On Tuesday I started something I've been meaning to do for a long time. I mentioned it briefly in the last post but thought I'd elaborate on it now.
Over the past two years I've been experimenting with different styles of PLD: Wide focus with all staff, small groups, workshops and one-on-one sessions.
What I've found is that for those in the early majority and late majority - the wide focus sessions work fine. The late majority tend to ask the most questions and stop the flow of the learning but at least they're getting involved and trying to learn. The laggards sit there doing next to nothing, often refusing to participate or watching others participate and sometimes giving very negative responses.
The early adopters and innovators get frustrated with this style of learning as often they aready know the majority of this kind of PLD - and if not, they pick it up fast and go and do their own research at home or during the session... the early adopters are often relied on to answer the questions of the late majority and are the ones who try and inspire the early majority to activate them into becoming early adopters.
During the small group sessions, most people are engaged as they've come to the session prepared with questions and ideas for what they want to learn more about.
During the workshops and one-on-one sessions, colleagues are supported with facilitation and direct help and support when needed. Colleagues have found these the most effective and often use the learning from the sessions in their own classes much faster than compared with the wide focus sessions.
Because our eLearning PLD has been few and far between and the issues around organising a space and time to organise PLD for staff... although it could easily be done through using GForms (for staff to choose their sessions) and GDocs (for us to create and collaborate on ideas) and GSlides (to create the sessions and share the learning with all of the staff)... I decided it was time to implement 'Byte Sized PLD'.
The main reason for Byte Sized PLD is because there is a lack of time to learn new things. If I deliver a short and sweet weekly email with links, ideas and shared examples of new use of tech in class by colleagues then perhaps our staff will feel more empowered, confident and ready to engage with new learning when they need it or have time for it.
On Tuesday I sent the first one out with links to some of the learning I did in the break at the PPTA Māori Teacher's conference and at Connect Day in Hamilton. I think I'll also share these Byte Sized PLD emails as posts on here too. Could become a really cool way of sharing and acknowledging the awesome work our staff at Heights are doing.
Just hoping I keep up with the weekly emails!!