After attending Edcamp nLA (north Louisiana) this weekend, I left with the idea that North Louisiana is a region whose teachers, businesses, and educators motivated to work together in the best interests of students. This realization hit me after sitting through sessions where teachers continually pushed one another for newer, more engaging resources to help address student support needs. In one session I attended, the participants wanted specifically to talk about how the technology being introduced would help students who were non-verbal, students with significant developmental delay, and students who could not read. The conversations swirled around which ideas were easiest to implement because teachers wanted information that they could take and use in their classrooms the following week. As an out of state witness to the collaboration taking place, I was enthralled by this level of transparency and frank discussion. Why isn’t all teacher professional development so honest and relevant? How had Educator Alexander (the conference organizer featured in the photos above bottom left) and Louisiana Public Broadcasting come together to create an environment where teachers felt safe enough to collaborate and engaged enough to put their greatest needs out there.
I sat down with the Educational Technology Specialist for Louisiana Public Broadcasting check here if you missed that to get some answers. She said that essentially Louisiana Public Broadcasting felt that a partnership with Edcamp and Educator Alexander made sense because they possessed resources teachers could use and wanted to get them out there. Our talk helped me to understand just how much strategic partnerships can benefit the education space. Teachers received guided tours through the manifold online resources they could use to design engaging lessons, get content needed for STEAM/STEM topics, and assess student learning and LPBS was able to build more partnerships. Overall the experience left me with the desire to revamp the kind of PD regularly offered to teachers and rethink the kinds of partnerships that educators typically pursue. If you missed my sit downs with the co-founder of ECET2 in Louisiana Nicole Nelson click here and if you are looking for more ideas on how to partner with your local public broadcasting station reach out to Nancy for ideas and her email is located here. If you want one DYNAMIC educator to follow my suggestion is that you pick up your Twitter and follow Educator Alexander. She is a one woman movement and you know that I can identify with that! Follow her at @EducatorAlex and attend ANYTHING that she organizes. Tell her Dr. Kia sent you!