Sunday, April 30, 2017

Innovative Instructional Leadership: Reimagine PD Reflection

Innovative Instructional Leadership: Reimagine PD Reflection


Professional development is an integral part in the world of education.  As a member of the Winona State University Byron Cohort, I was part developing an event which showcases an innovative approach towards a 21st century style professional development initiative through the process of design-thinking.  As students continue adopt innovative methods of learning, teachers need to do the same.


The invitation for the event went out to districts in the South Eastern MN area.  We wanted be that impacted change in their buildings and  districts.  This included teachers, administration, staff, and collegiate professors.  All were welcome as change-agents in their professional development environments.

Moving forward I think that design-thinking in an education setting is something that everyone should here.  While there are challenges implementing new ways of doing professional development, there are opportunities of building a better and more innovative culture for student learning.

What?  Reimagine PD Website

Design thinking is a process that gets down to what is at the core of challenges and wants when attempting to find solutions.  The first part of the event is a "get to know you," followed by attendees going through the design thinking process, and then ending with the sharing of prototypes.

The big challenge will be to provide the positive outcome desired in a short amount of time in a deeply engaged environment.  Sometimes I find that the best ideas come out of people just chatting in a structured environment.  My hope is that attendees will connect with other professionals and use those connections in the future to better professional development on the home-front.


Structured engagement and an open mind will bring together results.  A benefit to design thinking is that the people involved in the activity must develop a prototype.  A prototype is a tangible item that you can hold, feel, and hopefully use to spark more ideas of implementation.  It's not always about the end product, most often it is about the journey that led you there.


In a 21st Century learning environment we often as education professionals engage in professional development through 19th century methods... ...the "sit and get."

Check out this article by Tim Walker...

No More ‘Sit and Get’: Rebooting Teacher Professional Development

When we comes down to it, we do what we do because if we're not engaged in growth we are in the status quo which eventually becomes obsolete and leads to failure.  It's time to rejuvenate our professional development experience.


We as educators need to take advantage of every opportunity we have to become better at engaging our students in learning.  We need to take full advantage of the resources at our fingertips and beyond.  We need to look beyond the way things have been done and ask ourselves... there a better way?

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