Ultimate Professional Development
Candace Marcotte, Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) Program Coordinator, shares her thoughts about the recent collaboration between the Hub and the MAET program.
We were looking to create a special experience for our MAET students, which is why we came to the Hub. We are fortunate to offer students experiences to meet face-to-face over the summer through our hybrid and overseas programs. Our hybrid cohort meets on campus for two weeks and then they move into an online environment for the remainder of the summer. While our students are on campus, we look forward to connecting them to the larger MSU community. This was one of the goals that we had in mind when we initially reached out to the Hub! The second set of goals were a bit more academic. In the “Year 2” hybrid cohort, students are familiarizing themselves with major psychological perspectives on learning, examining how technology can impact leadership, and are becoming better acquainted with and performing educational research. We were looking for an experience that would allow our students to think about these big ideas in new ways and to further apply them to practice.
The Hub worked with us to brainstorm, refine, and co-facilitate a design thinking experience for our Year 2 hybrid students. Keeping in mind our context and that the majority of our students are K-12 educators, we were able to develop a design thinking activity that allowed our students to create the “Ultimate Professional Development (PD).” Why design thinking and why this specific design activity? Working within constraints is something that we all do and while there is a movement for K-12 educators to be more connected and collaborative, they often find themselves disconnected from others and their ideas because of these constraints. Through the design thinking, we are able to create an experience that is truly collaborative and encourages people to share their ideas and receive feedback immediately. In addition, as we think about the big ideas that this cohort is covering during their summer coursework, this design thinking activity allowed us to help our students think more creatively about their work as they applied their understanding to develop a prototype for the ultimate PD.
At the end of the design thinking experience, we asked our students to reflect on the process. This was key, as it allowed them to process and determine possible implications for the work that they do in their learning communities. As our students thought about what they would take from this experience and do “tomorrow,” we discussed some of the different stakeholders and users who could benefit from hearing our conversations and going through a similar design thinking activity. A school is full of a wide variety of users – teachers, students, parents, administrators, support professionals, community members, and so on. It will be fun to watch and see how our students take this experience back to their learning communities to reach out to more users.
Thank you to the Hub for helping us create this experience for our students!