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A new experiment: the DIY physics workshop #physicsmtg

July 7, 2011

I always loved going to conferences, however, I often find they’re mostly a 1-way learning experience for me—I mostly sit in workshops and talks, and take notes on things the presenters are saying. Until around a year or so ago, I thought this mostly was what professional development was: one-way, infrequent and transitory, not really meant to establish connections between teachers.

But the whole twitter/blogging thing has changed that. In fact, it even sounds strange to call what this professional development. It’s learning and sharing with a bunch of awesome people on a similar journey of incremental improvement and who are tremendously generous with their time and ideas, inspiring me to try to do the same.

So earlier this spring, when I was trying to think about what I might do for “professional development” this summer, I thought—what if I just try to get together with some of these people face to face for a few days and see what we can accomplish.

I emailed about a dozen physics teachers I knew though twitter and blogging and asked them if they’ve be willing to travel to a 4 day workshop to work on developing and improving the modeling physics curriculum. Never in my life have I gotten such enthusiastic responses—everyone was thrilled by the idea, and so a very informal workshop was born.

Here’s a list of participants:

  • Frank Noschese:
  • Mark Hammond
  • Kelly O’Shea
  • Brian Carpenter
  • Fran Poodry
  • Rosalind Echols
  • Matt Greenwolfe
  • Harvey Johnson
  • Josh Gates
  • and me

For the next four days, a team of 10 physics teachers from will be working together to see just what we can accomplish, and we would love for you to participate.

We’re going to be looking for other ways to participate virtually, but for now, we’re going to start with a simple twitter hashtag: #physicsmtg

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2011 1:53 am

    I hope you blog about it, because I’m not into Twitter. (I prefer more time for the writer to compose his or her thoughts into coherent English.) It does sound like fun.

    • Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist permalink
      July 7, 2011 5:09 pm

      I’m sure blog posts will be coming, but it’s fun to actually be involved by following and contributing to the twitter chat.

  2. July 7, 2011 11:15 am

    That’s a nice all-star crew that you put together John

  3. Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist permalink
    July 7, 2011 5:10 pm

    Last night it was great to hear your plans and excitement for this “conference” in the Global Physics Department. You’ve already got me roped in thinking about the problem database while fishing this morning.

    Have a great time, I’ll be watching (and hopefully contributing) on twitter!


  4. July 8, 2011 12:29 am

    I can’t wait to see what comes of this. Such a great group of thoughtful Physics teachers, this is going to ignite powerful change and innovation!

    Good luck and if I can help in anyway let me know.

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