Twitter, or getting connected rather, has been a major initiative this year for Manor ISD. The notion of sharing our stories, successes, and struggles for the betterment of all has really taken hold. Twitter really has become more than just a social hub at Manor and our first district Twitter chat of 2014 proved that more so!
This time around, the iTeachManor team decided to try crowdsourcing our summer PD plans during the chat in order to get a bit more voice from who else, but the teachers we are here to support! All this in an effort to rethink current practices and provide a more learner-centered, knowledge-centered, and community-centered environment at Manor ISD. Our district Twitter chat is just one way we’ll start the conversations! Here’s how it went:
The iTeachManor team started off by asking teachers what tools and strategies were already working out for them. It was good to hear that teachers are really enjoying app-speed dating and other student-led PD efforts. We then moved readily along to what tools and strategies they’d like to continue to learn about this summer.
Quite honestly, it’s just so great to have the feedback and get a feel for the kinds of learning teachers would like to engage in. We talk tons about giving our students relevant learning experiences, and we must do the same for adult learners as well. So here are just a few of the suggestions we got, along with our responses:
1) We love the idea of breaking up sessions into smaller chunks! Rather than overloading folks with hours worth of tools, we will focus on just one or two during shorter sessions so teachers/admin can come specifically get what they need.
2) Our teachers want the chance to just PLAY! Good to know we are on the same page! In fact, we are already planning #PlaydateATX14 for just this reason. Playdate Austin will give teachers the time to tinker and explore, just like they want. Oh yeah, and it’s student-led!
In the end, we know we have an incredible opportunity to take advantage of time being on our side this summer. We’ve also been there and done that when it comes to top down professional development. The iTeachManor Team knows that one size does not fit all and we want to make sure we meet all of our teacher’s needs. So why not use our Twitter chats to have the opportunity to collaborate and discover new ways to innovate our professional practice together?
By changing the game with student-led PD and by providing relevant learning experiences to incorporate technology (and growth mindsets!), we expect the spark that ignited this Twitter chat will become a full blown bonfire for our summer professional development series.
Our team is always looking for ways to be more responsive to our teachers needs and interests. We’re glad to know that our monthlyTwitter chats can serve as a good way to touch base with one another. Ask and ye shall receive, Manor. Like @JacobTech said, we are listening to your ideas. Stay tuned.