What happens when you give teachers a day and a half to create with no boundaries?
LOTS OF THINGS HAPPEN AND THE THINGS THEY CREATE ARE AMAZING!
I had the privilege of assisting and learning from many Creekside teachers two weeks ago during our professional development days. We were given four different areas of teaching to create something in using a different part of technology. This form of professional development was very different than what our teachers are used to receiving. Usually we are told exactly what to do and how to do it, but this time, we were given only areas to look at and possible ideas. It was up to the individual teacher to create material for instruction, student projects, specific lessons, study tools, etc. Here are just a few things that were created.
*A set of geometry flash cards using www.quizlet.com for a sixth grade geometry unit. (This teacher had never heard of quizlet prior to these days. Ms. Kruse, you rock!)
*A prezi was created using www.prezi.com to introduce sixth grade social studies students to developed and developing countries. (This teacher had never created a prezi before. Ms. Maat, way to go!)
*Teachers created classroom accounts using www.edmodo.com to collaborate with students. One 7th grade social studies teacher saved an article as a pdf file and then uploaded it for students that had been absent for the lesson. (This teacher had never saved a document as a pdf and then uploaded to edmodo. Mrs. Dana, terrific work!)
*Teachers created imovies and keynote presentations using their iPads so they have had the experience before assigning these items to students once middle school students receive their ipads. (Teachers had never tried to create items with these iPad apps before. Exploratory staff, way to be ahead of the game!)
*A 7th grade math teacher signed up for an account on www.thatquiz.org so she can assess her students' assessments quickly and gather results immediately on a variety of different math topics. This will change her teaching as she will have immediate feedback as to what her students know and don't know after a lesson or before they start a new topic. (This teacher had never created an account so she could see students' results instantly. Ms. Carpenter, I'm very proud of you!)
When teachers are given time and the opportunity to create, amazing things happen. It doesn't matter that they have never heard of the tool before, it matters that they have time to explore, develop their ideas and create.
Whatexcites me the most is that this same thing will and does happen with students. Given time and the opportunity to create, students can and will do amazing things!