Master Class World Tour

Posted on Aug 27, 2017 in Connect2Tech | 0 comments

Master Class World Tour

What could be better than spending a whole day, diving in depth to a lesson, with Holly Clark, Trevor MacKenzie, and Kelly Hilton and ending it with a fabulous boat ride and food tour of Chicago? Really as far as Professional Development goes, NOTHING!! I signed up for the Master Class World Tour Leadership strand back in spring. I had no idea how rewarding the whole experience would be. I am pretty sure I know Google well, and can create a Hyperdoc like a pro, but combining those to create a deep, inquiry based lesson is entirely new to me. There is always so much to learn, and just when you think you have it down, something comes along to teach you more.

The journey started with some online lessons with (gasp!) homework to prepare for the final book smash in Chicago. My online sessions were with Holly and Tanya Avrith (who I still have not met in person) the authors of the Google Infused Classroom. Beyond just using Google tools in the classroom, this book gives you the tools to use with Google as well as enough resources to keep your classroom engaging for years. Flipgrid is at the top of my list, but I also discovered different ways to use Socrative, and Padlet which have long been my favorite apps for reflection and formative assessment.

Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities, weather permitting, but this trip was a different experience for me. At first I was disappointed that my husband had to stay home due to his health, but the freedom to explore the city on my own and with friends was something I will long cherish. I ate fabulous food, drank the best sangria EVER, and gained ten pounds between this and my Google trip. Holly planned a memorable outing that included Chicago hot dogs, gourmet churros, and a boat tour that featured Chicago architecture. After the last few months of drama I needed this time to refocus and prepare for a challenging school year.

The book smash was just the kind of professional development you always want your administrators to plan and they never do. A whole day, focused on how to create a lesson plan with one on one time with the authors of three of the best educational books out right now. I thought I knew how to write essential questions but Trevor made me rethink how I was doing this. I also learned to pair down my Hyperdocs, make them less overwhelming for both myself and my students so we could dive deeper into a lesson. Holly kept us enthusiastic and entertained and proved once again that she is one of the most influential people right now disrupting and changing education.

We all brought a lesson to the book smash to work on and fine tune. Some of us started from scratch, some revisited an old one, others took a template and made it their own. There was brainstorming going on everywhere. I was most impressed with the groups who came from one school and collaborated to make their curriculum flourish. I am dying to bring this type of PD to my school. I hope they will consider it and realize how valuable and necessary it is.

Next year I hope they plan a new tour with an Orange County stop at my school. That would be epic. Although, I really would like to go to New York or Sydney…

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