1. Improved PD Feedback
- As many of you have experienced, it can be quite a challenge to provide good feedback of a workshop or a conference. How does one report on a three-day workshop in a thirty minute slot? In order to facilitate better transfer, a new section has been created on the BIS PD site, the new section is given the rather prosaic title: Feedback on PD. As colleagues attend various PD events, so I will add a page specifically for that training. See, for example the new pages on the EARCOS conference attended by the Peter, Hamish and Anthony. Or browse through Kristen’s notes on her PYP workshop: Teaching and Learning in the PYP.
2. Professional Development
- In addition to the online PD application form, there is now also an online Cover Notice form. This will enable us to make proper arrangements for your absence. This form may be used for any time that you are not on campus and your classes or activities require cover.
- In addition to providing links and resources for PD for the teaching staff, we are building our resources to facilitate better access to appropriate PD resources for teacher assistants.
- If anyone has any information about PD resources, from useful books, websites to conferences, please do let me know so that we can continue to build the resources for all.
3. Google Wave as a powerful tool for learning and collaboration
- As some of you are aware, we have been experimenting with Google’s latest product experiment: Google Wave. While this is still in preview mode, not even beta, we have found it to be a powerful tool that allows for real-time collaboration. To learn more about how it works, read the official Google Wave blog.
- The grade 10 English class have been using the wave for half the year. They were able to write collaborative essays in real-time; share and comment on each other’s presentations in real-time and reflect on their own work, all live and visible to me. Unlike a series of emails, a Wave conversation is immediately viewable, every part of the conversation is already open. On top of that, it is easy to insert movies or documents, viewable at once, into a wave for everyone to discuss.
- The grade 11 DP English A1 HL class used the Wave to collaborate on literary interpretations. They were able to use the brainstorming and mind mapping tools to plan their work.
- The grade 12 DP English A1 HL class created collaborate notes to prepare for their paper two exam. An extension of their waves allowed for a real-time feed of their wave into a google doc.
- At the Bambi Betts workshop here in December, several colleagues created collaborative notes as the workshop was underway.
- At the UbD workshop Greg and I attended, we shared our notes live with other workshop participants.
- Kerri-Lee Beasley, a friend of mine who teaches at UWC in Singapore, wrote this about using Google Wave with her grade 5 PYP class.
- If you are interested in using Google Wave, please speak to anyone in technology: Chris Zavits, Craig Money or even me. You can request an invitation to join the Wave here.
4. New additions to the staff PD shelf
- Stirring the Head, Heart, and Soul: Redefining Curriculum, Instruction, and Concept-Based Learning by Lynn Erickson
- The Beautiful Tree by Prof James Tooley
- Drive by Daniel Pink
- Third Culture Kids by Ruth van Reken
5. Understanding by Design
Greg Parker and I attended two UbD training workshops held over two weekends, one in 2009, one in 2010 at the Singapore American School. In order to support everyone’s understanding and development of UbD- especially because this is HOW we write our curriculum, we have put together this site for your reference: Understanding by Design.