Professional Development Reflections
This project seemed to yield good results, and that was satisfying. I initially had difficulty finding teachers to work with as I am not directly affiliated with a school currently. Building up to this presentation involved a lot of effort.
Once I found my group and topic, I had to do a lot of studying to learn the technology myself. I had only used Google Forms once before, to make an assessment for the online tutorial I made for this program. I had never looked into the grading options nor Flubaroo.com. It was well worth the journey. I was especially interested in the potential for flipping classrooms. I had tried that before when I was teaching, and it fell flat because there was not an obvious way to make sure the students actually viewed the materials they were supposed to. Forms provides a convenient way to do just that. From the evaluation forms, it seems to have resonated with the participants.
Next was designing the presentation. The secret to doing these things successfully is definitely in having plenty of hands-on activities, a very organized agenda, and a break with food. I was worried the teachers would get bored with a two hour session, but it seems they were not. I would like to believe that was due to my presentation, or maybe they just have a better attention span than high school students. I feel it would not have been successful if I had just lectured the whole time. I felt the effect of making the powerpoint collaborative also helped set the right direction for the presentation.
I am definitely proud of the results. It was nice to get in front of a crowd and present again. I felt I offered a genuinely authentic presentation which will impact how several teachers teach. Even those who did not initially respond enthusiastically, I believe I have put seeds in their minds that may later impact their practice. I currently work in marketing, and you don’t necessarily get the final response on the first try. I will definitely follow up to see how much impact I had.