The Future of the Future of Professional Development

Round three of Open Professional Development was a learning experience for everyone involved. Upon completion of Wednesday’s final session, we were left hungering for more interaction, more collaboration, and more conversation. As our discussion centered on many of the more intricate nuances of blogging (including photo attribution with Creative Commons and proper blogging etiquette), we learned that in this new environment, each of us has a tremendous amount to learn. Just as David Jakes, Jon Becker, and many other contributors to the recent conversation have stated, we - as a network of educators - have real issues to work out in relation to this new form of learning that so many have come to embrace. I think Clay Burrell has said it very well in a recent comment:

...We’re evangelizing this stuff, but it’s all so new we can’t be too “expert” at it. We’re not only evangelists of the new Gospel - we’re also its guinea pigs. We’re experimenting on ourselves.

Likewise, the question of where we take OpenPD from here can be an equally difficult morsel. Within this overarching question, there are actually several sub-questions that also deserve our attention:
  1. How do we transform OpenPD so as to attract the kinds of teachers that aren’t the most technologically savvy?
  2. How do we garner the participation of additional groups of teachers? Sure, individual participation from wherever you may be is fantastic, but a class of multiple classes would be ideal.
  3. What can be done to provide OpenPD participants with local district credit - enabling additional rewards other than the intrinsic?
  4. Considering question 3, are such extrinsic rewards really needed or would they only taint the enthusiasm for such an endeavor?
In the end, we were able to identify a number of topics that would benefit future OpenPD participants, although the times and dates of such sessions are yet undetermined:
  • RSS - We wanted to discuss RSS in this session but simply ran out of time. RSS, what it is, how it can be used to teach and to learn.
  • Creative Commons - Who, what, when, where, how, and why. Resources for finding CC licensed content.
  • Mobile devices in the classroom - Phones, GPS, possible classroom uses and integration with Google Earth.
Image Source: Flickr user doctor paradox

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