Anyone else travelled half the country for a CPD course? Anyone else ever sat through a CPD course/seminar/workshop doodling or sat there thinking about something else rather than the actual CPD? Have you sat there wondered how this CPD relates to you or thinking ‘I’m not sure this is relevant to where I am in my teaching’? I certainly have! Having been exposed to so many ideas on Twitter and through educational blogs, I am starting to question whether I should ever have to sit through that situation again!
I have seen so many ideas over the month I have been on Twitter which are relevant to me. I am conscious I am going to have to carefully pick and choose the ideas I implement in order to effectively improve my teaching! This torrent of information has made me question what I need to do in order to improve – in essence, prioritise my own CPD.
The key thing is how I got those ideas – all of the ideas were sent to my Twitter account. Within a morning it is possible to have 50 good ideas, resources to look at and dialogues started with other teaching professionals. This has not involved me leaving my classroom, it has not involved me sitting through a day of irrelevant talks just to hear the 1 relevant speaker, I am not speaking to people who I never hear from again.
This CPD is focused on me and how I want to develop and the ideas I want to explore. A development which is taking place in dialogue with others. Whilst I am sat in my classroom on my own, I am in a global staff room sharing ideas! The range of resources as well is staggering – a CPD morning could be spent reading blogs, sharing ideas in a twitter/email chat, could be spent listening to online lectures, listening to podcasts, using twitter to talk to classes of students about how they learn. Suddenly I am choosing what I want to do and how.
Considering the immanent cuts schools are facing, it is highly unlikely schools will be funding external CPD courses when then there is the opportunity of cheaper in house training. With issues such as rarely cover, why would schools pay extra to have staff sit through some expensive training days, all of which isn’t relevant? Technology here offers a way for schools to not only deal with budget cuts but to improve the CPD offered to staff! SMT can offer their staff the opportunity to develop their own teaching practice and therefore the whole school.
CPD needs to reflect the requirements of the individual. It also has to help the individual in the modern teaching environment and help them to be able to engage the students. Students are progressively using technology to help develop their own learning and progress in their studies. The increased use of ipads, iphones and ipods as means of accessing information need not and should not be the realm of just the students. Teachers should be able to help students and other teachers develop using such technological advantages.
Welcome to the age of iCPD.