When considering professional development we need to recognize the fact that sometimes there are good sessions and sometimes there are not so good sessions.
I wanted to present an assets based perspective of learning – even if some sessions were poor. This year at #ISTE12 (International Society for Technology in Education conference), I sat in on many good sessions, lectures, and panel conversations. I also sat in some poor ones (see my suggestions for the presenters and organizers of #ISTE13). This can happen at any time but it is always important to remember that we learn from the poor sessions just as much as we do he great ones.
Validate what you are doing in comparison with someone else specifically, or the school board / district you work for. On many occasions in this regard I felt quite proud and excited for the work we have been doing in #HWDSB. We are ahead of the curve in many ways and moving forward in others. At times, presenters did not offer me anything overly new but, at these times, I was able to network and connect with the teachers sitting around me and I often learned seething new by speaking with them. I was then able to add them to my Twitter PLN so that we could keep in touch moving forward. These connections are so important and I learn so much from them.
This year, @learninghood and I met and shared ideas with educators from Northern and Southern California, Portland Oregon, Mexico, Malaysia, Ecuador, Denver, Texas, North Carolina, and Africa (and others escaping me right now). Where else would that be possible! I also have 50 new followers on Twitter from the connections I made. I can now follow them, keep apprised of their learning, and share my own.
Give you an opportunity to help those around you and offer them some perspectives other than the presenter – in essence, become an inofmral sub-presenter of the session.
Give you an opportunity to think and reflect upon how you can make the session better. It is highly likely that you have been introduced to a new software application, iPad app, or device. how would you use it? How could you extend what is being presented to make it more effective? Do you know someone that would benefit from the information you are learning? It may not seem relevant or contextual to you but don’t lose the opportunity to make notes and provide them to someone else. Share your learning, perspective, and expertise.
So, use an asset lens the next time you’re in a seemingly poor PD session. You’re always learning.