After attending EduTech a few weeks ago, I wrote a reflective post with my notes of the conference with a number of actions/goals I wanted to do, two of these were:
- Next SDD, teachers join and research a social media product they have never used before and present on the SDD
- Next SDD day is a FedEx (shipit) day! Come up with and implement one idea for improving the college. Then present back.
I also read a great post by Greg Miller on Unstructured and non-commissioned work. So, I had to try it and I have taken a risk and have been given permission to change our Staff Development Day.
I gave out the plan for Term 3 staff development day last Friday (4 weeks early) and staff were excited!
What is the plan?
There will be only 3 activities on the day
- a (very) short welcome and information
- 40 mins on a social media reflection
- 4 hours to work on an open "Improvement Day Project" and then time for reporting back.
Social Media Research and reflection
Staff have been give a task to research a social media product before the staff development day. The instructions I gave are below, I also gave out information about the College Edmodo site.
1. Join and engage in a social media website or application that you have not used before, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Flickr.
2. Share and support other staff that are looking at the same social media application, through Edmodo. This could include links, videos, organising time to get together to explore it together.
3. During the staff development day you will break into groups based on the social media you selected to discuss
- what it does
- why people would use it
- educational/learning uses
4 One member of each group will give a short 3 min outline back to the whole group about the media.
To develop an understanding of social media, what students are using and how it could be used for learning.
Why do it?
There are many reasons for do this activity on social media including
1. To get staff to use social media. To experience what it is like and how to use it, with the aim to better understand what teenagers (and other teachers) are doing online. Also to consider how it could be used for educational purposes.
2. To get staff to work with other staff outside their own faculties, to build a collaborative, learning culture
3. To use Edmodo to enable staff to experience how students use it and how they could use it in their own classrooms
Some staff will not want to use social media. There is a very wide range of social media usage and acceptance within staff. I have plans over the next few weeks to work with staff more challenged by this task.
Improvement Day Project
I have allocated 4 hours on the day for staff to work on an open project. The instructions I gave to staff are:
Work on a project/task to improve the College or learning. This can be individually or in groups. It can be anything as long as it is not related to your day-to-day work or lesson preparation.
To develop or work on a project/task that will make a difference to college life.
1. Brainstorm or select a project/task, this can be individually or in a small group
2. Learning Coordinators to collect an outline of projects by the end of Term 2
3. You will be given 4 hours of the Staff Development day to work on the project/task
4. You need to report back to staff/College about your project
Many companies are giving staff time to work on their own projects, giving staff this time allows them to develop ideas or passions. This un-commissioned work allows for more creativity.
How did I get staff onside?
I spoke with all the head teachers about what I was proposing for the day. I was pleasantly surprised how excited they all were and I met no resistance to the plan. I also offered to come and talk with learning areas about the day.
I have already had quite a few staff say to me instantly and with excitement, "I know what I'm going to do!" So, teachers know what needs to be done to improve the learning environment and they have passions! I will be very interested to see the project they end up deciding on.
So far the feedback has been very positive, I am looking forward to the conversation this will start over the next 4 weeks.