Friday, April 12, 2013

Spark of the PLN

Where did the week go? It's Friday morning, and I've got some major mountain bike fun on the agenda for the next three days, so I've got to get focused.

Great news! I've also been accepted to present at the Technology in Education Conference in Copper Mountain, CO.

This conference happens right after I'll be working in Louisville, Kentucky for nine days, so I'm thrilled to take a bike vacation centered around a conference in Colorado. Escaping "June-uary" in Washington is a sweet option. It's our worst month of weather, so I'll get back right as summer gets in to full swing.

I'm officially three weeks out to my ATL conference presentation, and I'm still in the planning phase. (When I write ATL, I think Atlanta). So what does the planning look like? Well, it's a lot of reading and clicking around on different blogs, websites, and database articles. It's note taking. Staring out the window and thinking. Building a giant puzzle to answer the question: How can I fit a variety of projects together?

A few ideas just fell into my lap this week, and thus, I haven't had time to blog. I've got a grant presentation, some new interviews, and my senior capstone project which can all blend together to make the conference presentations and a paper. I'm also involved with a few campus projects where I can actually do what I am researching about over the next five years. Sorry to sound so vague here, but I don't have titles for these projects because they are still being formulated. In addition, I got to observe a high school English class this week, and although I was exhausted by driving there in the PNW downpour, I left feeling really excited about my projects. I got see videos that the students had created about plays they had read. Their next step is to write an essay now that they have created a scene and read the play together. The students were engaged with one another and the teacher in what looked like to me Backward Design teaching.

This got me thinking.

What does backward design professional development look like? How do I advise busy teachers to make time for their PLN? How can I introduce this idea without making it sound like it's one more thing in an already very busy schedule? Who sparks the connection in connectivist learning? Who maintains the fire?

Who or what motivates you to keep going?

If I've sparked an answer, dear blog reader, then please answer. I'm all eyes.

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