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I've enjoyed helping train students on what would be PD for teachers. It is fun to see young adults seeing ways to use technology to deliver evidence of learning. I encourage these students to show their teachers the work they have done with technology. One high school student returned to my middle school classroom. She was "bored" with the worksheets assigned by her teacher. I suggested she still do the worksheets and also submit the same material using a tool she learned in my classroom. We discussed how to approach the teacher (politely and not saying his assignment was "boring.") She reported that she told her teacher "Here is the assignment you asked me to do. I wanted to do more with the subject so I also created a short video. May I send you the YouTube link so you may watch it? I am not asking for extra credit - I just want to share my learning." I heard her teacher watched the video and later asked her why she did something she was not asked to do. This conversation brightened up her smile at a later meeting as she said "It was just because I wanted to learn more and share what I learned."
What a great question! Professional Development opportunities for students! Of course, we could say that all of the educational opportunities we offer could be seen as professional development opportunities for students.
What might make the opportunities different from their regular class activities? Might it be the perceived relevance? Even in PD for adult educators, relevance to their future make a lot of difference. I've noticed that the perception of relevance and immediate applicability can determine whether or not teachers feel a workshop or class has been worth their while. Prior to the experience, participants often have no feelings that it might be either relevant or immediately applicable. It's only while they are participating that the perception develops.
So...what if we could create this perception of relevance and applicability during the classroom activities? Might that be perceived as professional development for students?