FLATE Focus (December, 2018)
As we approach the holiday season and the beginning of a new year, it’s time to both look forward to where we want to go and who we want to be, and back to see where we have come. However, right now let’s focus on professional development (“PD”) and the future. What do we want to learn more about? What do we still want to learn? How can we better help our students?
What is Professional Development? One official definition is “the process of improving and increasing capabilities of staff through access to education and training opportunities in the workplace, through outside organization, or through watching others perform the job. Certainly, “PD” is one way that educators keep current with their academic and technical disciplines as well as teaching and learning strategies.
However, “PD” helps build and maintain morale and is thought to help attract higher quality people to an organization”. Additionally, “PD” can provide educators with innovative tools and helps them to develop skills to use these new tools effectively to affect a direct impact on student achievement. When educators feel empowered and confident in bringing something new to their instruction, they can reach students they may not have been able to with traditional teaching methods. Innovative technology and teaching tools in the classroom can allow for diverse and interesting lessons that will engage learners in new ways.
FLATE has always and continues to focus on helping Florida manufacturing and technical educators find and participate in a wide variety of professional development opportunities all year. This month FLATE is posting a variety of upcoming 2019 workshops, webinars, conferences and other events. (Check the attached flyer or go to the FLATE wiki and take a look behind the “Professional Development” button for the most current information.) We think you will find some events that you won’t want to miss. If you don’t see something that you want to learn or need to know about, please let us know and we will try to find some opportunities for you.
FLATE, in partnership with the Central Florida College will conduct a 4.5-day Industrial Robot workshop in June. Registration and educator travel and lodging support is covered by our partner FACTE through a Perkins grant. FLATE will also host a MSSC CPT/CPT+ workshop this spring (dates and location will be finalized early in January). For the post-secondary Engineering Technology crowd, the spring ET Forum will be hosted for the first time by our colleagues at Sarasota Technical College (STC) on March 28-29.
We encourage everyone to take advantage of some free local events that focus on new and emerging technologies. Two great candidates are the Synapse Innovation event in February in Tampa and the Florida HAAS Machining Educator Day hosted by Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Campus on May 2. Another good deal is the $25 Tech Tour pre-conference day hosted by FAITE and FLATE in conjunction with the Annual FACTE conference each July.
Florida educators can also sign up for free FACTE (Florida Association of Career and Technical Education) online courses. FACTE typically publishes a calendar of courses a month or two before each semester. If you are interested in strategies for integrating problem based learning or new technologies into your courses or want to know more about teaching students with disabilities or working with standards, FACTE courses can help.
Have a wonderful break from classes and we will be back with the first 2019 edition of the FLATE Focus!