I want to build an app. And I need your help in creating it. I know you may think, “He’s not talking about me”, but yes, I am talking about you (if you are reading this post) and I really need your input!
I’m a project person. I love tackling problems through a project format and creating solutions that can help not only myself, but other teachers and educators around the world.
Here’s my problem:
Most professional development is in either a long-form, planned ahead, structured manner (ex: conferences, workshops, courses, sessions, books)….or in a very short-form, unstructured, in the moment manner (ex: Twitter chats, blog posts, youtube videos, etc).
I’d like teachers in my school to have access to something in the middle. Well thought out, structured, professional learning that is also in bite-size chunks that can be used on demand when needed.
Is that too much to ask for? 🙂
A Idea for a Solution From a Fitness App
A few months ago I ran across an article that was popping up everywhere online. It was a follow-up piece from “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout” that had been extremely popular from the NY Times in 2013.
This article was about the “7-Minute Workout” App created by the authors of the article, and it was going viral. It seems everyone loved the short, quick, and easy to do workout…especially because it was “scientifically” backed up!
And then, just a couple weeks ago I read an article by Daniel Coyle (author of The Talent Code) titled, “How to Make Learning Addictive”, in which he writes:
I’m about the ten-millionth person to make this point, but wouldn’t it be great if we could learn everything as fast and efficiently as we learn video games? If we could learn to play violin or write computer code as quickly as we learn Madden or Halo?
With that in mind, here’s a video-game term that might apply: replay value. It refers to how much a user wants to play a game over and over. You know the feeling — the irresistible itch to repeat a game just one more time, and just one more time after that (Angry Birds, anybody?).
I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if there was an App with the same “replay value” and simplicity of the 7 Min Workout for Professional Learning. I know…crazy idea.
But, then I went a bit farther into thinking about how this could actually happen.
- I’d need an App that functions similar to the 7 Min Workout.
- I’d need short videos on all different types of professional learning for teachers.
- I’d need a way to track all of this and share how much we were learning.
- I’d need a method to get feedback and improve it (especially while designing it).
This is my type of inquiry-based learning and this is my form of problem-based learning. I love doing this type of work. But, I’m only one person and I’m limited. I really need your help!
I want to make this idea a reality, and I think we can do it together. I’m sharing the initial designs I mocked up for the App idea, and have THREE questions at the bottom of this post to help me get to the next step. Give me some feedback in the comments, or as always you can email me!
Here’s what it looks like so far..
Mockups of The “7 Min PD” App Idea
1. What should be the name of the App? I’m starting with “7 Min PD” because of the connection to the 7 Min Workout app…but that could be changed easily. Another name I’ve thrown around has been “Pocket PD” – but I’m not sure PD should even be in the name (give me some help with this one!).
2. How long should the videos be? Again I’m starting with the idea of 7 minute videos based on the connection to the 7 minute workout, but we could make them be 5 minutes or 3 minutes (I do think it is important for them to be short).
3. Would you be willing to send me a video (once we have the length down) to put on the App? I’ve got to create it with some awesome content to start, and I know the work all of you are doing has impressed me tremendously. Just think about it. I’d love to get as many videos as possible for the release!
Ok, that’s it. Planning on writing another update next week on this app adventure!
Photo via Mashable