#2minPD: A design challenge becomes a movement

April 11, 2014
Fellow, 2013-2014


(Graphic by Ben Wilkoff)

(Graphic by Ben Wilkoff)

The idea of #2minPD started as a pipedream. Now, it’s a movement. Whether it lives is up to you.

I published a blog post here on the whiteboard a few days ago in which I shared a new concept I had developed for teacher professional development (PD) called “two-minute PD”. A two-minute PD is a video created by educators for educators. Each video features an exciting teaching strategy, classroom activity or teaching concept worth sharing.

My goal was to transform what is considered a time-consuming yet necessary practice into something that is a welcome part of a teacher’s everyday life. Shortly after I published my blog post, my #2minPD idea acquired some early adopters. Now, it’s quickly forming into a movement, with people contributing from around the world.

These early adopters have been reaching out to express their excitement and support around #2minPD, and many have started filming and sharing their own videos. I’m currently working on creating a distribution system where selected videos are pushed out to teachers who subscribe to receive them via mobile. The best part: all of this content is free.

I believe this is an opportunity for teachers to effectively take on the world as their classroom.

In Derek Sivers’s popular 2010 TED Talk titled, “How to Start a Movement“, he highlights the “first follower” as being critical to the success of any movement.  He says that “the first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader.”  If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend watching.


In that vein, #2minPD’s early adopters are proving Sivers’ theory true. I received this video from Australia of a #2minPD. Seeing an idea take root and travel around the world is a humbling and inspiring experience. I shed a tear watching this video on the couch with my husband. It was a realization of everything for which I had worked so hard.


Then, this video came in from Ben Wilkoff, the director of personalized professional learning in Denver Public Schools. He decided to capture his support of this idea in a car ride. He frames this concept in some new ways that make me extremely excited about what is yet to come. He has since helped grow the #2minPD movement by creating a presence for it on Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. He even created the graphic featured in this piece.

Most excitingly is the impact this concept is already having in the classroom. After posting her #2minPD, Lisa Abel-Palmieri’s teaching strategy, Rose-Bud-Thorn, was used in two classrooms to help students reflect on their learning in different ways. This blog post includes Lisa’s #2minPD video, shares how the activity went and even builds on the concept with some additional questions.

I am working now on getting as many #2minPD videos made as possible. I will curate a series from those submissions to create a daily PD offering for educators in the fall of 2015.

I have an ambitious goal: I want to reach 1 million educators daily for 30 days!

Stay tuned for a link to sign up for the #2minPD series in the fall of 2015. In the meantime, get details about how to create your own #2minPD. And, of course, thank you to everyone who has made #2minPD more than I could have imagined.

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