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Leveraging Staff Meeting Time for Professional Learning

Finding time to provide teachers with professional learning is often challenging for school systems. Scheduling professional learning opportunities outside the traditional school day means many educators cannot attend. Narragansett Public Schools in Rhode Island found that many teachers reported needing more time to explore new technology and determine how they might integrate it into instruction. To help address the problem, Narragansett Pier Middle School hosted a “tech tasting” instead of one of their mandatory staff meetings to address this challenge. Facilitated by teachers and instructional coaches who attended the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE) conference, the tech tasting followed an Edcamp model in which teachers were allowed to “vote with their presence” and attend whichever session they were most interested in. Post-event surveys found that teachers appreciated the opportunity to explore something that interested them and start planning for classroom use. Leveraging an existing meeting time for professional learning and giving educators a choice in the session they attended helped ensure that teachers could successfully incorporate new technology into lessons.