Random Thoughts

My 25% PD

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After reflecting on the amount of PD teachers should be receiving, I’ve decided that I have to control my own PD. I have been for most of this year. But it hit me today as I had a light class load that I am in charge of my own PD and so I did what you do at any good PD opportunity. I poured myself a big cup of coffee (Starbuck’s Coffee and used my French press, the only way to have coffee I’ve decided) and started on my PD for the day. Where did I start you ask? Simple, in my bloglines account.

This has been the best day of PD I could ever hope for. I was in control of my learning. I was able to click on links that were interesting and ignore the information that I felt didn’t apply to me. I read, commented, reflected, bookmarked, and just felt the excitement inside me grow as I found some great stuff. So I’ve decided to make it my goal to spend 25% of my time doing my own PD. That adds up to 525 minutes of PD a week or 8.75 hours of PD a week or 1.75 hours of PD a day.

Today being a slow day in the lab I spent roughly 4 hours of PD time today.

So in my first Weekly PD post here is what I found today that inspired me:

Their Circular Life, an exploration about human behavior

Brandon’s Online Magazine: A magazine that is a blog created and maintained by a class of 6th graders.

Who’s the Scientist: Seventh graders describe scientists before and after a visit to Fermilab.

From the Shifted Librarian a look at Google and libraries in 2015.


The Techsavvyed forum of educators finding great sites on the web.

Heard about this place but actually went there today and looked around. Wheels are spinning of how to use this.

My admin wants to do a survey of technology use in our school. So if you are going to collect information you might as well do it right. The LOTI survey is still a great tool at looking at technology implementation within a school.

Rethinking Learning: George Siemens makes available his presentation. This was a well spend hour of my time today. Can’t wait to share this with others.

I was here once a while back, but forgot about it. What a cool site!

Revisited my own thoughts on PD in schools and what we should be doing vs what we are doing.

Can’t wait to get my 5th graders playing this, hopefully in March.

What a fun way to practice math facts

A list of math games on the web for all ages

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

What a great way to practice parts of speech

All this and going through my bloglines account. I’m sorry, you just can’t beat this type of learning. I caught myself a couple times today just thinking about what I was doing, clicking here, going there, coming back to this page, reading that, linking to this. What a wonderful world of information!

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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Jeff,

    I love this model. I’m home sick with a pulled muscle in my back, allowing me lots of browsing and blog reading. My Firefox tabs keep being hidden by new content. I like my commute sometimes because I have to read not not click (no internet access on the train, yet :->).

    Thanks for this post — it’s an awesome model. I smiled as I listened to George Siemens’ presentation this morning as well. Shifting my persectives!

    – Alex

  2. Excellent post. We’re on half term at the moment, and I’ve been using much of the time just to follow ideas, read a few blogs, post a few things, play with flickr, etc, etc.
    I’ve learnt such a lot through the process, and I’m sure lots of this will impact on my teaching, and work with colleagues.
    What would be really interesting is to see how far this model can be applied to my pupils learning: this seems just the sort of personalised, tailored learning that we’re hearing about in the UK at the moment, but I can’t imagine too many schools letting their pupils learn this way, when there are exams and inspections to worry about. Of course, there’s nothing to stop pupils learning like this in their own time…

  3. Jeff, although I never thought of it in the way you describe it, that is exactly how my professional development works. I have been avoiding relaxing by the TV and have been relaxing by reading, reading and reading more blogs and educational technology news all the time. I think the transofmation of the web from singular websites, to those connected with all types of social-networking strategies has let our exploration of the web explode.

    You used to have to know the URL of a website, or find it through a site that listed other sites. Now, with blogs, del.icio.us and others, you are constantly being routed to other importantly-connected sites. Without smart people like yourself sharing knowledge and links, I could never begin to sort through all the nonsense on the web. Thanks, and keep it up. I do my best to do the same:

  4. CPD .. is a virus .. and I have it … it results in CPD seeming to happen every waking moment whether I want it to or not and I’m not even sure that it’s not doing something when I’m asleep.

    The motivation over the last year has been blogs, wikis and now podcasts … but just when I thought I was feeling comfortable and seeing where they might fit into T&L I find that lots of folks have been developing Web 2.0 for the last year (or longer)

    The unfortunate thing about Web 2.0 is that it’s magic, easy to learn, low maintenance, exciting, exhausting, fun, functional, free (UUMMmm … the 3F’s … fun, functional,free)… and I’m addicted.

    So for your next PD self delve further into the Web 2.0 world … starting at http://www.shambles.net/web2/

    Have fun


    P.S. Health Warning … don’t do too much self P.D. …. you’ll go blind … so just go a little and wear glasses.

  5. I like how you take your learning into your own hands.
    I am curious what your school’s administration feels about this.
    Here in Florida, PD for teachers requires certain approvals and formalities that makes your model somewhat unlikely for those teachers needing to renew their teaching certificate.
    I suppose if the school district could formalize a similar approach it would go a long way and make many practicing teachers quite happy.
    Should your model include some kind of assessment of your learning?
    Will reflective blog entries suffice?
    Could this work it’s way into a community of practice where other educators respond to your reflections?
    Things that make me go hmmmm….


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  7. GReat article Jeff. I hear so many teachers moan that they can’t get PD support from their organisation and my thoughts have aways been ‘What happened to the teacher’s sense of professionalism and responsibility for their own learning?’

    I agree with Chris Sessums – a community of professionals responding to such readings would very worthwhile.

  8. Pingback: Teacher in Development :: Constructing Open ESL Classrooms: The Student is the Content :: July :: 2006

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