PD Through Play

3/26/2018 TxDHH Learning Bites

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Purpose of the TxDHH Learning Bites

Learning happens anytime we reflect on something we have experienced. That experience could be a formal professional development workshop we have participated in, or it could be a quote we heard or read, a video we watched, or book we read.

The TxDHH Learning Bites addresses a topic relevant to deaf educators by providing resources in various sized bites! Whether you have 1, 5, or 15 minutes, or you choose to dig much deeper, you will find resources to help make an impact on you and your students.

For more information, check out our Video!

Why this topic?

Professional Development Days could be considered by some to be a waste of instructional time but what if PD days could be fun, engaging and interactive for both educators and learners? It has been said that play is beneficial for all age groups. It can relieve stress, add joy to your life, supercharge learning and connect you to others. So, could you use a little more play?

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Gamification is applying gaming mechanics to non-gaming environments. The first step in the gamification process is to establish a plot, develop rules, create objectives and consider challenges designed for interaction with the game thus developing what is called gameplay. Once you have established gameplay you can develop gaming mechanics. There are several types of gaming mechanics including: assigning a point system, creating levels, developing leaderboards and establishing a rewards system. The concept behind gamification for an educator is to take learning opportunities that could be considered uninteresting and make them exciting and palatable for the learners. Gamification takes a learners desire for achievement, social inclusion and competition and create a fun and engaging learning environment that keeps them coming back for more!

How will this work?

Below are four different learning opportunities on the weekly topic, each requiring a different level of time commitment and involving different types of materials. Think about how you prefer to learn and how much time you want to commit. Then choose one (or more) of the activities or articles below.

If you prefer a topic other than the weekly topic, we have included Mental Health Musings, Terp Topics, and Learning Tech Bytes for you to consider.

When you complete your PD, follow the directions at the bottom of the Learning Bites Smore to apply for your Continuing Professional Education credits.

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Just a Minute PD

Read the quote below. What does it mean to you? Think about what it says as you answer the reflection questions below.
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Prefer to Read a Blog or Watch a Video?

Looking for the Research?

Supporting teachers’ self-reflection and professional development with gamification

Want to Dig Deeper?


Discover how to engage your students and raise their grades and attendance in your classroom. THE MULTIPLAYER CLASSROOM: DESIGNING COURSEWORK AS A GAME is your detailed guide to designing any structured learning experience as a game. Written for professional educators or those learning to be educators, here are the tools to engage and excite students by using principles learned in the development of popular video games. Suitable for use in the classroom or the boardroom, the book features a reader-friendly style that introduces game concepts and vocabulary in a logical way. You don't need any experience making games or even playing games to use this book. Yet, you will learn how to create multiplayer games for any age on any subject. Bring your classroom into the 21st century!

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Mental Health Musings

"I can't..."

"I don't want to..."

"I won't do it..."

If one of these sayings is the first thing that pops into your mind when faced with something unfamiliar most experts would tell you that you have already set yourself up for failure.

Consider a few new phrases such as:

"I'll try..."

"I'll do my best..."

"I'll try it once..."

Unless of course....

"You can't"

"You don't want to"

"You won't try it"

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Ethical Question

In a math class that you are interpreting for, the teacher is consistently late at the start of the class. Today, the students get out of control and a fight starts. Knives are drawn.
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Socrative is your classroom app for fun, effective classroom engagement. No matter where or how you teach, Socrative allows you to instantly connect with students as learning happens. Quickly assess students with prepared activities or on the fly questions to get immediate insight into student understanding. Then, use auto-populated results to determine the best instructional approach to most effectively drive learning.
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What does this look like in action for me?

For any learning experience, our learning is equal to our effort. In order for us to grow from our learning, we need to take the time to pause and reflect. How does our new learning fit in to what we already know and do?

Each of you reading this has a different role, with different responsibilities. Think about what you learned today through the lens of your particular role, as well as your personal and professional learning needs. This is an important part of the learning process!

Take the time to think about a new idea you learned, a new approach you want to try, or a new skill you have acquired. Consider how to put your new insights, skills, and abilities to work! That's where the real learning happens.

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Texas Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services

Susie Tiggs, State Lead DHH Services

Anne Darr, ESC Region 11 DHH Services

Twyla Loftin, Texas DHH Services

Danielle Battle, Sensory Impairment Services Birth to Three

Miriam Ackerman, DHH Services Technician