The Story Behind #FiresidePD

Kenny Bosch and I discussed this for a while, and Chuck Taft, Michael Matera, and Pamela Nosbusch were doing a version of it at the University School of Milwaukee with their staff. But after spending about 16 and 19 hours stuck in airports on the way home from speaking at CanFlip14 and FlipCon14 respectively, Kenny and I decided we had to make this happen. We needed another way to share, connect, and learn. This had to be a better way. Since we like our families, we like staying home (and not sleeping on airport benches), and we know others sometimes see family obligations and travel as obstacles to attending or presenting at far away places, we decided to try to bring it close to home. We also like learning, sharing, and connecting with educators. So in an effort to do it all, we decided to make #PatioPD a reality. We decided to have everybody come here. Sure, why not! We’ll have everybody over to the patio, hang out, and learn together. We invited people. They showed up. They loved the personalized learning that was taking place. “This is exactly what I needed,” is what we heard over and over. And then when all the sessions were done for the summer, we heard some others say that they couldn’t make it in the summer, but “If you had something in the winter, I could make that.”2015-11-27_1522 #FiresidePD was born. It was even better. Even more educators (but fewer kids than summer). Natural, wood-burning fireplace. Experts joined us (like engaging classroom expert Chuck Taft, gamification expert Michael Matera,  Teach Like a PIRATE expert Andrea Kornowski, and others). They led some great discussions. The second summer the #PatioPD was a little bigger, and even better than before. The story continues. We hope you’ll be part of it with us, or re-create it on your patio.