Great and effective PD usually has these characteristics

PD-6For nearly a dozen years I’ve traveled to various schools and districts to deliver professional development workshops and presentations. Over the years, I’ve also sat in on many ed-tech workshops and presentations at schools, conferences, and “unconferences.”

These experiences have taught me that if our goal is to create fundamental change in classrooms, professional development workshops should ultimately devote less time to the “nuts and bolts” of technology and more time addressing pedagogy and best practices. Technology, in and of itself, doesn’t necessarily change learning. So, the primary focus of any workshop must be the educator’s vision of a technology, and not the technology itself.

My EdTechTeacher colleague (and HarvardX researcher) Justin Reich and I believe that if we want teachers to integrate exemplary practices and lead and inspire the next generation, then we must prepare them in exemplary learning environments.

To this end, we’ve analyzed many workshops–ours and those of others–and identified six characteristics that help define exemplary professional development workshop environments.

(Next page: 6 characteristics of great PD … which also define great classrooms)