I think everyone who is involved in the ETT/WB community feels they are receiving professional development without the 'official' credit for the work. What if we designed a course or courses to meet PLU requirements and enabled teachers to obtain credit for their participation? Might this option appeal to any of the teachers you know? In my own school there are people who feel their time is best spent when they can kill two birds with one stone by getting experience and credit simultaneously. Having this kind of option available might open some doors to people other than loan rangers like us. Admit it, you would do this for no pay forever if the system could sustain itself simply because you like to be on the cutting edge. We are just the tip of the iceberg. True expansion has to take into account other learning styles, needs and objectives. There may be people who find the current Outward Bound approach a little scary. Instead of the whitewater/rappelling journey they may prefer to start with a self paced exploration with an experienced river guide.
Here's my general plan:
- Invite anyone who is interested in gaining or sharing their distance learning experience to join me
- Investigate various existing PD options/models
- Contact my county office, they recently outsourced PD and that company charges $60 for 3 PLU's which is 30 hours of work on line.
- Fnd out what makes a good online course, don't cringe, I'm thinking Oprah, no I didn't sign up for her program but look at all the interest she conjured in her lessons by making the conept seem very simple. She converted email only users to webcast participants almost over night by creating trust and offering added value. It's worth considering how this kind of approach might work in getting teachers to sign up for webcast academy. Centered on a book possibly? I can see some of you now, scowling at the thought! Consider this, should ETT remain an exclusive club simply because the hurdles are to high/demanding for the average teacher? If the answer is yes and we only want above average participants who are willing to take risks then I will quit while I'm ahead.
- Check out some 'virtual academies and examine their course structures.
- Get input from those of you who teach PD in your counties. I do but typically it is part of a training block and I don't have to write up a separate course description.
- Create a template for a course that fits a PD model and get input from community
- Make the course a combination of real-time and research/experimentation much as it is now
Time Frame: Try to get a bulk of this info collected and sythesized by the end of June and toss around the findings in an open meeting.
I am open to any suggestions, additions, changes, just post them here, thx. k