This year, DIIT has experimented with new approaches to professional development, and has attempted to draw on the resources we have right here in Waltham to help teachers learn about new educational technologies with and from one another. In our fall course, teachers experimented with the principles of inquiry-based learning with technology, and in our spring course, elementary teachers from across our six elementary schools have been exploring Google Apps for Education and how the Google suite can be used with our youngest students to encourage collaboration and build students' digital literacy skills.
We are running two versions of the Spring DDC course and used Google Classroom as our "Landing Zone" for both sessions. The first round was Face-to-Face, co-taught by the Admin of EdTech Integration (me), Peggy Keohane (MacArthur & Plympton ITS), Jamie Maclone (Northeast ITS), and Carol Klatt (Northeast Librarian). Our second round has been entirely online in the evenings to enable teachers to participate at their own pace and on a more flexible schedule, and we are about to enter Week 3. Teachers are using a combination of Google Classroom, Google Hangouts on Air, Google+, and other tools to engage with their classmates entirely online during interactive live sessions. We're having a blast! You can actually view our latest session, during which Leah Bruosta, a 5th grade teacher at MacArthur, shared how she uses Google Classroom with her students. Big thanks to Leah for sharing her practice, and to Carol, Peggy, and Jamie for helping make our spring PD such a smashing success!
Above, Leah Bruosta (MacArthur Teacher) shares how she uses Google Classroom with her students while participants ask questions!