Building Connections, Sharing Experiences

Our vision is a world where teachers share more effectively.

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Updated: 1/7/16

Vicarious PD Examples

Overview: (What’s this idea about)

We all plan to share our learning with our fellow teachers when returning from a conference, but it rarely happens. The Vicarious PD system allows conference attendees to share their thoughts, pictures and resources with their followers via a variety of social and productivity tools.

Potential For Impact: (Why is this an idea that promotes continued growth?)

There are several modes of growth and impact we’ve seen with the Vicarious PD system.

  • Participants report that they are much more attentive at conferences when they know their notes are being shared and they will be debriefed upon returning in a Hangout for the whole organization to see.
  • Ideas are shared at a district-wide scale rather than just with the conference attendee’s immediate circle or campus.
  • We have also seen numerous connections start online through the Vicarious PD process that led to collaboration and growth in real life between campuses.

Value Prop/Pitch: (How would you pitch this to other teachers in your school? Your principal? Etc)

Without an established system for sharing knowledge following attendance at a conference, the learning often stops with the attendee. And if that attendee does “report back” then that learning usually stays within one campus. With the Vicarious PD system conference attendees can share their learning in real-time organization-wide. This approach builds connections, improves the quality of attendance, and curates knowledge.

How’d I get this idea off the ground?

Modeling any system of behavior change is always important. Several district leaders have modeled the Vicarious PD system by sharing their learning. As we celebrate their and others participation, more teachers have wanted to participate. Some departments are talking about making it a requirement for attendees to share their learning through our system.

How  you can get started:


We are looking at basic analytics to better understand our teachers behavior. How many are watching the debriefs? Is it more popular to have six conference attendees using six different Google Docs to share their notes, or should there be one? Is it worth doing a live check-in? These are all things we are looking at to fine-tune to system in 2016.

Materials to get this idea off the ground:

Districts will need access to social media, shareable documents, etc.

Ever go to a workshop or conference, have an incredible experience and plan on sharing everything with anyone who will listen when you return to your campus? Why should it only be your campus? Shouldn't your district have a better system to scale that learning? School districts need a system to help teachers share their experiences at conferences and learn from each other. Vicarious Professional Development allows teachers to celebrate their learning and make connections district-wide.

Evaluation results

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Yes! I love this idea. - 100%


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