Collegial Conversations


Collegial Conversations Online
Online: 10:30- 11:30 am (Pacific) via Elluminate login
Second Saturday of every month (September 2011-June 2012)

Collegial Conversations Face to Face
Face-to-face: 10:30 - 11:30 am (lunch following from 11:30 - 12:00 pm) 
The next online collegial conversation will be on Saturaday, January 14th
The next face-to-face collegial conversation will be on Saturaday, January 28th
High Tech High Graduate School of Education, 2855 Farragut Road, San Diego 92106 

Collegial Conversations are an opportunity for educators to engage in free professional development both face-to-face or online. Discussions are structured to help educators inform and improve their practice, while introducing protocols that can be used to guide conversations about teaching, learning and leadership at their own schools. These events are great opportunities to network with educators around San Diego and the world who are engaged in shaping innovative schools of the future. Collegial conversations were inspired by the Harvard Rounds.

To RSVP for this month's conversation online or face-to-face, click here

For directions on how to use blackboard collaborate for online collegial conversations click here.
For more information on using protocols, click here.


Collegial Conversation Archive

Date Topic

login link

View archived recording

protocol and text archive

12/10/2011 Teaching and Learning: 
Question: How can I encourage a classroom (and schoolwide) culture that encourages students to value the quality of their work as well as the learning process over the grade on an exam? 
Monika Horch, Humanities teacher, Colegio Montserrat, Barcelona Spain

Click Here

11/12/2011 Teaching and Learning: 
How would an understanding of disciplinary thinking in the classroom effect pedagogy? 
Ellen Wright, Art teacher, Bishop Strachan School

Click Here

Click Here

10/8/2011 Teaching and Learning: 
How do I mentor a student teacher in an authentic way which allows him/her to make mistakes while at the same time maintaining and protecting high levels of expectations and learning for my own students? 
Jen Peterson, Humanities Teacher, High Tech High International

Click Here

Click Here

9/10/2011 Teaching and Learning: 
How do I help students to see "failures" as learning opportunities?  
Azul Terronez, Humanities Teacher, High Tech Middle

Click Here

Click Here

6/11/11 Teaching and Learning:
How can I best manage and scaffold a scientific inquiry on bee response to predators?
Jesse Wade Robinson, Biology Teacher, High Tech High

Click Here

5/19/11 Leadership:
"How do we build a deep culture of collaboration between teachers to support interdisciplinary, project-based work?"
Tim Whitfield, CEO and Principal of the Whitfield County Career Academy
5/11/11 Teaching and Learning:
How do I foster collaboration and consensus around learning goals and outcomes?
Janice Foster, Math Teacher, Bishop Strachan School

no archive available.

4/16/2011 Teaching and Learning:
How to use best mindmaps/concept maps in learning? (Formative? Summative? Graded? Portfolio? What do you do with these?)
Raleigh Werberger, Honors/AP/IB Coordinator/History Teacher/Mid Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii
3/12/2011 Teaching and Learning:
How can I best structure a project that is open-ended enough to leave room for creativity and individual choice while still setting myself up for successfully managing it? 
Jen Peterson, Humanities Teacher, High Tech High International

Click Here

2/12/2011 Teaching and Learning:
What tactics and strategies can I use with adult learners to authentically connect them to school wide change?
Brendon Allen, Drama Teacher, Bishop Strachan School

Click Here

1/8/2011 Teaching and Learning:
How do we help sustain the adult learning efforts of schools undergoing transformative change? 
Laura McBain, Director of Research and Policy, HTH Schools

Click Here

12/11/2010 Teaching and Learning:
How do we create a mindset in students to use exemplars as a springboard for their own creative ideas instead of mimicking what they see?
Andrew Moffatt, Physics Teacher, Bishop Strachan School, Toronto, Canada

Click here

11/13/2010 Teaching and Learning:
How can I better facilitate conversations about constructive change during professional development meetings?
Raleigh Werberger, Honors/AP/IB Coordinator/History Teacher/Mid Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii

Click here

Click here for discussion protocol

10/9/2010 Teaching and Learning:
How do I provide differentiated instruction in weekly 55 minute computer lab time to all students with different fluency levels and how do I progress to the next level?
Karen Harris, Computer/Multimedia Teacher, Holualoa Schools, Hawaii

click here

Looking at Student work/Dilemma

9/11/2010 Teaching and Learning:
How can I coach teachers to create authentic learning experiences for students, and NOT risk being overly directive myself?
- Andrea Mozarowski, English department chair, Bishop Strachan School, Toronto, Canada

no archive available.

8/14/2010 Teaching and Learning:
How can I better facilitate reflection for staff members who believe that they are teaching higher level, student centered lessons, when in fact they are still working from a 19th Century lecture/expert paradigm?
-Grace Cruz, director Mid Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii.

no archive available.

7/10/2010 CANCELED
6/12/2010 Teaching and Learning:
How can I foster a school culture where teachers feel successful, balanced, and supported (while also maintaining those same qualities in my own life)?
- Stacey Lopaz, director High Tech Middle Media Arts and graduate student at HTH Graduate School of Education.

click here.

5/8/2010 Teaching and Learning:
In our critical friends groups, how can we accomplish both the goal of systemic cultural change at the same time as allowing teachers to have ownership and choice?
- Phavana Silva, principal, Island Pacific Academy, Kapolei, HI.

click here.

Chat session here

Click here for discussion protocol

click here for CFG Meeting Agenda

click here for team statements and norms

4/17/2010 Teaching and Learning:
How can I help kids use their time effectively when working on the various components of the project?
- Raleigh Werberger, teacher, Mid-Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii.

click here.

click here for discussion protocol

click here for Project Description

click here for sample Task of the Day

3/13/2010 Teaching and Learning:
Our school has prided itself on being on a continuous cycle of improvement.  After seven years, how can we keep on that trajectory?
- Janie Griswold, director, High Tech Middle.

click here.

click here.

2/13/2010 Teaching and Learning:
How do I give meaningful and succinct feedback to students on their writing to foster growth in their next draft?
- Bobby Shaddox, grade 6 humanities teacher, High Tech Middle.

click here. (130 MB download)

click here.

Directions for using blackboard collaborate for online collegial conversations
We hold Collegial Conversations online in an Elluminate virtual classroom.  While Elluminate is a powerful tool, it has so many options that it can be overwhelming for new users (including facilitators!).  Please follow the steps below to make this conversation go more smoothly.

1.  If you wish to speak during the session (which is part of the idea), we require you to get a microphone headset.  These are available for purchase at Target, Best Buy, etc.  If we are getting an echo when you speak, we will be forced to turn off your microphone for the duration of the conversation, as it is quite unpleasant and distracting for other participants.

2.  Please test your system before the conversation.  Go here to do so.  You will need to download some software for your computer, then "Complete your setup" by "Joining the configuration room."

3.  Please step through this 5 - 10 minute presentation that demonstrates the features of elluminate, by clicking here.

4.  The Elluminate classroom will be open half an hour before the Collegial Conversation begins ~ 10 am (PST) for Leadership Collegial Conversations (second Thursday of every month) and 11:30 am (PST) for Teaching and Learning Conversations (second Saturday of every month). You are encouraged to log in at least 15 minutes before the conversation begins to test your equipment and ensure we have a full hour for the discussion. Click here to login to the GSE Elluminate classroom.

5.  Once you are in an Elluminate classroom, you can make sure your microphone is working correctly by clicking on "Tools", "Audio", "Audio Setup Wizard" or by following the instructions here.

6.  If you wish to be seen, you will need a webcam, either built into your system or you can buy one at your local store.  Even cheap ones seem to work fine.  You will need to make sure that Elluminate is using the microphone and speakers of your headset, rather than your webcam.

7.  If you are having trouble, you can watch this youtube video on setting up Elluminate.

8. Finally, "Lurkers" welcome!  We have learned that some people feel too intimidated to join our conversation. First of all, we're really not that scary.  Secondly, we wanted to explicitly invite "lurkers" into our conversations.  If you don't have a headset or webcam or just don't want to participate that fully, you are welcome to join us and just listen in "from the back of the room."  All you need to do is login and if you have a computer with an internet connection, you can participate.

Using Protocols
We believe that protocols are an effective tool for enabling educators to have deeper, more constructively critical conversations together. For more information on using protocols, we recommend The Power of Protocols, by Joe MacDonald, the Looking at Student Work website and The National School Reform Faculty website.

A few of the protocols we use are:
The Consultancy Protocol
The Tuning Protocol

Here is a powerpoint presentation on professional development through structured conversations using a synchronous, online platform.