CPD in the Staffroom
At a Glow meeting earlier this week we were talking about Continuing Professional Development - specifically Online CPD with Con Morris. He has posted links and his Prezi online if you want to see what he was talking about but his observations and comments as he presented are what I want to talk about here. For example, he noted that some of the best CPD he ever had took place in the staffroom. There were always the staffroom cynics, and a huge range of non-education related topics were discussed (football, golf, the weather...) but the third year class that was driving you up the wall would also feature and suggestions, strategies and practical advice on what to do about it would follow. He quoted Roland Barth:
...the most powerful form of learning, the most sophisticated form of staff development, comes not from listening to the good works of others but from sharing what we know with others… By reflecting on what we do, by giving it coherence, and by sharing and articulating our craft knowledge, we make meaning, we learn.Later, while talking about face to face CPD sessions he quoted "Lord if I die, let it be in a CPD session where the difference between life and death is imperceptible". I don't know who first said this but it contains a truth that will be recognised by anyone who has ever had to sit through a twilight hours development session. This was all part of a discussion about alternatives to face to face CPD.[Can't find the original source but it is also quoted on the Escondido Union School District site]
Twitter as CPD
One of the alternatives suggested was Twitter. However, this lead to some sharp disagreement. One view was expressed that you had to ruthlessly weed out all the people who tell you they had kippers for breakfast and build a small, trusted list of people who tweet about education. However, another school of thought said it was like a staffroom: sometimes you talk about kippers and sometimes you talk about curriculum. If you exclude someone for talking about one you can miss good stuff about the other. At one point Con said something like (and I paraphrase here): "Don't go to Twitter with an agenda. I didn't go to the staffroom with an agenda and my experience was richer because of that."
What do you do?
Where do you lie in the Twitter as CPD discussion? Do you tend to follow most of the people that follow you or do you ruthlessly prune your follow list? If you prune, how do you decide who to keep and do you use tools such as Who The Tweet? to help?