Putting Play Back in Professional Development (or Bribes, Bridges, and Balloons)

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

As we continue to innovate in learning places with students, are we also innovating in how we offer professional development to educators? This session explores five ways that offer faculty places to communicate ideas and strategies with one another in a creative spaces. Do you have ideas to contribute?


I was once introduced as a cheerleader for faculty. I am okay with just that. After ten years of teaching high school English and nearly twenty years teaching and instructional designing I have learned that faculty, like all of us, need good, healthy relationships and support. On a good day, I can be that. I work to help faculty dream about the wonderful ways we can create learning places and spaces. I do that because it is important work and I am lucky to be able to contribute.

Extended Abstract

This conversation will wander and wonder around the state of professional development of educators in 2018. From the rise of learning communities and the notion of developing a PLN, to Twitter and the ever-present hour long “sit & git” sort of training. What is working, and what are the options?

Do we even have other options? Is one better than another? How do we know? Who creates them? What are the qualities of the best training models?

I will start with a quick look at five simple alternatives to traditional methods of PD. Participants will share success and failure stories of their own and be able to ask question about ideas offered.

I will have amazing examples of printed materials specifically designed for this session and a rich website that has examples of various successful professional development opportunities and designs. These will be accompanied by food prepared for this activity and prizes given for participation.

Session goals:

Helping participants see the value of play in professional development.

Identifying, documenting, and sharing ideas from participants institutions.