Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Professional Development: When 1 size doesn't fit all

Like many schools around the country, our doors were closed for school on Columbus Day.  Our faculty and staff on the otherhand were required to come in and participate in a professional day.  The day was broken up into a couple of parts but for the puposes of this post, the focus will be on the edtech related PD.

Before the faculty and staff were sent off to their discussion groups, we asked them to fill out a google form so they could select the classes they would like to take during in each of session.

Things we remembered to do before they filled out the form:
  • provide netbooks for the faculty/staff that only work on desktops so they can participate in the workshops
    • we have COWS(computers on wheels) which made this possible
  • send/post the link to the Google Form via email and post on the website
    • provide multiple ways of accessing links
  • When the faculty and staff returned from their breakout sessions,  the sessions were tallied, room locations were set, and we emailed the information to the faculty
 Send them on their way:
  •  We were off and running with our tech sessions but the really valuable information would be realized a couple of days later.

What worked and what didn't. Some comments from the faculty and staff:
  • thank you for giving us the opportunity to sign up for sessions we are interested in exploring
    • choice is important!
  • sessions should be longer so there is time to tinker and play with someone to guide
    • learning through doing!
  • add a 3rd block-I wanted to learn more
    • maintain and foster passion!
  • track the sessions so there is a novice and advanced track
    • I am well beyond how do I reply in gmail? I wanted to learn how to apply filters and labels
    • provide differentiated instruction
      • provide enrichment and remediation opportunities 

Lastly, we certainly didn't hit a homeroom, but it does seem like we managed to hit at least a double.  The constructive criticism was great feedback and if the end result is that our faculty and staff in effect wants more and more levels of PD, then our students are the real winners!

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