Abbotsleigh had a really exciting staff PD this week. You might think staff PD is not exciting … maybe it often isn’t, if there is just speaking up the front but this was different - hands on and showcasing exciting projects and staff loved it.
Around the gym was a range of staff showcasing their in-class projects involving everything from digital art, augmented reality, a maker space, projects involving 3D printing, Office Mix projects and Weebly site creation by kids. There were also live video conferences from both teachers and content providers, both from Sydney and internationally.
We used Microsoft Lync to bring a couple of MIE 2015 teachers doing cutting-edge projects with students in the classroom in to talk to our teachers. Ormiston College in Brisbane talked about the project Abbotsleigh and other schools have worked on where they used Office Mix tutorials to teach another class and then an Office 365 OneNote was used for collaboration and feedback between the classes while they worked together. Sacred Heart College in Tasmania talked to our teachers about how it is using OneNote to work more effectively in the classroom.
We also brought in Marty the Medieval Crusader from the Sheffield Museum in Canada, and the Museum of Human Disease at the UNSW, which had a number of specimens to discuss as well as a raft of options for staff to connect classes with the museum and its expert staff.
The conversations between these remote educators and the staff in the gym were really exciting to watch. Many staff had never seen video conferencing working live at school and could see all the possibilities for expanding learning beyond the classroom walls and expanding staff connections beyond your colleagues at school.