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.