PD is not optional in the age of Authentic Learning. But, it is no longer a singular sensation, a one-time shot in the arm whose findings fail to hold as true in practice as the do in theory. Rather, professional development must continue to create A Ripe Environment; it must continue to work toward the creation of personal learning networks that are just-in-time, yet sustaining. In order for the environment to be ripe for collaboration, educators and learners must:
Have the time to connect more than two dots together. (Rather than connecting: “My students need to know this” with “here is the information” they need to have time to connect “My student needs to know this” with “my students need to evaluate this for validity” with “my students need to know how to use this resource to find the information” with “my students need to create new information for others to use.”)
See collaboration as an extension of their natural instincts as a teacher (opening possibilities for learning).
Find the backchannels relevant to them (these backchannels must be encouraged and honored as vital sources of learning).
How can we let students pull content rather than pushing content upon them? How can we create an environment where there is so much content that students have to heavily explore and interact with the concepts in order to create meaning?