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I was in a district meeting recently, and a teacher shared with the group how she is using Edmodo with her students. I didn’t know that teacher, but I was thrilled to discover that she is having success with Edmodo. This semester, I’ve included Edmodo in many of my staff development workshops and the word is spreading. I’ve also been sharing Lodge McCammon’s great ideas for creating paper-slide and one-take music videos. DI coaches in our district have worked with their students on videos and posted them to our Edmodo group.

These two easy to use tools have given many teachers a great way to have their students share and collaborate. If you want professional development to go viral in your school or district, follow these steps:

  1. Pick one amazing and easy to use tool to share. I shared Edmodo as a first step in getting teachers to collaborate online. They were also able to easily create groups for their students. Simplicity is the key. If you can attend a 45 minute session and walk away feeling comfortable with the tool, then you’re more likely to use it with your students.
  2. Provide time in your session for teachers to share and brainstorm ideas for using the technology. Continue the discussion online.
  3. During the second session, extend the use of the tool by sharing a great curriculum integration idea. I’ve been working with teachers on creating paper-slide videos using Flip cameras. Students just need a few directions, and they can produce great videos that can be used to teach concepts to other students in the classroom.
  4. Model the use of technology by giving the teachers a chance to work in groups and create a product. This gives them the confidence to go back to the classroom and work with students on a similar project.
  5. Ask the teachers to post their work, and schedule a time for them to share their successes. Once the work is posted, other teachers in the school and district are able to see examples. They’re motivated to begin using a new tool or idea in the classroom if they can see student work samples.

Follow these steps and you’re sure to have successful professional development that spreads throughout your school or district. Let me know what is working well for you.

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