Our PLP (Powerful Learning Practice) project last year was to develop a meaningful professional development program for faculty and staff that enriches teaching and learning.

Our program, called IP21 (Individual Plan for 21st Century Teaching and Learning), is in its second year of successful implementation!

 

The five characteristics of IP21 are:

– Sustained
– Embedded within subject-specific needs
– Focused on the TPACK framework
– Aligned with the NETS-T and NETS-A
– Grounded in a collaborative, inquiry-based approach

Over 120 faculty from three divisions: Lower School, Middle School and Upper School selected a minimum of three professional goals for the current school year.

Faculty acquired the competencies through instructional technology support or by self-learning using the resources compiled in the NETS-T wiki. Everybody has documented evidence that demonstrate acquisition and application of competencies in teaching and learning.

This is the link to our 2009-2010 project: Parish Episcopal School PLP Action Research Project

PLP YEAR TWO

Our PLP team read a very articulate posting by M.E. Steele-Pierce called ‘Unconference: Revolutionary professional learning‘ that got us thinking about adapting the idea of an unconference to design our own Professional Learning Day at school.

According to M.E., unconferences are part of the learning revolution. They’re participant-driven professional learning gatherings. The “un” refers specifically to the fact that there is no top-down organization, no registration fees, and no vendors. The unconference is organized and led by participants.

One of the best parts of an unconference like Edcamp is that it creates a level playing field for discussion. Since the attendees drive the conference and also serve as presenters, there is no hierarchy between presenters and attendees. Teachers can present in front of administrators, and administrators can engage teachers in dialogue, with both parties taking an active role in the discussions.

Our faculty has been very active throughout the year implementing innovative teaching strategies and creating engaging projects that fit their IP21 professional goals.These goals are not mandated by the administration but selected by each teacher. Giving ownership to teachers to design their professional growth makes these goals relevant and meaningful to our teaching practice.

So why not apply this same PD approach to designing our Professional Learning Day?

WHY PBL?
The focus of the PLP Year 2 teams has been on Project-Based Learning.

We decided to use a PBL approach to guide us through the process of design a Professional Learning Day that encourages teachers to facilitate and participate in conversations discussing their ideas and passions as they relate to their IP21 professional goals.

DRIVING QUESTION

How can we engage our faculty and administrators in meaningful conversations about teaching and learning?

Our IP21 Edcamp needs to include the following traits of optimal Professional Learning:Relevant, Meaningful, Applicable, Adaptable, Differentiated, Enjoyable, Safe and Diverse

MAP THE PROJECT
This is how we created our action plan:


Take a closer look at how our plan developed:
IP21 Edcamp Action Plan and Process Management

ASSESSMENT
Faculty will complete an online survey to reflect on their personal learning as a result of their participation in the IP21 Edcamp. The survey invites the teachers to relate:

– What they learned
-The impact of their learning on their teaching practices

It is our hope that all of our colleagues find value as they participate in conversations throughout the day.
IP21 Edcamp Reflection

AGENDA
Creating our agenda was the final task in our process. Our IP21 Edcamp day will include a Keynote, four sessions with 24 conversations, a lunch with a Pecha Kucha round and a Closing Remarks session.
Take a look at the final program here: IP21 Edcamp Agenda

So there you have it: Professional Learning 2011 Style!
Image Credits: Sunset on Boracay by wili_hybrid. Attribution-NonCommercial License

About the author
Dolores Gende is a 28-year veteran teacher with experience in the U.S., Mexico, Belgium, and the Netherlands Antilles. She is the Director of Instructional Technology at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas where she also teaches honors physics. You can find out more about Dolores through her award-winning AP Physics website and on twitter.