FWSU Educators Present at Vermont Fest: Mike Clark

Target 1 – Student-Centered Learning FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step – Engage all staff and students in creating a personalized learning networks (PLN) that contribute to learning and instructional practice.

Today on the blog, we are sharing a Q&A discussion we had with Mike Clark about his upcoming presentation at Vermont Fest:

Developing a Digital Professional Learning Network Using Social Media:

 Do you think Twitter is just for the stars?

This workshop is designed to help teachers explore and become connected with the power the digital world has to offer.  The goal of the course is to empower teachers to engage with colleagues and educational enthusiasts around the world; to improve the learning for all students using Twitter and Diigo (a social bookmarking tool).

The course will also share the model Bellows Free Academy has used to develop a Digital Professional Learning Network (DPLN) course. Come, be a star!

What interested you in presenting at Vermont Fest 2012? 

MC: It is important for educators to share what is working for their schools and classrooms.  Actually, that is what the topic I am presenting at VT Fest is all about.

How did you decide on your topic for presentation? 

MC: BFA Fairfax moved forward in a meaningful way once we found a way to connect our teachers with all kinds of teachers throughout the world using Twitter. We did this by teaching a class called Developing a Digital Professional Learning Network (DPLN).  It was surprising to everyone involved just how much we were missing and the changes it has brought to BFA have been astonishing.  We have seen the impact in the flipped classroom, the 1:1 Program, and new flexible teaching and learning opportunities for students have emerged. It has even influenced the way many of our staff members interact. The results were so positive.

What is the one lasting piece of information you hope to impart during your presentation?

MC: Professional Development can and should happen every day. You don’t have to drive to Killington to learn. If you have a device connected to the internet, you can learn something new every day and the best part is, if you build a good Digital Professional Learning Network, you don’t even have to go looking for the learning. It will come to you.

What is the one lasting piece of information you hope to impart during your presentation?

MC: Every time I present about Digital Learning Networks, and what we are doing at BFA, it helps me to understand the real significance of the changes we have made.  It also convinces me that every teacher should be connected in this way. Sharing our successes helps other schools to replicate what we’ve done. Highlighting our own mistakes also gives me opportunity to figure out how to adjust and make our systems better.

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