Thursday, December 3, 2015

One Idea for Carving Out Time for Teachers to Learn Technology

professional development

I want to share a simple idea that you can build upon, make your own, and customize for your own needs. 

This idea is a result of my own personal needs plus the needs of others that are often shared. 

So often I find myself guilty of not crossing the bridge between the "knowing-doing" gap. 

For example, "I know I should go work out, but do I? No."

or... can you relate to this?

"I know that if I work on this project a little bit each day it will reduce stress and anxiety as the deadline approaches. But do I? No."

Personally, I like to be busy and productive, I don't mind hard work, and I don't like to complain about workload. Because of this, I usually get a lot done, and one of my secrets is MAKING time for what I need to do. That looks different for different situations, but I am good at creating "protected time" for myself when I know that I need it. 

Along those lines, I often hear teachers say that they are overwhelmed, too busy, or drowning. I wanted to do for them what has helped me, and that's having designated time for checking off items on a to-do list. I wanted them to have protected time where they could work quietly or with partners, ask questions as needed, and/or try some new things with technology that they "just haven't gotten around to doing."

The Creation Lab was created just for them! 

Here's the email I sent to staff to let them know about the open space:
On the first 3 Tuesdays in December, you will have the opportunity to intentionally set aside time to get things done. Come after school to A107 on the first three Tuesdays in December to enjoy snacks, camaraderie, and time to create, learn, and do.  
You can sign up here: 
Examples of things you can get done:
  • Create online quiz or exam review using Kahoot
  • Learn how to set up Flubaroo
  • Create a formative assessment/quiz in Google Forms
  • Learn how to join a twitter chat
  • Create graphics using Canva
  • Create video tutorial using Screencast-o-matic
  • Set up Remind account for classes
  • Find experts to do Google Hangouts with classes and craft invitation email
  • MORE!

Sign up here:


To implement the idea, it just takes a few things:

-You need to be present (physically, emotionally, an intellectually)
-You or someone else who can answer technology questions
-A quiet, dedicated space
-Snacks (I always provide snacks for after-school meetings!)

professional development
Working with teachers at our first day of our December Creation Lab

You may be thinking... Why December? I say, "Why not?!" 

Think about it. Every month is busy. Every month has lots of commitments. Every month there's stuff to do. What I'm trying to provide for teachers is 1 hour per week for 3 weeks (3 hours per month) to check off some of their "someday I'll do this" items. 

Our amazing technology guru, Keith Fulmer (@kfulmer), stayed with me and we just answered questions and helped teachers with whatever they needed or asked.

The teachers who attended this week got a lot done. They set up Remind accounts for their students, learned how to use ScreenCast-o-Matic, learned differences between Google Classroom announcements and assignments, Flubaroo, and more.

I think we'll definitely do this again in the Spring!

professional development

If you decide to try something like this, 
I would love to hear how it works for you! 

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer,
    Thanks for sharing. I love the answer, "Why Not?"...There are always excuses not to try things or do things...what a great opportunity for your staff! It's a great example of "making the time". Thanks for modeling ways to be a great leader:)