I was recently invited to attend an in-service that I was really interested in. The presenter was “the expert” in the topic. Little did I know I was really entering in-service “he double hockey sticks”. I was in for a 3 hour lecture on Understanding by Design. The presenter was so knowledgeable and charismatic the lecture was bearable and I got a lot out of it. However, it was not the way we would ever think of teaching our students. In fact at one point the presenter even acknowledged the irony of presenting on topic that was learner centered using such a non-learner centered technique.
As a DEN star I have to opportunity to teach my fellow professionals about the DEN and Discovery Education Services. I decided to practice what I preach and I flipped the professional development. I sent out the following assignment to the people signed up for the professional development: http://assignments.discoveryeducation.com/?cdPasscode=T631B-4604 They were to go through the lesson following the essential questions. Hopefully , in this way, when they came to see me at the presentation they were are already well prepared as to what Streaming Plus was. The plan was to use the time we had together to really get into creating assignments and searching for specific content. The day of the event came and it was a smashing success.
Everyone was excited to learn. Having seen the lesson in the beginning gave us all a common frame work to start from. We were able to deal will specific issues people had and focus the professional development to just what they needed. Instead of spending the whole lesson on something they could read and figure out for themselves I was able to start with some formative assessment and focus the lesson directly to them. Now this did require some planning on the front end. You have to be able to anticipate where the questions might take you and have materials prepared for that. This makes a much richer presentation and I believe its where we should go in the future with professional development. Perhaps even making mini videos or assigning a webinar would be helpful flip ideas. The ultimate goal is to make the most out of the face to face time, as is true in any classroom.
Comment and let me know what you think!