Thursday, October 27, 2011

Teaching Teachers to Improve Learning with Social Media


I often use the "TV Cooking Show" strategy when teaching teachers how to use integrated social media (SM) and professional development (PD) tools in our learning community. 

Step 1: Remind the audience about how a TV cooking show works:

  • Cooking TV Show Example: First, the TV chef shows a finished greek salad to help the audience envision the final product. Then, the chef takes the audience through the ingredients needed, steps to "prepare" the salad, and, finally, how to serve the salad. In some shows, the audience actually tastes the salad.

Step 2: Begin your demonstration of the integrated SM and PD tools in this manner:

  • Integrated SM and PD example: First, I show a quality standards-based lesson with results from a classroom implementation to help the audience envision the final product. Then, I take the teacher audience through the online PD tools and materials that a teacher used to construct the lesson and, finally, to share the lesson and results with integrated SM. In our case, the audience "tastes" the lesson by accessing it as a WikiTask to adopt or adapt for their classrooms.

Payoff: I think this process works effectively because it keeps the audience focused on teaching and student learning while learning how to use the integrated SM and PD tools. Teachers see how a lesson that produced positive student results was developed with integrated SM and PD tools in less time than conventional ways -- and was shared with teacher colleagues instantly.

I hope you can adapt this strategy in your PD efforts. Please let me know what you think and how it works for you.

Nick Hobar

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