Today my district had a professional development day focused on content areas. We had 120 science teachers at my building. They really enjoyed the opportunities provided. In the morning, we had an opening session followed by three breakout sessions. Teachers selected three sessions to attend. The choices were:
- Creating Class Web Pages
- Designing Online Surveys
- Digital Lab Reports
- Emergency Lesson Plans
- Google Docs for collaboration
- Interactive Web Sites
- Moodle in the Classroom
- The Wii Multimedia Whiteboard
- Using Vernier Probes
Teachers from each school selected their three sessions (most schools decided what sessions each would attend so they caught every topic.) Presenters did not provide handouts, but showed how each tool is used and discussed the opportunities these tools provide for teachers to collaborate. Discussions also occurred around how the tools could be used with students.
After our lunch break, teachers came back together and collaborated as school department groups. Each group was asked to discuss how they can apply what was learned in the morning. Department teams focused on what can be used to collaborate as a department, how to use the information with students, and/or how individual teachers can collaborate with someone who teaches the same subject at a different school.
The highlight of my day happened when a visiting principal said he had taken detailed notes today and was going to share everything he learned with ALL the departments at his school. He thanked me for allowing him to observe and learn with his science teachers today.
What kind of Content Professional Development opportunities are available in your districts and schools?