#chats and #camps: Examining the Impact of Social Media-Fueled PD on Classroom Practice and Student Learning
Many of the educators who participate(d) in the events listed above and others like them report that the events are/were perfectly wonderful; amazing even. Apparently, this social media-aided PD is more powerful than any PD theyve ever done; better than any grad school course theyve taken. And, it may very well be.
But, many of the folks who take part in events like these have been at it for a couple/few years now. And, weve become pretty good at sharing what theyre learning and even doing. Theres value in talking about and sharing ideas and actions, but that only gets us so far. Furthermore, many knowledge claims are made about how awesome these ideas are. Students are learning more! Students are so much more engaged! etc.
So, then, what are the warrants for these knowledge claims? What evidence is there that all of these new forms of professional learning are making a difference for kids?
Think of it this way: imagine parents of a student in your classroom wants to know if the new stuff youve tried with their kid this year worked. How would you respond? What evidence would you offer? Imagine a principal considering awarding you professional development credits for participation in these events. How would you convince the principal that these professional learning experiences are legitimate?
This session is designed as part conversation, part workshop and part meeting. The attendees will ultimately be invited to participate in a virtual, distributed, teacher-research project aimed at uncovering and documenting the effects of social-media mediated, informal professional development on classroom practice and student learning. To get there, well open with some general discussion based on guiding questions. From there, well transition into an introduction to teacher-research, an important form of action research. Finally, well discuss the logistics and feasibility of organizing, undertaking, and starting a virtual/distributed teacher-research project.
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