Here are four key points that should be top of mind when administrators create professional development (PD) programs for their teachers:
1. Focus on your curriculum and instructional goals.
Technology should play a supporting role in the implementation of new and innovative instructional strategies that make lessons more effective and engaging for students. The best technology training is not about technology, but about learning goals and purposeful use of technology to enhance and extend these goals.
2. Use a blend of different delivery methods.
Recognize that multiple PD opportunities should be offered for a topic, using both online (self-paced and instructor led) and face-to-face (large group, small group, individual) formats. Based on your specific resources and campus environment, you can customize this mix to optimize teacher reach and increase the return on the investment that was made on educational technology.
3. Leverage existing technology.
While a teacher-centric PD program needs to be differentiated, consistency and continuity with the existing platforms is essential. It is often strongly recommended to use the technology that teachers already have—and that they’re already comfortable using—to orchestrate professional development.
4. Offer varied training opportunities.
Online learning is also an effective way to keep teachers engaged in professional development by enabling the creation and delivery “niche” topic sessions. Inter-school cohorts–i.e., all high school biology teachers–can be formed to allow teachers to participate (and customize specifically) in the PD most relevant for them. It also creates great opportunities for meaningful collaboration between teachers, sharing resources and best practices with their colleagues.
The information for this post was taken from an article by Dr. Aleksandra Leis in eSchool News, follow this link for the complete article and more details.