iPad readiness and professional development – Having conversations

I am fortunate enough to have timetabled lessons with staff who have nominated to be in an IT meeting group for the purpose of receiving regular and ongoing ICT professional development.  These colleagues meet with me once a cycle and we go through many different kinds of activities and have some great conversations about how ICT is being used in our classrooms and how we can develop that further.  I am constantly trying to think of new ways to facilitate a conversations or the enhancement of knowledge, understanding and skills in my colleagues’ implementation of ICT in their classroom.  Sometimes however, it comes down to simply having structured conversation about what they are doing and could do.

Last week in an IT meeting with four of my colleagues, I asked them three questions and we had a fantastic conversation.  I asked them one question at a time and got them to use coloured post-its to write their answers after some pause for reflection.  These are the three questions I asked them:

  1. What do you do now in lessons to develop new knowledge and skills in your students?  E.g. types of activities whether they are broad or very specific.
  2. How could you modify or redesign the activity to be completed with an iPad? (Attaching a different coloured post-it note to the corresponding activity from question 1)
  3. What do you still need to learn (about and on the iPad) in order to achieve this? (Attaching a different coloured post-it note to the corresponding first two)

Having this guided and structured conversation with my colleagues was so valuable.  I heard about lessons that they do in the class that really enrich student learning but also have so much potential for further ICT integration.  I was encouraged by their thoughtful consideration of how the iPad could be implemented further in their lessons and as they shared I got many ideas about other ways they might make use of the iPad in their lessons and was able to share that with them.

I hope to continue having such valuable conversations with my colleagues but even more so, I want to keep developing ideas on other ways to facilitate such valuable professional development activities and collate them into a book or resource that might help others in similar situations as it has been a need of mine that I have found little practical resources for.  It’s exciting what can be learned through a simple conversation so I will definitely keep having them as much as possible with my colleagues.

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