them not just participate, but also lead).

 

Examples:

1. Share resources/connecting ahead of time

2. Action, not information
  • Learning in Louisiana – I joined a team from November Learning to present to groups of teachers on the topics of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting, PLN’s and other Web2.0 tools. Most of the event was hands-on with teachers having a lot of time to try the tools out.
  • Flat Classroom Conference – Beijing 2011 – We broke into teams and developed our own flat projects. I haven’t followed up with our ‘Reportizens‘ project yet, but I do think this is something I would like to pursue!
3. Use participants skills
  • EduBloggerCon events which include a ‘Smackdown‘ where participants share tools they like in rapid succession.
  • Edcamp – “…an unconference devoted to K-12 Education issues and ideas. A new kind of professional development dedicated to giving educators a voice.”
Putting these three pieces together isn’t easy. If you pre-load too much before hand, not everyone will come prepared. If you are all about action and not information, then why do people need to come to your sessions? If you empower participants to lead, some will thrive on it, while others will wonder why they paid if they had to help run a session.
You can please some people some times, but you can’t please all the people all the time! 🙂
 
It is hard for a one-hour session or even a conference to meet the needs of every participant. That said, I do think there has been a shift in expectations as more educators have become connected learners. For me and for many others, the Pro-D session of old can no longer meet our learning needs. We have flipped our professional development and now we want, we expect, to be active participants in our learning before, during, and after a professional development session.

[Cross-posted on the David Truss :: Pair-a-Dimes for Your Thoughts blog]

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