Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rockin' the PD- Part 2: Hatzatah

MJGDS is a K-8 school on the path to becoming a learning organization for the 21st century. At MJGDS we are experimenting with new forms of learning, as well as exploring different tools. We have been using iPads as a creative learning tool since 2011 when we purchased a cart of 20 devices. These 20 iPads are shared throughout the school, and they are in almost constant use. 
In addition to experimentation with student learning methods and tools, we are playing with new ways of engaging teachers in professional development. The essential question is,  "How do we inspire, build and promote a culture of self-directed and self-motivated learning at the school?"
n 2011, we introduced "hatzatah הצתה " (Hebrew for Ignite) as a fun, optional challenge to our faculty. Hatzatah is our school's adaptation of a popular presentation format based on Pecha Kucha and Ignite.  Each presenter has 5 minutes to share an idea, broken down into 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. Hatzatot could be presented in either Hebrew or English. 
We began opening each faculty meeting with a hatzatah. As people embraced the challenge we were treated to the opportunity to learn more about each other's passions. Our 21st century learning coaches were available to work with teachers as they learned this new form of self-expression. 
In January 2013, as part of our school's edcamp day, we held a hatzatah contest using the open-ended prompt, "How have iPads impacted my practice?" We were thrilled to have five teachers embrace this opportunity to win an iPad. iPad in education experts, Richard Byrne, Mike Fisher and Lisa Johnson, judged the contest, using a rubric created from our Hatzatah checklist
The feedback, from both the presenters and the audience (even the judges) was tremendous. The true "prize" was, hopefully, learning new skills and overcoming challenges. Shelly reflected, "I can honestly say I was scared to death and I wanted to drop out, but when it was over I was glad that I did it.  I started thinking that this experience made me relate better to my students.  I had forgotten the anxiety that I feel before I have to give an oral presentation."
I sat back, in a state of awe, watching and listening to the excellence that shines forth from our faculty members who took this challenge. They all worked hard to prepare and practice, and boy did it show. 
Here are the videos of the hatzatot:

3rd grade teacher, Seth Carpenter

1 comment:

Amanda Christopher said...

Hi. I am pursing a secondary education English and language arts degree at the University of South Alabama. In one of my education courses, I have been assigned to your blog. I also have a blog, and I will be summarizing your posts that I comment on, as well as the comments I make. I will make the summary post on or before 2/10/13. You can view our class blog and my blog at the links below. I neglected to mention this information in my comment on January 24th.

The hatzatah presentation sounds like a great way to kick off a meeting and to share a new idea. I believe it is beneficial to have a formal method for teachers to share ideas, and this one sounds time efficient and to the point.

The competition itself sounds like it was inspiring for the teachers. Not only did it allow teachers to share their ideas with one another but also to put themselves in a role similar to a student. The process of answering the prompt while utilizing 5 minutes pressured the teachers to really think about how their practice has been impacted. The competition also put teachers in the position of presenting to their peers in pursuit of approval, as students often find themselves doing. I can understand why Shelly said she could better relate to her students.

Class blog
My blog