An expert teacher and literacy specialist, Melissa Pelochino arrived to the fellowship program as a d.school success story. After attending a two-day workshop at the d.school in 2007, Melissa was able to bring design thinking back to her classroom at East Palo Alto Academy, where she substantially increased the literacy rate among her students. Prior to her fellowship, Melissa spent the summer in residence at the d.school.
The project: #2minPD
Melissa tested a number of prototypes during her fellowship and learned that large, high-touch transformative events didn't translate into the long-term impact she was hoping for. After challenging some of her assumptions about what professional development could be, she came up with the concept of #2minPD, or “2-minute professional development.” The project, as Melissa describes it, is “a new form of professional development for teachers that provides them with short, daily bursts of learning and puts professional learning back into their hands.” In the #2minPD process, teachers are called on to create two-minute videos that impart a piece of professional development training and share it via YouTube using the hashtag #2minPD as a means of indexing. The goal of the project is to transform teachers’ professional development from a practice that is traditionally a generally passive and uninspiring experience into one that is collaborative and community-building. The flexibility of the method has led to a paradigm shift in the way teacher’s professional development is perceived.
The true impact of #2minPD, says Melissa, “has yet to be seen.” Nevertheless, the project has turned into a movement, bringing teachers together internationally around the framework for sharing new methods pertinent to their professional development. Melissa plans to continue growing #2minPD, developing a curated series of videos as well as increasing the fidelity of the videos through strategic partnerships.
Melissa is a 2013-2014 EDUFellow and can be found at @mpelochino.