Professional Development Workshop! Yesterday my colleague, Melanie Hood-Wilson, and I worked with a group of middle school teachers from Union Avenue Middle School in Irvington, NJ on data-driven lesson planning.
First, the teachers joined the LearningFront online community and learned its social media tools for collaborating within their school and around the world. Second, all participating teachers used the professional development tool, TaskBuilderOnline, to plan and develop a data-driven lesson plan based on NJ content standards, data about their students’ performances, and proven practices and data analysis templates available in TaskBuilderOnline. As part of this process, the teachers accessed WikiTasks of other data-driven lessons developed by LearningFront members from other schools. Since the social media tools are integrated with TaskBuilderOnline, the teachers used them to share their draft lessons with workshop peers and provide feedback to each other about their lessons during the workshop.
When I started this workshop, I asked the teachers: “How many of you have a Facebook account? A Twitter account?” Not one teacher raised a hand! At the end of this workshop, they had learned all of the skills needed for any social media application and for developing a data-driven lesson plan for their classrooms that could be shared and updated through social media and online professional tools -- now that’s the power of combining people, teaching, and technology to improve learning!