Key Elements

!gnite! was designed as a multi-year professional development process. The key elements in this process are listed below.
  • Attend the Building Learning Communities conference - We wanted our teachers to attend an educational technology conference that presented a vision of what their lessons/classrooms could be like and how a connected group of educators could work together across space and time. BLC's presenters focus far more on the classroom experience, the whys, and the community of educators while the technical how-tos are generally in the background.
  • Summer Camp - 2 weeks of professional development, working as a student, and leading a project
    • Day 1 - Professional Development with teachers only. Majority of PD was designed to model activity types teachers could use in their classroom.
    • Days 2, 3, & 4 - Begin and end the day with an hour of teacher only professional development. During the majority of the day, teachers work as a student member of a four person team with three students from their incoming class on a different project each day. The projects utilized the tools available to all classrooms.
    • Days 5 & 6 - Professional Development with teachers only
    • Days 7, 8, & 9 - Begin and end the day with an hour of teacher only professional development. During day 7 the teachers were primarily observers of a four person team with four new students from their incoming class completing the same project from Day 3. On Days 8 & 9 the teachers were divided into 2 groups. Half lead the student project for that day in place of the !gnite! facilitators. The other half worked with one of the !gnite Facilitators to set up their digital habitat for the coming year (Moodle, wiki, and/or blog). The next day they switched.
    • Day 10 - Professional Development with teachers only
  • Monthly Meetings - half the day was set aside for professional development activities, sharing successes and difficulties, and problem-solving. The other half the day was used for curriculum/resource development in cross building pairs/teams.
  • Monthly Curriculum Development - teachers get together for a half-day in cross building teams to plan curriculum and design resources with and !gnite! facilitator
  • Classroom visits and Co-Teaching - !gnite! Facilitators scheduled classroom visits, model teaching, and co-teaching sessions individually with teachers. Ideally teachers could schedule 4-5 visits per month.
  • Years 2-3 Inquiry & Design Challenges were designed to run as a combination of teacher inquiry, Action Research and Professional Learning Communities more along the lines of Michigan State's Professional Development Schools and less along the lines of DuFour. A range of possible topics that fit within the overall scope of !gnite! were proposed with the understanding that teachers could suggest others.

To Add
Links to detailed descriptions or agendas of days 1-10, both pd activities and student projects
Rationale for choices - volunteer teachers, teacher choice, cross-district, role as student, role as leader, curriculum development, co-teaching
Links to Inquiry Topics