In less than 36 hours I will be on a plane to Palm Springs for the Spring CUE Conference, where I will be presenting the session that this post gets its name from. The title comes from years of sitting through years of PD about topics like student-centered classrooms and active engagement, delivered via lecture and PowerPoint. Why is it such a difficult concept that the same factors that determine the effectiveness of instruction with students also apply when teachers are in the role of students? Why is it so rare for purveyors of profound pedagogy to practice it personally? We will review some literature on the topic of what makes PD effective, and then explore the tools that Nearpod offers to make your own PD engaging and transformative. Nearpod has recently rolled out Ready to Run PD, a rapidly expanding library of Professional Development presentations on topics like Social Emotional Learning, reaching English Language Learners, and Balanced Literacy, to name just a few. Informative, engaging, and plug-and-play, they are not only well-made (and customizable) but made to use with little to no prep time.
But whether you use the lessons Nearpod designed for us or you design your own, Nearpod does the same for for teacher professional development as it does for student learning- it turns teacher-centered, lecture-based instruction into student-centered, collaborative and engaging learning. There are about a dozen ways to add content and about half as many activities for participants, whether they are children or adults, to keep their attention and work deeply with content, leading to retention and application. Presenters need formative feedback just as much as teachers do, and Nearpod delivers.
If you’ve never used Nearpod, you can find some tutorials to get you started here. The written directions with screenshots are mostly made by Nearpod staff, and I added the video tutorials.
Back in May 2017 I briefly covered Nearpod in a larger post on presentation tools, but it has since then become my go to format for pretty much everything I teach.