It is important that all of us increase our professional learning. We have to be prepared for whatever life throws at us. In my professional development, I have taken the liberty of identifying key problems at HOBY and how we can make them better. In this blog post, I want to give you a little background as to the why, what, and how became a part of my plan for professional learning at HOBY. A few years ago, I was given the task of becoming ActiveCollab coordinator for Louisiana. From the onset, I knew that this was something that I had never done before. I was sent to HOBY’s volunteer training institute in Houston, Texas at the Omni Hotel to receive instruction on how to use this program. After the training, I eventually learned it after months of trial and error. But, it still was very heard for me to know and understand. So, I decided to take this time during my master’s degree to develop a better plan for how we could teach our volunteers to use ActiveCollab.
HOBY has a few precedents set up previously, with only a few classes on how to learn this new software. These precedents were mainly courses at the Training Institute that taught people how to use the software. I arrived at this idea from my experience as a volunteer in the HOBY organization. I have been actively involved with HOBY since 2006, when I first came as an ambassador in the program. Ever since 2007, I have been a Junior Counselor, Facilitator, and now ActiveCollab. My quest to make our training programs better involves my idea about leaving a place better than you found it. So, here is my presentation about the “what” as it pertains to the introduction to my professional learning strategy. Click the link below to see it.
You may find it intriguing how I decided to set up this story. I took the time to gather information from various sources and use them to highlight points in my story. I decided to use a narrative for this presentation to outline ideas for HOBY and what we can possibly do to come to that point. My Power Point presentation begins with an exposition, a background about what is required in this assignment. From here, I outline the complications about what we face at HOBY if we do not act, and the climax about our big challenges ahead. Finally, the story ends with a resolution about where we can go from here. I finalize the presentation with a “call to action” to the leaders of HOBY to ensure that we are all in this together.
The real challenge that I think HOBY will face in this professional learning program going forward is the problem of “change.” For many years, HOBY has had great professional learning programs in place already. But, we must make sure that we get the opportunity to solve these problems and create a better and engaging environment for our staff. When this possibility is realized, I believe that this “change” will happen. It is up to all of us to hold ourselves accountable, create a safe place for the exchange of ideas, design a constructivist program for collaboration, and look to new ideas for inspiration. I hope that this presentation inspires everyone to seek action, and not just use the status quo as a reason to stay the same.
HOBY has been an inspiration to so many people, and it is very unfortunate that our founder, Mr. Hugh O’Brian passed away this week. However, with all things considered, I think that more professional learning is the best pathway to ensure that all of our volunteers feel they are a part of this great legacy. Mr. Hugh would want all of us to be actively engaged in what we are doing in our daily lives, and I think that he would be proud of what we are all doing now in the organization. So, here’s to the next chapter of professional learning in HOBY….I am really looking forward to moving our alternatives given here forward. I hope that you enjoyed reading my what, how, and why, and here is one more OUTSTANDING cheer for you to enjoy. Let’s keep changing lives and keep our professional development going!
Contemporary Issues in Education Research (CIER) CIER, 5(4), 2nd ser., 71-74. (2012). doi:10.19030/cier.v5i4
Collaborative Professional Development in Higher Education: Developing Knowledge of Technology Enhanced Teaching. (n.d.). Journal of Effective Teaching.
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