We’re always interested in adapting our professional learning to create more invigorating, more dynamic experiences that take advantage of our amazing community. This year at our DENSI 2018 Principal Summit, we tried something to that effect. We called them HIVE MIND sessions:
“…a collective consciousness, analogous
to the behavior of social insects,
in which a group of people become aware of their commonality and think and act as a community, sharing their knowledge, thoughts, and resources.”
The plan was to find out what various topics and ideas our principal community was exploring and have them share and lead a conversation. We built it around a couple of premises:
- Everyone has something to share
- “Presenting” can be daunting.
- Many don’t think of themselves as experts.
- The smartest person in the room is the room
With that, we reached out to our attendees months ahead and asked what they were working on that they would be willing to briefly share. We gathered the results and had them team up with another principal or two and build out their topics using the following format:
Opening (15 minutes)
- Each presenter shares for 3-5 minutes showcase their work around the topic
- Presenters will preload resources and links about their showcase in a Google Doc
Guided Discussions (45 minutes)
- Presenters create a list of 3 guiding questions they explore with their participants
- Presenters work together to create a reasonable flow
Reflect (15 minutes)
- Presenters and attendees create a collective list of resources and/or top things to know around a particular topic that can be shared with all participants.
Think structured EdCamp. These turned out to be hugely engaging and many mentioned this as the highlight of their learning. Over the next several weeks, we’ll talk with many of these participants via a short podcast where you can learn more about their topics. Here were the topics we explored:
Building Teacher Capacity/ Teacher Leadership
Implementing Discovery Education
Staff Professional Development
Technology Integration/ Rollouts- 1:1, BYOD