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Woman Helping Students

Encouraging Teachers to Work Hard, Play Hard

by Emmanuel Andre


Article excerpt

How Maryland is Putting the 'PLAY' Back into Professional Development

A P.L.A.Y. Date is a simple enough idea. It stands for “People Learning and Asking Why (Y).” A date and place are chosen, a website is created, and educators sign up and receive PD.

Our take

Giving Teachers Time to Play

Teachers keep hearing a lot about technology. So much so, that the information can be overwhelming, and the opportunities daunting. One woman, Angie de Guzman, an employee of the Maryland State Department of Education, is seeking to overcome these hurdles through an innovative approach based on a simple concept—play dates. For children, play dates are opportunities to come together with peers to play. How could play dates play a role in boosting your educators’ comfort and understanding of the vast array of technology options available to them?

Guzman’s PLAYdates are unstructured, and unscripted, opportunities to engage with technology, along with other educators. Educators have the opportunity to try things, explore and engage with both a facilitator and other educators. Different types of technology are housed and demonstrated in different rooms, similar to breakout sessions. It’s a format worth exploring to provide educators with a good reason, and great access, to the tools and insights of others.