Discussing OpenPD @ EduCon 2.0

Robin Ellis and I discussed 21st Century professional development today in the first breakout session at EduCon 2.0. In a refreshing reversal of roles, Robin led the discussion in person while I participated remotely. From a technical standpoint, there were a few bandwidth issues - but all in all, the session was a very enjoyable and enlightening conversation.

Our discussion was driven by a healthy combination of participant voice and the following leading questions:

  1. What is education?
  2. What keeps teachers from adapting to change?
  3. What is Professional Development?
  4. What keeps teachers from actively participating in Professional Development?
  5. What is Open Professional Development?
  6. What can we do to promote conversations in our communities for change?
While we didn't address question five as much as I had originally hoped, I plan to elaborate on this idea further as I see tremendous potential for future teacher development in an open but organized setting. Exactly what open means, though, still eludes me in its entirely. More on that to come - I know you can hardly wait.

To say I was pleased by the numbers participating would be an understatement. The room was apparently full (with folks happily sitting on the floor) and the Ustream numbers topped 100. This is only significant in the fact that I'm happy to see conversations about current and future Professional Development practices taking place. I think that if we truly want to change the way our students are taught, then there's no discussion more important than one centered on how we teach our teachers.

If you're interested in viewing the conversation (recorded through Ustream), drop by our wiki. There, you'll also see a link to the chat archive and our slides used during the presentation (also below).

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