Hybrid Professional Development

A post from D’Arcy resonated with an effort I am thinking of starting next year to promote the sharing of classroom technology activities among teachers from different grade levels. D’Arcy links to the Viral Professional Development project, where Jennifer Jones writes:

The primary goal of VPD is to grow a culture of sharing, where instructors learn from each other and spread the knowledge throughout the organization.

This is exactly what I have in mind. While our school is tiny compared to a university, teachers nonetheless work primarily within their own division (elementary, middle, high school). Yet, we have teachers at all different grade levels investigating technology in a similar manner. What potential exists for the use of multiple media, small handheld recorders, and social web tools. We even have one who has carried his technological toolset from the high school to the elementary.

Teachers do not have a lot of common time to spend talking face-to-face, especially across school divisions. They have a lot more opportunity to interact online, to complement and enhance occasional in-person meetings. As I learned from Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, I need to find a half dozen or so who will form a committed core group to keep the momentum going. Ewan McIntosh stresses the importance of getting the technological part right the first time.

I’ll give this a try in the late summer and early fall. Building Learning Communities ought to build my enthusiasm to put some effort into this.

Postscript: July 6, 2008

A recent presentation by Konrad Glogowski well articulates the online portion of this.


  1. Jen says:

    My organization is also small. You would be surprised at how much time they do spend together face-to-face, even if they tell you they don’t have time! Look for existing relationships that have nothing to do with technology. People who enjoy collaborating on other things, may also enjoy trying out new technology together. I look forward to watching how this works for you!

  2. Vinnie Vrotny says:

    Richard, I too am starting a community of practice. Going to BLC will be great. I have had a great opportunity to network with both Sheryl and Ewan at NECC and hope you gain as much from them as I have. Let’s connect afterwards to share strategies.

  3. Richard says:

    I will look forward to it, Vinnie.