Drop Mandates by Taking Your PD Viral with Online Content

Good PD isn't just about being responsive to the needs of teachers, it is about culture.

Photo of Chris Tenbarge
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Teachers and staff need 24/7 support in the classroom. 

Traditional PD workshops are efficient. The ratio between the amount of instruction given to the time spent in the workshop makes business sense. In this case, the practical nature of traditional PD can be its downfall. Efficiency rarely leads to a sustained and productive initiative that yields positive returns measured in student achievement.

By taking our PD online, we offer teachers ongoing support in the classroom. Teachers can learn what they want when they want. Instructional techniques and resources may not seem necessary or appealing in a workshop setting may be of interest months later. 

Consider "District Culture" as a reason to flip PD into online content. Traditional PD workshops often lead to confusing or ill-supported mandates. The transparent nature of a-la-carte online PD offers teachers a chance to own their learning that may not be as apparent when delivered in a traditional PD session. The process of PD, when offering choice with transparency, is simply not efficient. 

For PD to thrive with online content, we need to consider 2 factors:

Who creates the content ~ Mostly, the district PD leaders. It just isn't the same when it comes from YouTube or a vendor.

Where should the content be stored ~ Wherever is most accessible and easy to find.

The hope is that by creating an online presence with an a-la-carte professional development menu, districts can move forward in the direction they choose, but also with the open and trusting culture they need. 


Join the conversation:

Photo of Chris Good

Chris, I love the idea of taking content online - what a great way to support teachers with the PD they need as they need it!!!!

I agree wholeheartedly with your two success factors, and think i might have one more for you to consider.

3: The online presence has to build some form of personal-interpersonal connection between teachers so that it feels warm, supportive, and responsive to questions etc...

Photo of Chris Tenbarge

Love it! Could be a G+ Community, could be a tack board in the teachers lounge...