The 2011-12 school year will be full of exciting opportunities for Professional Development at the special education satellite campuses I work with. Loosely based on the concept of teacher led Professional Development that has emerged from the grass roots EdCamp model. Teachers will be more involved in how they learn and hopefully, begin to implement this knowledge into already existing curricula.
These campuses will participate in "Project Based Learning for Teachers". This appears to be a radically new approach to Professional Development, as I have not yet been able to find other examples of this model. Teachers will work collaboratively across campuses to develop short media productions or presentations that cover an area of interest in education. They will be expected to learn new skill sets and utilize existing cloud utilities to create a final product over the course of six months. These projects will then be published and shared publicly (likely under a Creative Commons license) so that others may benefit. Some early suggestions for projects have included Digital Citizenship, Crisis Prevention Training and Social Emotional Studies. Teachers will develop their own ideas in small groups and I will facilitate and provide the necessary technical training and guidance. They will learn the technology skills and applications that can assist them on as needed basis for their individual projects. Thus, they will be gaining knowledge that is not only useful but applicable.
While the design of this model is based on the concept of an EdCamp there will a defined structure with set expectations to keep the project on track. Over the course of the summer, program leaders in each building, in conjunction myself, will develop a curriculum that adheres to NETS for Teachers with included expectations, milestones which need to be accomplished and a rubric for assessment. Teachers involved in the project will be eligible for Professional Growth Units and some may even choose to use the project as part of their PDP. Additionally, the goal is to present the results at the 2012 ICE Conference.
The 2011-12 school year will certainly be one of new beginnings! I am extremely excited about the learning opportunities that will hopefully develop from this project! Not only for the teachers; but, for myself as well.