Daytime – How Flipped PD has enhanced my career.

Good afternoon SCH,

If you asked me a five years ago what I did for professional development, my answer would have sounded something like this, but in a man’s voice 🙂

Admittedly, I struggled with ways to facilitate learning opportunities.  I figured that taking college courses at night was enough in terms of PD.  The ambition was there, yet when I sat back to reflect on how I was achieving my goals, I struggled to find answers.  Here is an example of how I would respond to self evaluation “Vince, what exactly are you currently doing to achieve the goals you have set for yourself?”

Fast forward 2 or 3 years and my answer may have sounded a bit different.  In my decade or so at Springside & SCH Academy, I’ve attended my fair share of conferences & seminars, while taking a number of online courses, yet few have resonated with me that way that the flipped model of professional development has.  The flipped model is a relatively new buzz-word methodology of PD that has been going on for years.  Alan November provides a good framework for us to follow, but the truth is, unbeknownst to myself I had been doing exactly this for a while.  I never realized that it was not only a great way to enhance my professional career, it simply was and remains a great way to LEARN.  Ultimately, that’s what we’re all here to do, LEARN & TEACH.

I point to one specific opportunity provided by Springside that changed my approach to PD and ultimately led me to a new career path.  In 2008 I attended NAIS in NYC where I had the privilege of hearing Daniel Pink and Ian Jukes speak.  Sir Ken Robinson was also on the agenda, however, I didn’t think a discussion on jousting or knighthood was relevant to education.  My deepest apologies to Sir Ken as my naive brain caused me to miss out on a great educator, if I only knew!  I do currently follow Sir Ken via several outlets which I’ll speak of shortly.  Both Pink & Jukes were amazing, each of them really sparked my interest in education.  I had been working in an educational environment for over five years, but my focus was primarily on Smart Boards, mother boards, RAM, PCs & printers (I’m currently kicking and screaming thinking of the “fond memories.”  Enjoy one of my all time favorite photos from “Office Space” that I’m sure you’ve seen me post before:

After leaving NAIS I immediately became a Committed Sardine, read Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind while regularly checking in on each of their Web Sites.  This brings me to how I was introduced to flipped model of PD, my apologies for the long winded way of doing so.  Regularly reading Committed Sardine emails and constantly checking my bookmarked Pink & Jukes sites were not the most efficient ways to keep up with the resources.  Furthermore, I wanted to find additional resources as I found myself hungry for more knowledge on both education and technology.  I heard about and dabbled into RSS feeds & Google Reader (which we all have access to via SCH Google Apps) but I never actually used them to keep up with my resources.  Enter our very own Betty Ann Fish, who was using both rather extensively.  Following a conversation at a Daytime session with BA, I began filling up my Google Reader with feeds to sites that I had frequented.  Thank you BA for that push!!  A few years later my Google Reader is full of technology, education, and ed-tech resources.  If you have any questions, or would like assistance setting up your Google Reader, please let me know or just stop by a Daytime session.  I check in with my Google Reader several times a day to see what’s happening in the worlds that I love.  If I get lazy (as I did over winter break), my feeds will reach over thousands of new updates.  Thanks goodness for a few hidden corners in the school that I can relegate myself to, to catch up.  Please don’t ask me for my hiding spots, because I’ll never reveal them!

Fast forward to the breakthrough of social media, this is where I believe we as educators can really benefit from the flipped model of PD.  Enter Twitter!  Have you ever considered using Twitter to become content consumers, for resource sharing, or to simply see how other educators are handling emerging trends?  Twitter provides us with a platform where we have the ability to reach out to other educators to learn new teaching strategies and find educational resources with the goal of incorporating this new information into teaching practices.

I’m realizing that this blog post is becoming way to long!  Rather than losing you, I’ll continue this post in a PD series continuing later this week, including a beginners twitter tutorial. Please feel free to add comments, questions, and suggestions to the comment field below.  I’m always looking for ways to enhance the Daytime blog.

To lighten this post up a little bit, I figured I’d add a few commercials that I’ve been cracking up over recently:

This guy has moves!

I’m actually a bit disgusted by this one because if you know me even a little bit, you know that I’m a somewhat of a germaphobe.  I cringe at at one point, then I can’t help but laugh when he says “hmmm cheese”  LOL LOL

Unfortunately, I can’t commit to any Daytime sessions this week given yesterday’s MLK day of service and I’ll be off campus at a an ADVIS event at Malvern Prep on Thursday – Interactive Learning: – Technology in the Classroom, with Eric Mazur, Ph.D.  However, if I see comments requesting assistance, I may be able to squeeze some time in on Friday.  I’ll also add the Digital Tools section to the continuation post coming later this week.

In the words of the great George Costanza – Onward and Upward!


10 responses to “Daytime – How Flipped PD has enhanced my career.

  1. I think Pink was the Keynote for NAIS at Radio City Hall, wasn’t he? My apologies and props always go out the NBOA! Had a great time in D.C last year, just waiting to get the invite to future events!

  2. many members of the science dept have been using the “flipped” classroom this year with great success! I get to talk Bio with every student every day….

  3. Big fan of the flipped classroom, Scott. You’re not the biology teacher of the year for nothing!

    Looked at the upcoming Flyers sched. a lot of Sat. afternoon games, so we either need to find another excuse or take a road trip to the Wells Fargo!

  4. I think BA introduced me to Google Reader as well a few years back. Mine is already brimming with 302 updates after clearing it out this weekend. I am newer to Twitter but have been using that as my Professional Social Media presence as opposed to Facebook for personal. More and more parents were trying to friend me so it felt like they wanted that digital connection so I dove in.
    I had an interesting conversation with Alan November after a session at the BLC last summer. He had done an amazing session that had to do with leadership. I ended up being the ONLY teacher in a room full of principles, oy! Anyhow, I went up to share that at Springside we were pretty much doing EVERYTHING he was saying people should try and I asked him for suggestions for reinvigorating/getting people involved in the NING (when it was still a presence). He had an interesting suggestion of connecting it with Twitter and creating school specific hashtags that connect to school initiatives, groups, etc. so people could easily share resources/info. Maybe now that the NING is no more this is an area we can explore.
    Oh, and I am NOT a germaphobe and that finger suck…GAG! You must have died the first time you saw that. lol.

  5. I read the whole piece and still don’t know what a flipped classroom means or flipped PD means. OTOH, I’ve been finding that using social media for PD tends to lead me into feedback loops, whereas work that has really transformed my thinking has come from face to face interactions. Specifically, I’d say Seeing Like a State by James Scott should be a mandatory reading for anyone in education or technology – it helps you recognize reckless technofuturism more easily (poor Ian Jukes, he’s never seen a badly designed field study or outrageous claim unsupported by the actual date he didn’t love – although he’s making pretty good money selling his snake oil). Pink and November OTOH are legit.

  6. Hey David,
    This post doesn’t really discuss the Flipped classroom, but the November link explains the Flipped PD model pretty clearly –
    I’d be happy to shoot over some info on the Flipped classroom if you’d like? I certainly see value in the face to face interactions (I have a conference tomorrow with a number of others scheduled for the remainder of the year), but as I’ve mentioned this type of PD has changed my approach and taken it to another level. Furthermore, many teachers don’t have the time or opportunity to go to conferences or seminars, so I believe this is a great opportunity to find and share resources with the goal of advancing his or her career. I’m certainly not arguing for the flipped model should replace the traditional model for PD, I’m simply offering an opportunity to learn about about supplementary methods of PD.

    My post later this week will provide some options for how we can use Twitter as a method of PD. Hope you tune in.

  7. Hey Steph,
    Great stuff. An idea came to mind when thinking about your design thinking project, but then I realized that you were working with younger students. At any rate, using Twitter #hastags to communicate with global partners would be an awesome idea. Given your girls may not be ready for Twitter yet 🙂 Maybe you can share the tags with parents?

  8. Thanks for the November link. The first time I saw it (in the article line), it was just the chart without the written stuff and I was confused. I must have not gotten the full download. I think what teacher’s understand as a “flipped” model seems very familiar to me from my days of working and teaching in colleges. There were ongoing conversations about your work that were pretty much continuous, done on your own time, and pursued through a variety of media (book reviews, journal articles, conference papers etc.), further the conference model in academia is more dialogic to begin with. Presenters are seeking input from the audience with early versions of their work and audience members looking for new sources and techniques. In the early days of the blogosphere (2002?), many of those conversations moved online in H-Net and the academic blogs and later somewhat more formally at places like Inside Higher Ed. So the flipped stuff isn’t really a new model of professional development, it seems to me, but rather borrowing a form from higher ed and applying it to K-12. The key I think is that the higher ed model assumes a certain equality (although the big name folks always seem to get the best timeslots) while the old K-12 model assumed expert/novice. If I understand this correctly, flipped is supposed to empower me by letting me focus on the areas I choose to develop and explore them as I see fit (and to develop a habit of say, checking a blog or 5 everyday). Quite frankly, I probably need to do less PD of that sort. Twitter is turning into it’s own timesuck for me.

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