Professional Learning in the Library

Thursday mornings are reserved for our professional development and collaboration time at my high school, and this time that happened in the library. It was so exciting! I love when I have a lot of classes going on in the library. It makes me happy to see so much learning happen. I think this is the first time I’ve seen so much teacher learning in the library.

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We tried a new format for our Tech Thursday this month. We set it up sort of like a mini conference. We set up for instructional areas: two in the library, one in the conference room, and one in the lab. Each area had teachers from our tech committee leading one or two show-and-tell sessions on various assessment tools.

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One of our tech leaders from the English department lead a session on Kahoot and Plickers.

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Tech leaders from the World Languages and Science departments teamed up to show teachers Socrative and Zipgrade.

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Our tech specialist showed teachers ThatQuiz.com.

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Our curriculum director gave a presentation on all the capabilities of Turnitin.com (most of the tools are free, but we have a district license for this one).

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The teachers signed up for their first session as the came in and then followed the signs to their stations. They spent about twenty minutes learning one or two tools, then they went back out and signed up for their second session.

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After another twenty minutes learning about another one or two tools, our collaboration time was over. I really loved the show-and-tell format because it allowed the teachers to see a big picture of what the tools could do for them. Sometimes it even allowed them to experience what it would be like for the students.

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We’re trying to move away from making everyone sit through a nuts and bolts, here’s-how-to-set-this-up type of training to a showcase of what’s out there and let them take the next step to integrating the tools into their classrooms. Of course, those of us on the tech committee are here to help them with that, along with our tech integration specialist. We got a lot of great feedback and this may be our format for Tech Thursdays going forward.

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One of the things I really loved about this format was getting the teachers into the library spaces and seeing how they can be utilized. They all knew about the lab and the conference room, but the classroom areas of the library are a little different than they’ve been in the past. I loved having them on those separate sides using the TVs because I think it really lets them see how the library space can be used for more than research. I recently collected some data on how many classes have been in the library this year. It’s been a lot, but I’d still love to see that number grow.

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