Thursday, September 1, 2011

Professional Learning in the 21st Century

I saw this picture listening to a presentation by Lyn Hilt one Saturday at the Reform Symposium. I must confess I've taken professional development classes throughout my 34 years that resemble this quote .I've also been teaching PLU classes for the lat 5or 6 years on a number of topics so I see both sides of the coin.
When I first started teaching the classes,  it was pretty much me being the sage on the stage, redelivering material I had learned earlier. Ten to twenty contact hours, mostly lecture but always some intriguing discussions. It was enjoyable, we learned and the PLU certificate certainly helped, but how much of the learning actually transferred to the classroom?  My observation was- not enough.
Over the last two years, I have tailored my classes more towards technology and 21st century tools. My classes have become more hands on and experiential. From the feedback I've received, they are more enjoyable and learning actually occurs. We have discussions, I still lecture but it's more to initiate thinking about what we do in the classroom and why. Educators should always be able to question the rationale of what is done in the classroom. The answer of we've always done it this way isn't acceptable.
I've also noticed a more consistent transfer of learning to the classroom. Blogs, wikis and other 21st century tools are actually utilized by a larger number of my colleagues than before. There are still those that just want the certificate and what they learn disappears or is relegated to the back burner, but I'm proud to call the others active and contributing members of my PLN of 21st century learners.
The point remains if you learn better by hands on and experiential activities your students will too. We cannot expect student engagement if this poster exemplifies our student's thoughts toward our instruction.

No comments:

Mr. Gerry Kosater

There are two paths you can choose but there's always time to change the one you choose