Innovative Professional Development – here in HI!

This week is dedicated to professional development and it is off to an exciting and successful start!  We kicked off the week with two in-class modeling sessions at as part of our custom professional development program.  The idea behind the program is to offer teachers with ActivClassroom the opportunity to collaborate with a certified Promethean trainer to “refresh” one of their lessons, integrating new interactive strategies and pedagogy.  The Promethean trainer then models how to present the lesson with the teacher’s students, giving the teacher the chance to observe and learn.

Yesterday, Alysse (Promethean specialist) presented a “refreshed” lesson to Ms. Z’s third grade students at Kaleiopuu on Internet Safety.  Students quickly mastered how to move vocabulary words to complete sentences, how to write with the Activpen, and how to send responses (multiple choice and text) using the ActivExpressions.  And, of course, they demonstrated mastery of the key Internet safety principles.  What was most impressive, however, was that Ms. Z was able to present the same lesson immediately following with a new class of students.  She looked like a pro at the board – even though it was her first time using the tools!  The modeling session helped Ms. Z see the tools in action and use them with ease. 

Today, Jeanine (Promethean specialist) presented a “refreshed” lesson to Mr. H’s high school students at Campbell on “descriptive language”.  Jeanine integrated several creative and interactive activities, making excellent use of the software’s functionality to build engagement and participation and assess learning.  Here’s one example: for the final activity, students were presented with four pictures (one of BJ Penn, one of a local surfer girl, one of a honu, and one of Mauna Loa).  Students chose which picture they wanted to write about.  Then, in interest groups, students came to the board to watch a short video on the topic.  Seems pretty standard, right?  Well, as they were watching the video, students could take still shots of the video with a tap of the pen, which were copied to the flipchart.  These images were then used to help students notice details and write with descriptive language.  So, essentially, learning was differentiated (by interest), multi-modal (students were not only able to watch a video but also captured “snapshots” to allow for detailed and specific observation), collaborative (groups were encouraged to brainstorm together), and creative.  Awesome!

The learning continues… tomorrow we’ll learn from Dr. Debra Pickering about research-based practices relating to interactive technologies in the classroom!  Stay tuned.