Sunday, September 6, 2009

Open Source PD for High School Science

version 4 updated 9.08.09 6:00 amEDT

Instead of paying teachers to listen to someone else, what if teachers were paid to listen to each other.

The Paper

It could be a postcard, a letter or an ad in the school newspaper. But whatever it is, it appears in the teacher's mailbox or is handed to the teacher by an AP.
The focus this week is Evolution and BioDiversity, There will be a PD session next Tuesday to brainstorm how we might be able to use what's in the video for our classes.
Reader's note 1 "brainstorm how we might be able to use" is at the heart of the "development" part of "professional development." A combination of face to face plus on line mentoring is the heart of the "professional" part of "professional development." (see argument at the end of the post)
A Taste for Insects 57:53 minutes. is from the University of California's UCTV.
On the web at

Reader's note 2 "" is an easy-ish to remember and type URL. But it is just one path. The other path is using 2D- QR code that is printed on the paper. It might look like the one below. Pointing a cellphone or a web cam will automatically take one to the A Taste for Insects video. That's the experience I'm trying to point to with "clickable print."

"How did the passion for collecting and collections of Darwin, Wallace and others of their period force them to understand and explain biodiversity? What is the legacy of this period of adventure and species discovery and how is it a vital part of current and future evolutionary research? Join Kipling Will, Associate Director of the Essig Museum of Entomology, UC Berkeley for this exploration. (#16071)
The video

The argument
Any time taken away from teachers thinking about and working with their students is wasted time. Teacher time is the scarce resource in school systems. Wasting it increases costs without increasing learning.

My direct experience is in the New York City school systems. I've seen how much money and time is wasted in that context.

With the explosion of great content on the internet this no longer has to be the case. With asynchronous communication on wikis and nings, expert moderated discussions are practical.

With the simple use of a piece of paper and the open source resources on the internet, we can have the same experience we want to give to our students.