You’ve seen it before. In fact, we’re all guilty of it. Telling teachers to personalize/individualize/differentiate (insert your preferred buzzword here) learning for students. But then when PD time rolls around for teachers, we give them the all the same thing. How can we personalize PD for teachers when we only get such limited time for PD?
After participating in a Webinar with Tom Murray this past winter, I feel relieved. He gives so many great suggestions and answers to this question. You can watch the webinar recording here, and I highly suggest you do (and encourage your administration to watch it too)! Skip to slide 8 if you want to skip the introductions.
One of my favorite ideas from Tom, is to take full advantage of anytime/anywhere PD by allowing it to “count” for your teachers. This would include Twitter chats. If you’ve participated in one, you’re probably going-great idea! You have witnessed first hand the idea and information sharing that takes places during educational Twitter chats. If you haven’t, you need to. Almost anything should count for PD credit as long as teachers can show evidence of what they learned or took away from that experience. After all, the goal really is that people learn something they can apply to their teaching as opposed to sitting in a room for a designated number of hours, right?
Secondly, I love that Tom suggests allowing teachers to create their own edtech goals (with input from tech coaches and admin). Great idea again, Tom! With input from the administration and tech coaches, goals will be aligned with the school’s mission and each teacher will focus on something they’re interested in and directly relates to their classroom/teaching. All teachers will be appropriately challenged and choose goals in their zone of proximal development- less tech savvy teachers can focus on smaller tasks and ways to integrate technology while advanced users can push themselves.
After this webinar, I created a personalized goal sheet for teachers. My idea is to have teachers create 2-3 goals and write them on the goal sheet. One goal would have to relate to PD-anyway they saw that being accomplished. The other goals would need to relate to their teaching and classroom environments. Teachers would need to show evidence of all goals during end-of-year evaluations, whether that be through a blog (which could be a goal in and of itself), a portfolio, or example of students’ work. Once all goals had been decided and submitted, I could assess the wants and needs for next school year and find commonalities to plan group PD sessions like Lunch & Learns. (unfortunately, do to forces beyond my control, I wasn’t able to implement this for next school year, but I’m definitely hanging onto it for the future.)
To download the goal sheet, click the image to the right.
What are some ways you personalize educational technology PD for your teachers? What do you think of the personalized goals or non-traditional forms of PD counting for PD credit?
Tech To You Later!