I’ve had it rolling in my head for a long time now that I wanted to modify Helene Blowers’ great public library Web 2.0 project, Learning 2.0, for the staff in my elementary school. She set up a variety of Web 2.0 “things” for staff to explore and comment on. Participants created a blog to track their thinking and give me the URL for the project’s blogroll.
My colleagues are busy, and I liked the idea of doing something where they could work at their own pace but still have a record of explorations. I liked her sense of whimsy and letting folks play, and out of play, to make professional meaning. And I wanted my colleagues to have that same sense of exploration and fun, and then to think about if and how those tools could fit into their classroom. As I like to say, “Lead with the need.”
Thanks to Helene’s Creative Commons license, I finally got around to putting it together and launched Exploring Elementary 2.0 with my staff today: a six-week self-paced exploration of Web 2.0 tools, with an eye on how to integrate those tools effectively in elementary school classrooms. I pared down the initial 23 tasks to 17 so we could finish by our district’s June 1 cutoff for 07-08 PD and changed around a few of the tasks to better fit an elementary teacher’s needs.
And here’s what I think is really cool … let’s say you’re a media specialist out there and you know you want to be doing more PD and you know your staff wants to explore but neither of you have time to be in the same lab at the same time.
You can use this project, too! The project can easily be adopted in your building with little effort on your part. If you’re a media specialist, all you have to do is:
- Arrange for your staff to receive PD credit for participating. (My principal is giving 10 PD hours’ worth of credit.)
- Sell the idea to your staff.
- Collect their blog URLs and send them to me for the blogroll.
- Track your staff’s progress via their blogs.
- Turn in your district’s official paperwork when they’re done.
What’s in it for you? You get ready-made PD that’s all set to go. Perfect if you need to announce one last initiative before the Board announces next year’s budget …
What’s in it for me? I work in a small building where the staff knows one another and quite well, so we get the benefit of a whole bunch of perspectives from which to draw inspiration.
So what do you say? Hope you’ll join me for this journey. Drop me a line at email@example.com if you’re interested.
PS – Yes, this is similar to the California School Library Association’s project, though their tasks more closely mirror the original Learning 2.o project.