How do we define Innovative Professional Learning? / Featuring Mike Lawrence

How do we define Innovative Professional Development?

In this episode of “Ask the Tech Coach,” we sit down with Mike Lawrence and Dr. Sam Patterson to talk about the State of Professional Learning. Together, we take on the topic of Innovative Professional Development and share our thoughts about how we can create a culture of learning in our school districts that encourage teachers to think outside of the box.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The state of Professional Development in 2018How are we personalizing Professional Learning?
  • Voting with your Feet …
  • The audience becomes the presenter
  • Should teachers be seeking out of district Professional Development?
  • Professional Learning vs Professional Development
  • What defines innovation in 2018?
  • Something you do that is different
  • What does Innovative Professional Development look like?
  • STEAMPunk Professional Learning from CUE
  • Is Innovation and School Culture connected? (how?)
  • As a Tech Coach, what can we do to encourage teachers to continue their professional learning?
  • Where can Tech Coaches and Professional Development providers turn to for innovative ideas?
  • California Student Media Festival – free to enter, free to attend –
  • New role at PowerSchool – Senior Director, Educator Engagement (focusing on: User Groups, Academic Advisory Board and Policy Efforts – just started!


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About our Guests

Mike Lawrence

Mike Lawrence has been impacting education as a teacher, administrator, technology coordinator and non-profit leader for twenty years. He is Senior Director of Educator Engagement at PowerSchool, powering student success for 32 million students.

He served as CEO of CUE, a nonprofit educational association, driving 500% growth for over a dozen years. He also serves as Director of the California Student Media Festival; the nation’s oldest such festival. He served on the ISTE Board of Directors during a critical four-year term. During his tenure, the board transformed itself into a leaner, more nimble board. He is a respected presenter at international conferences and events.

He was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2003 and co-founded the Google Certified Innovator program in 2006. In 2009-10, he founded Leading Edge Certification. In 2018, he was named a Minecraft Global Mentor. He has received honors from: CUE (Gold Disk, 2010), National School Boards Association (20 to Watch in Ed Tech, 2012), ISTE (Making IT Happen, 2013), EdTech Digest (Founder/CEO, 2014). He recently was tapped to serve on the UNESCO Expert Group on Mobile Learning, board of National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET) and as an Expert Advisor for the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF).

Mike is also a licensed youth soccer coach, former child actor and enthusiastic musical theater participant.

@techmaverick | LI:

Sam Patterson

Sam Patterson, Ed.D., is a makerspace coordinator at Echo Horizon School, an independent school that offers a mainstream environment for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. Sam teaches grade PreK-6 to discover and learn how things work. Sam sees the makerspace as the ultimate literacy development lab. Kids want to learn how to do things and they want to share what they make.



Explore these Resources

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Tech Tip of the Week

  • Innovative Professional Development doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult to set up. In fact, it could be as simple as teaching your staff to be creative with simple classroom items. Check out our latest post on Toy Hacking to learn more!

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