PD that works

What are you looking for from professional development?

Most often we hear feedback that professional development needs to be engaging, practical, and actionable. One of the best ways we’ve found to make this happen is by putting classroom teachers in the driver’s’ seat. Who best to share their pedagogical practices with technology than the teachers using it every day in their classrooms?

This past week we held the first part of our Connect conference. Focusing on teachers from grades 2-6, Durham District School Board teachers came together to share what they’re doing in their classrooms with their colleagues. Almost 50 teachers contributed to sessions ranging from podcasts to inclusive technology tools. 200 teachers attended workshops that met their needs, ensuring the day was what good PD is: engaging, practical, and actionable.

We started by kicking it off with some Demo Slams by Mike McClenaghan (guided writing workflow for Google Docs), Angela Goodman (Chromebook dictation) and Sarah Keys (Google Earth “I’m feeling lucky” button). These brave, first-time slammers stepped outside their comfort zones and did an amazing job getting our conference going. Educational Technology Coaches were not only presenters, but also welcomed teachers into the Coaches Corner for one-on-one help, again ensuring that the day was offering what teachers needed to address their needs in leveraging digital with their learners.

Sharing on Twitter using #DDSBshift, participants had a lot to say:

We can’t wait to see the grade 7-12 teachers on March 7th for the second half of Connect 2019!

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