Tag Archives: professional development

Staff development: reciprocal link between feedback and encouragement

After helping organise a staff development day about 21st C Learning (more about that later), I find myself musing on the link between feedback and encouragement as reciprocal actions.

This was a day with mixed ability and experience staff, all encouraged to take the next step up on their education technology skills ladder. They did this in groups, led by a colleague who is more experienced.

Usually what happens with these ‘traditional-style’ staff development sessions is that a survey is sent the next week to staff (the ‘happy sheets‘). Did you find this useful? That’s interesting but not as interesting as Continue reading

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Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers

A few weeks ago, a Social Media Cheat Sheet was doing the round. A nice visualization of the pro’s & cons of each social media channel, but with a business/marketing focus. I thought I should do one for social media use in education. However for most of the teachers I work with, our Moodle (EIT Online) is still their primary online teaching environment. So instead I set out to create this poster size guide for teachers, allowing them to compare the functionality and pedagogical advantages of some standard Moodle tools, adding a column to indicate how tricky the tool is to set up.

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers (icon)

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers

Hope you find it useful. Would appreciate your feedback.

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers (PDF)

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Injenuity's Viral Professional Development

A very interesting post today by Injenuity, who articulated something I had been doing but didn’t really see as a strategy I was using – Viral Professional Development.

Just 3 examples of my PD which in the retrospectacles is VPD:

  • Used Moodle to prepare work for a F2F workshop and then collected participants’ brainstorm ideas in a Moodle Webpage. The teachers present saw this as one way of using Moodle in the classroom. They then suggested getting the students to type in the results, in case the teacher was a slow typist or to allow them opportunity to interact with the group.
  • Used Mindomo for a presentation on state of eLearning at our institution. After this, 2 teachers approached me wanting to know the tool I’d used.
  • Photographed results of a brainstorm-sticky-note session, which both admin & teachers present thought really useful.

So when is your professional development viral? When it’s:

  • catching – one teacher’s (or e-learning professional’s) enthousiasm spreads to others
  • effective – once it attaches to the host, it really sticks, ie teachers continue using what they’ve discovered or learned
  • evolving – it becomes more sophisticated as in the first example above where the teachers built on the idea.
  • ubiquitous – it’s everywhere and there are many ways to catch it – during a workshop, chatting over coffee in the staff room, reading about it in the newsletter
  • airborne – it can jump between institutions. With the many channels available to ed tech professionals & teachers to share their learning (blogs, del.icio.us, wikis, podcasts, videos, twitter), it’s easy for the virus to cross over.

Recently I have been looking at setting up an e-learning community of practice at our institution and think that VPD will be inherent in the CoP. A bit graphic perhaps, but I would see the CoP members as agents carrying the e-learning virus.

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