Best PD Experience Ever

The most significant professional development experience I’ve ever had was in 2010 when I represented the United States at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum in South Africa.  I presented a project that I used to recruit and retain women in my computer science classes called “Game Programming with the Microsoft Zune to Promote Women in Technology”.  The professional development during the conference focused on structuring innovative, project-based learning experiences which impact society.  After talking to teachers whose projects were educating their students and impacting their communities and visiting a low-income school in South Africa, I was inspired to connect my teaching to social causes.  Upon return, my AP CS students were challenged to create programs which modeled the life of South African street children.  My game development students were directed to make games related to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.  The result was not only games based on maternal health and environmental sustainability, rather than zombies and explosions, but students who understood the role that technology could play in impacting their world.  Three years later, my students have just wrapped up a project creating apps for a non-profit called Legacies of War, dedicated to bringing awareness to the unexploded munitions dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War.  Download Anatomy of a Cluster Bomb at the Google App store.  Incorporating meaningful contexts with deep project experiences makes learning real and motivating.

About Author: py

Comments are closed.

Follow me on Twitter