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Tip of the Week: Personalized PD with the LOC

Complete the following sentence in your head.

Every workshop I attend should . . .

My first thought?

include snacks and very large Diet Pepsi.

But I suppose there are a few other ways to complete the sentence. A couple of weeks ago I ran across a very interesting post by Pernille Ripp titled Every Workshop I Attend Should . . . What Attendees Wish We Knew. Powerful stuff. As someone who spends a lot of time working with teachers, it was a great reminder of what a good PD session should look like.

  • Teachers want choice
  • They want to connect with others and content
  • They want to be acknowledged as experts
  • They want practical ideas
  • They want to be inspired
  • They want the focus to be on students
  • They want it to be fun

And I’m a big believer in face to face, professional learning in groups. I love the interaction that can happen when teachers passionate about the profession get together. Using Ripp’s list as a guide is a wonderful way to measure whether the learning is of high quality.

But with this new fangled interwebs thing out there, there is also personal professional growth opportunities available that would have been impossible to find even five years ago. So where can you find professional development options that contain all of the things on Ripp’s list?

The Library of Congress, of course.

As part of their Teaching with Primary Sources program, the Library has put together not just face to face workshops but online, just in time learning options as well. Find out about all of their PD choices here.

But be sure to check out their two online choices. Because sometimes you need to learn stuff on your schedule, at your pace, and in your pajamas sitting by the fireplace.

Online Modules
Earn a certificate of completion by taking the Library’s self-paced interactive modules. Each multimedia-rich program delivers approximately one hour of staff development.

  • Introduction to the Library of Congress
    Get an overview of the digitized materials and K-12 resources from the Library of Congress.
  • Supporting Inquiry with Primary Sources
    Teachers and students demonstrate how primary sources can be used to support inquiry learning. Inquiry encourages students to draw on their prior knowledge, personal experiences and critical thinking skills to construct meaning.
  • Copyright and Primary Sources
    Learn how to evaluate primary sources from the Library’s collections for the best use within copyright. Listen to several teachers as they evaluate the use of primary sources for use with their students.
  • Analyzing Primary Sources: Photographs and Prints
    Learn how photographs and prints from the Library’s collections can increase student engagement in the classroom.
  • Analyzing Primary Sources: Maps
    Learn instructional strategies for using maps in the classroom.
  • Finding Primary Sources
    Understand the breadth and depth of the Library’s collections and listen to teachers as they find primary sources for their students.

But you should also check out the Professional Development Builder. With the Builder, you pick and choose from 15 different activities focused on the use of Primary Sources to develop your own staff development. All the materials are available for download. The Builder was actually designed for department chairs, curriculum directors, and staff developers but why not use it to design your very own personalized learning on primary documents?

Some samples of the kinds of things you have access to:

loc sdl

And be sure to check your with district’s professional learning policy – you might be able to get PDC or college credit as a result.

Be sure to have fun!


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