Educator PD, but with people from other professions...
As educators, our professional development means that we are surrounded by other educators. This, of course, means that we have some incredible time together to share ideas and resources. But, since it’s a new year, I would like to propose something different for us to try in 2018. What if we all find a professional development opportunity that puts us amidst others...other professionals outside of the K12 academic arena. If it is our responsibility to prepare our students for our global future - then, we really should be learning from those outside of the field of K12 education.
My prediction is that our professional learning will take a different direction, and move us to more purposeful and intentional professional learning, and may force us to think differently about the work we are doing. We may even realize how much the globe really needs educators to connect with others outside of our K12 world.
So, I tried this last year. It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t mean it...it just happened. I applied for an opportunity that came across my Twitter feed. As it turns out, each year NASA hosts #NASASocial events - opportunities for folks from a variety of professions to learn more about NASA through events taking place at various NASA locations around the country. My attendance at this #NASASocial event meant that I participated in a two-day in-depth tour of NASA Kennedy Space Center, and ULA launch with scientists, engineers, journalists, museum experts, entrepreneurs, technologists, social media gurus, and other educators. This outstanding professional learning experience culminated with the launch of a TDRS-M communication satellite on an Atlas V Rocket.
As I embed myself in 2018, I will be in search of more opportunities like this one - opportunities that put me into the mix of people from other professions. I believe that by doing this, my learning will take a new direction and result in new learning opportunities for my students. I hope this is something you will think about as well. Remember to check back @PitchThisEdu throughout the year, for more opportunities for teachers & students!
Oh...and before you go...here are some 'sticky notes':
Sticky Note #1
If you are a business organization that hosts professional learning for your own employees, why not invite educators to take part in some of your PD as well?
Sticky Note #2.
If you are a non-profit or public organization that hosts events, please consider following the #NASASocial format, and find a way to include people from various professions - including educators.
Sticky Note #3
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information about other awesome opportunities that will put educators in touch with folks from other professions in a professional learning-type environment or event.
Finally, some tweets from @jenhesseltine & @NatGeoEducation live from #NASASocial, August 17-18, 2017