Tuesday, April 12, 2022

How to Create a Professional Development Series in Gmail

As we head into the last part of the school year some of us are starting to think about and plan professional development activities for the summer and the following school year. It's nice to be able to offer in-person PD sessions again and I'm looking forward to facilitating a few of those this summer. There's also still a need to provide professional learning opportunities that don't require everyone to be in one place (physically or virtually) at the same time. It was thinking about that idea that prompted me to think about options for delivering self-paced professional development. 

Gmail's scheduling feature could be used to create a series of timed, progressive emails aligned to a specific topic or theme. For example, you could create a series of four emails that contain directions on how to use features of Google Forms. The series might start with the basics of using Google Forms and then each subsequent email would build upon that. Each email could contain a written overview, a video overview, and a "do now" practice activity. 

Watch this short video to see a demonstration of how to create a professional development series in Gmail. 



Applications for Education
In the video above I used the schedule send function in Gmail to create a professional development series for teachers. The same concept could be applied to creating a mini-course for students to complete over the summer. If you teach an AP course that requires students to complete some assigned reading over the summer, you could create a series of scheduled emails to check in with them and have them reply to a couple of questions. Of course, you might also do that in Google Classroom.

The Mystery Pollinator!

This morning my local television news station broadcast a segment about hummingbirds and when to put out hummingbird feeders. We always put out a few hummingbird feeders every summer so I watched the segment with slightly more interest than some of the other filler stories they show every morning. One little aspect of the story was to remind viewers that hummingbirds play a role in the ecosystem as pollinators. That little fact reminded me of a SciShow Kids video from last spring about flowers and pollination

Flowers and Their Pollinators is a cute video that explains to kids how bees, butterflies, bats, and birds help to pollinate flowers. The video concludes with the revelation that hummingbirds are the mystery pollinator in the story. Click here to jump to that segment of the video. 



Applications for Education
Before showing this video to students I'd ask them to share their ideas about how plants grow and spread to new areas. I'd also ask them think about what makes flowers bloom. As I'm learning from my own kids who wonder about these things, kids come up with some interesting thoughts about these kinds of questions. This video offers answers that little kids can understand.

ICYMI - Two EdTech Guys Take Questions

Last week Rushton Hurley and I hosted another episode of our Two EdTech Guys Take Questions webinar series. If you missed it, you can watch the recording right here or as embedded below. Rushton does a great job of sharing links to all of the resources that we mention in the webinar. That list of resources can along with the slides from the webinar can found right here on the Next Vista website under Season 2, Episode 10. 



The next live episode of Two EdTech Guys Take Questions will be on May 12th at 4pm ET. Register here to join us for the fun.