Professional Development Days Leads to Student Success

Alli Williams
Photo of Ian Jukes and President Hilgersom

Ian Jukes and TMCC President, Karin Hilgersom, welcomed faculty and staff to the 2018 Professional Development Days.

In just a few short weeks, Fall Semester at Truckee Meadows Community College will begin, with students and faculty once again flooding the campus and readying themselves for a successful semester ahead.

In the weeks leading up to the start of the semester, the faculty and staff at TMCC are busy preparing for students to arrive by organizing lessons, arranging classrooms and common spaces, and taking professional development workshops to help better understand their incoming students.

The Fall Kickoff workshop was held on Thursday, Aug. 16 at the Dandini Campus. The workshop, led by world-renowned educational leadership consultant Ian Jukes, discussed the digital revolution and what it means to the student-instructor dynamic now and in the future.

“Don’t think that traditional education will be immune to the global technological changes,” said Jukes. “I want to challenge your thinking. I want you to start looking at things through a different point of view.”

Jukes is a passionate educational evangelist. He has taught every grade from Kindergarten through Grade 12 and has been a university professor. He is a writer, an international consultant and a keynote speaker. He is the founder and executive director of the InfoSavvy Group, an international educational leadership consulting firm. Jukes has consulted for clients in over 80 countries, and has worked with institutions like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The workshop opened with Jukes discussing advances that technology has made in just the last few decades. Technological disruption can be seen in other industries, like production lines that are almost completely robotic and self-driving trucks that deliver goods. With the workforce having to change and adapt along with technology, the content being taught in schools and the avenue through which this content is taught will have to adapt too.

Edwin Lyngar, an English instructor at TMCC, was among the attendees at Jukes’ workshop. Lyngar is in his second year teaching, and is excited for the future of education.

“I feel more positive about higher education as a profession. It has a good future,” said Lyngar.

Jukes anticipates that a creative class of workers will make up the workforce in the future, so teachers today will have to gear their lessons toward critical thinking skills rather than traditional rubrics, tests and static instruction. To accomplish this shift, educators will have to be at the forefront taking action, and learning how to teach a new tech-savvy type of student.

Cathy Brewster, Professional Development Manager at TMCC, has been working with her team to put together the two week-long Professional Development Days. She is hoping that faculty will come away from Jukes’ workshops with new tools and strategies to use that will resonate with TMCC’s unique student body.

“We never stop learning, especially with new technology,” said Brewster. “We want to give our faculty the tools to adapt because everybody is unique and everybody learns differently.”

Jukes concluded by asking attendees to commit to an action they can apply to their roles at TMCC in order to adapt to the societal shift to new technology use.

Other trainings held during the two weeks of Professional Development Days include Welcome to the Extreme Future, Best Practices in Online Learning, Smartclassroom Training, and Using Technology. All trainings are intended to help staff and faculty create student success through adaptive teaching techniques and strategies. Workshops are led by other faculty and staff members, and are a great tool in sharing information across TMCC.

TMCC's Professional Development Office is committed to supporting student success, academic excellence, and lifelong learning. Contact Cathy Brewster to learn more.