What is the best way to provided professional development to staff, especially when your focus is educational technology? What my fellow integrator, Anita Moose, and I have found is to remove the concept of educational technology out all together! One of the biggest complaints and issues we hear from teachers is a lack of time to thoughtfully plan anything out and feel confident implementing it in the classroom. So after sitting down to brainstorm how we can create a PD that will hold value to teachers of a a variety of subjects and grade-levels we decided to keep it simple. We hosted half-day sessions of Curriculum Planning for teachers to come in and have paid time (stipend or PD hours) to work on any upcoming curriculum they need to plan out and have our Technology Integrators "moderating" and available to answer any questions and provide support in finding places to use technology to enhance teaching and student learning.
We marketed these sessions as opportunities to get planning done on 'paid' time (we offer stipends or PD hours for in-house salary advancement programs). We had a variety of teachers attend from all grade levels and subjects and use their time to get organized for the start of the year with tools like Google Classroom, create content with Google Slides and SMART notebook, flipping the classroom with Edpuzzle and Educreations, and setup digital portfolio templates with Google Sites. We were consistently told how helpful this time was and one of the best PD offerings they've attended!
So by removing the focus on trying to master a tech tool or process we were able to attract a variety of teachers to make use of always needed planning time and then hold meaningful discussions about where technology might help accomplish curriculum and student learning goals. Teachers weren't overwhelmed by a sit and get and were engaged in getting work done that was specific to them. It turns out one of our simplest attempts at PD was one of the most successful and created an easy recipe to repeat at various times throughout the year. Please make any comments regarding some of the most effective and successful PDs you've designed, run, or attended.
Director of Technology for Traverse City Area Public Schools. Level 2 Google Certified Educator. Former Tech Integration Specialist and 4th grade teacher at Aspen School District and Spartan for life! Go Green!