Lately, I've been sharing with several people about a summer PD activity we did a few years ago for our teachers. I want to share the details in this blog post, and encourage you to give it a try.
Holly Sutherland and I were working at the same school at the time, and we offered a summer book study of two books, Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and Do You Know Enough About Me to teach Me? By Stephen Peters. Our teachers let us know if they wanted to participate in a book study, and we ordered a book for those who wanted to join us.
The format of the book study was the similar for both. For each book, we would meet 3 times. The first and last meetings would be in someone’s home or at the school. The second meeting would be “on Twitter.”
For the meetings on twitter, those who wanted to meet in person met us at the local Panera Bread 30 minutes before our start time so that we could get everyone signed on to twitter and ready to go. (The really neat thing was that both authors joined us for the chats!)
Below you can see some of the tweets from the book chats:
To host the book chat on twitter, we needed a hashtag. We created one that was unique and shared it with the group, and we agreed on a "meeting time" on twitter. Everyone used the same hashtag to follow the conversation about the book.
You can see from above that we had someone join us who was not a teacher at our school, and that was a cool way for our teachers to see the power of connecting with other educators on twitter!
For our second book of the summer, Do You Know Enough About Me to Teach Me?, we had our third meeting at one of our teacher's homes.
At this meeting, she provided homemade popcorn + seasonings for our snack. Each of us wrote our goal for the next year on our snack bags. It was a really cool way for us to share our goals with each other!
For the last meeting, author Stephen Peters joined us via Skype to answer questions from our group. It was a powerful experience for two reasons: 1) to be able to talk with the book's author about such a meaningful topic was extremely moving and inspiring, and 2) it modeled for our teachers the ease of bringing in an expert via technology to create a deeper learning experience.
I'm forever grateful to these two authors for giving their time to our teachers. They created an awareness and understanding, and they empowered our teachers to keep striving for greatness for the benefit of our students.
If you need any assistance getting started with a book study on twitter, please contact me via email or twitter.