Professional Learning

You Just Attended an Awesome Conference. Now What?

Sharing the professional development love

March 15, 2012

'Tis the season for state technology conferences. I recently went to my state conference, MACUL, and was excited to see some great presentations. There is nothing like being in the audience when passionate educators talk about the awesome things they are doing in the classroom. In my position, I have the opportunity to write about the cool things I saw and share them with my district. I also have a chance to visit other schools and work 1:1 with teachers. And what about those full-time classroom teachers that attended the conference? Do you just take the awesome things you learned and keep them to yourself? I hope not. Teachers in your district are counting on you to share great ideas. Here are some things you can do to share the conference love.

1) Send an Email

The simplest thing you can do is sending an email to your school or district, sharing some of the great tools you discovered at the conference. Give credit to the presenters who gave you these ideas, and offer to answer any questions people might have. This allows for non-attendees to take a look at what you learned by attending -- and follow up when they have the time.

2) Talk with Your Department or Grade Level

Friendly conversations with your colleagues are a great way to share ideas. You can talk about the tools and how they work in your specific curriculum. This type of connection could get more teachers willing to try something new.

3) Talk to Your Principal

Find out if there is any time during a staff meeting or half day professional development (PD) to share some of the things that you learned at the conference. It might be weird for you to stand up and talk to your entire school, but what you have to share could make a major impact on the lives of students who aren't necessarily in your classroom. Another bonus, the willingness to share with the entire building will always score you points with the boss.

4) Talk to Your District PD Office

If you are willing to share your awesomeness with the people in your school, maybe you could share what you have learned to the whole district. Having worked in central administration this year, I know they are always looking for teachers to teach other teachers. Setting some time aside to do a mini presentation on the interesting things you learned at a conference is a great way to help other teachers grow.

5) Get Online

If you are still feeling the urge to share, get out there and start a blog, join Twitter and use other forms of social media to spread the good word about what you have learned. If you want to reach as many people as you can, look to social media as a tool to do just that.

By trying these five ways to share your exciting new ideas, the presentation you attended in a room of 30 teachers now has another chance to help hundreds or thousands of teachers across the country and around the world. Multiply those educators by the number of students they have, and one teacher attending one session at a conference can change the world.

What are you waiting for?

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