On the 1st May 2015, I lead my first CPD session. In March a colleague and I attended a conference about future ready learning and educational technology (see my post from 27th March entitled My Technological Revolution). My CPD session was to feedback what I had learned to our peers in our school. I was apprehensive about the session but really enjoyed the opportunity and received good feedback.
This is a re-blog post originally posted by Ruth Weightman and published with kind permission.
The original post can be found here.
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The conference I attended was Future Ready Learning lead by Deep Learning at NIST in Bangkok. It inspired me to use technology to improve my teaching, networking and resources. Since the conference, I am using Twitter to keep abreast of developing ideas in education and combining this with LinkedIn to network with educators across the world. I have also begun building my own website to provide my students with a source of useful information outside of the classroom and regularly blog about what I am doing, reading and developing in education and teaching.
In the CDP I delivered I tried to share this inspiration and the message that if we are open-minded and willing to learn then we can all be tech savvy easily. After all, it is designed to be used by the masses and often our children seem to know more than we do. Before the conference, I was scared and ‘put off’ as I regarded myself as a bit of a techno-phobe. Yet 6 weeks down the line I am confidently sharing my knowledge with my peers.
As this was my first time leading a whole school CPD session I was nervous; What if somebody argued with me or asked a question I didn’t know? What if I simply couldn’t talk in front of my peers with any authority? What if I didn’t communicate my passion and inspiration? What if I was boring?
To help me overcome these worries I followed these steps;
- I was prepared
- Make the bulk of the session student-led, independent learning (sorry, ‘teacher’ led)
- I didn’t read my PowerPoint slides, I talked around them
- I used videos to explain points and had them downloaded on my USB and embedded on my PowerPoint so there was no buffer time and no dependence on the internet connection.
My colleague and I (who also lead sessions about Future Ready Learning) received great feedback. Teachers commented on how they enjoyed having the opportunity to discuss the use of technology at school. They shared their knowledge and experience digital footprinting, social media, blogging, using tools like Powtoon and Quizlet as well as coding programs for primary and secondary. We also received a lot of positive feedback about the way our sessions were ‘doing’ sessions rather than ‘listening’ sessions.
Personally, it was particularly positive hearing from my peers (and the head teacher) that I was a good public speaker and presenter. As I usually ‘present’ to teenagers I was worried I may not cut it in front of adults, but I think I did it! And now that I feel more confident I want to do this more. It was a great feeling answering questions, instigating conversations and helping my fellow teachers.
Although leading CPD sessions at first can be a worrying idea, for me it epitomizes sharing good practice. I really enjoyed helping teachers develop their understanding of an area of teaching I am confident in and passionate about, and enjoyed hearing their ideas, worries and reflections. And now I can’t wait to do it again.