Saturday, November 7, 2015

Hilliard U: A New Kind of Professional Development

This year my son, John,
a SACC employee and education
major, spent the day with me.
He was a big fan of all of our
technology sessions.
Personalized Professional Development
As educators, the internet has opened the floodgates of ways we can connect, collaborate, and learn with others across the globe.  #Edcamps have popped up near and far to allow educators to come together and self-determine the professional learning experience they need without cost to the participant.  Professional books, virtual book talks, MOOCs, and social media platforms allow us to shape our own learning.

Teachers collaborate, look at resources,
and plan as part of a literacy session
to help find focus.
If you stop by this blog much, you know I'm a proponent of personalized professional development (related posts).  No longer does professional development look like a meeting with information being sent out in lecture-like formats about topics in which we have no control.  Sure districts have some common conversations needed for systems to work efficiently and effectively, but there are so many more opportunities for us to learn and grow.

Hilliard U
Brian Kight, of Focus 3 Culture,
led the Hilliard U keynote.
(Great post about the R Factor
 by Craig Vroom at
Fueling Education -- and love
Nicole Roholt's Sketchnote
featured here).
For the second year in a row, our district is hosting a day of professional learning that allows educators in our district to personalize their schedule for the day to meet their needs.  On "Hilliard U" days our entire district comes together to learn.  Keynote speakers keep us working within a common message, but break out sessions allow us to personalize our learning.  Educators, and other district staff, host sessions applicable to the work we do each day with children.  It's an opportunity to collaborate with others across the district and to see the many things going on in classrooms across our school system.

While Hilliard U has an #edcamp feel, sessions are planned in advance.  Sessions cover a range of topics including:  literacy, math, technology, growth mindset, unique student needs, and so much more.  For me, it is an opportunity to connect with educators across the district.  The atmosphere is charged with engaging conversation.  Food trucks line the perimeter of the school as participants grab a quick bite to eat, share in conversation, and enjoy a bit of entertainment (and this year the weather was divine!).  There are collaborative rooms set up for meeting with others.  I'm grateful to all who work behind the scenes help make this event work --- and to all who are willing to share.
The Food Truck Line

Here is a Hilliard U Storify with tweets of the day from participants across our district shared by Scott Morrison:

To give you an idea of the extensive course offerings (and hopefully an opportunity to see more about sessions you may have missed)  please stop by to visit or link up with this Hilliard U session collection.

1 comment:

  1. Cathy,
    Thank you for your post, HilliardU is an amazing day. It feels like a High School reunion mixed with college and provides amazing PD! So nice to see the day from your perspective. Opening my eyes to many parts to the day I missed. The session you and Tonya offered has given me so much t think about in my work with readers.
    Also, love the idea of adding links, I hope others will follow!