Lessons learned Professional Development workshop

I completed a day long workshop with local high school teachers last week. It went well but I didn’t have time to make a detailed handout and that was one thing that the teachers wanted. I did complete a 21 page introductory guide on WordPress which was sent to them electronically this week so it should help them to move through the software quickly. Usually I am ambitious and this day was no exception, I planned to cover a lot of ground but we didn’t quite get there. If I could do it again I would have the teachers review the handout before the workshop and have them begin creating their portfolios before the first meeting. The workshops should be half day sessions since many teachers were overwhelmed with the all day sessions. We are planning a refresher course which I think will be helpful for the teachers and myself to get their reactions and thoughts about the software.

Creating an ePortfolio is not a one day event, it takes time, weeks, months, depending on what you find and what you want to write about. With that in mind I think it would be best to give the teachers time to create it on their own, have an initial session and then a second session a month or two later with the intention that the teachers will be working on their portfolios in the interim. I think this also gets the teachers thinking about the reflective process involved in ePortfolios for themselves and their students.

Overall the teachers were enthusiastic about the concept of eportfolios with regard to career planning and personal branding. They liked the concept of student work being online to market to employers. There were some issues discussed about privacy in WordPress but I think I figured out a work around. If WordPress is installed or hosted for the institution there are some additional privacy options that can be implemented. I have been happy with WordPress and the teachers enjoyed using it as well.

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