New Heights in Professional Learning

I am not your normal educator. Let me explain. I am a trained Histology Technician, and I graduated in 1995. I went to work in the field and had been at my current place of employment for 3 years when one day I picked up a call that ask if I or someone from the lab could come over and help the students while the instructor was out sick. I agreed and started going over in the afternoons to help the students. Within a few weeks I was offered the job of Program Director, and I have been there since 2001.

As you can guess I was not formally trained as an educator. I wanted to soak every bit of professional development that I could, because I was in the biggest sense of it “flying blind”. I would go to every workshop and in-service I could, trying to improve as an educator. At first I thought these were the bet but then I began to realize that I was sitting there hearing so many good ideas, but I would go back and not implement them because I didn’t know how or where to start.

The years have gone by and I have found myself amid a technology minefield. I have taught online classes since 2008 and have gone to many workshops on online teaching but they were all sit and go. I am good at self-teaching myself technology. I am also the adventurous one at the college, so that sets me up to be the go to guy for questions about technology. Sure, we have information technicians that work for us but they do more with hardware, and nothing to do with educational software.

The educators that I work with are at the average around 40-50 years old. When it comes to technology they can use a computer and Microsoft Office but that is about it. Every educator that I work with has come from the profession they were trained in and just step into the job of educator with no formal training, except for one. She taught at another college before coming to our college. When it comes to new technology we just call one another and ask for help. Therefore, I am developing this new form of professional development to give my colleagues a new way of gaining abilities to teach students.

The video for the new form of PL for Baptist Health College Little Rock can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de4VMEcdcqA .

Creating the video was done using www.biteable.com I attached a video that demonstrates the website and how I used it https://youtu.be/RqFrFP1jzV4 .

I will take 5 high level technology educators and I will meet with them once a week for a month training and mentoring them on how to create a quality video for class and then how to create a YouTube channel of their own for posting the video. Upon successful training, they will take 2 educators each and train and mentor them once a week for a month. Then 5 first trained and the 10 trained after that will train and mentor 2 more each. After one more round like this every educator at the college will be trained on video capturing and creating a channel on YouTube. Utilizing this new way of PL no one person will have more than 6 people total to mentor and follow-up with. This smaller number will allow the ones that trained to give more time to following up with each other and to make sure they can use the new technology in their courses.

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