Monday, November 7, 2016

When the Students Are Away, the Hough-Lines Teachers Play

On Friday, November 4, 2016, teachers from Lines and Hough met at Lines Elementary School and participated in a half-day professional development event following the “Playdate” style. According to the Playdate website, a Playdate "is a space for [teachers] to come together and collaboratively explore these tools we’ve always wanted to learn more about." Teachers may "join together...sit in a room for a few hours and just play."

The Hough-Lines Playdate was organized by themed rooms during specified time periods. Teachers interested in a theme met together and discussed, practiced, or otherwise interacted with the topic. For example, during the first Playdate period, topics included:

  • Connect & Manage Resources with Schoology
  • Create Digital Portfolios with See Saw
  • Share your learning with Explain Everything
  • Digital Storytelling with iMovie
  • Write, Draw, and Record with Notability
  • Reimagine with Flipped & Blended Learning

A Google Doc arranged in a matrix allowed teachers to organize their time and sign up for each time; however, if a topic wasn’t meeting expectations, participants exercised “The Law of Two Feet” and walked to a new room with a new topic. Similarly, participants could change sign-ups at any time throughout the experience.

For each topic, a Resource Guide was provided in advance. The Resource Guides could serve as a starting point for a group, but many groups decided to skip the guide and talk about real-life experiences they had with the topic.

The experience ended with a “Share Slam” during which teachers shared what they learned throughout the morning. Congratulations to Barrington 220 iDAL Coaches Laura Meehand and Katie Muhtaris for organizing this inspiring and highly successful event!

To get a better feel for this professional development experience—and the Playdate style—please take a look at this 2-minute video:

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