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5 ways to provide meaningful PD in an hour or less

By Rich Czyz
November 16th, 2015

In just five minutes or a lunch period, teachers can get a meaningful PD experience

PLCs-communitiesEd. note: Innovation In Action is a monthly column from the International Society of Technology in Education focused on exemplary practices in education.

meaningful-pdDuring the past few years, there has been a major shift in instruction for students. We have figured out how to effectively reach them through engaging activities, allowing for student voice and choice. We have also seen a number of educators who are pushing this same shift in professional development.

I believe that it is absolutely necessary to engage teachers in professional learning that is relevant to their daily teaching while being able to provide numerous on-demand opportunities for professional learning. In order to meet the ISTE Standards for Teachers, teachers are asked to engage in professional growth and leadership opportunities. Furthermore, the high standards set by the ISTE Standards for both students and teachers demand that teachers be engaged, curious, and dynamic professionals. Teachers need and want new and valid approaches to PD.

This year, I have used and seen several models for PD that have truly engaged teachers and met the various needs of educators faced with certain time constraints. Here are just some of the ways to help reinvent professional learning in your district.

Tech-Mex Tuesday or Tech Tuesday

These sessions can be offered before, during, or after school as a way to entice teachers with a relevant tech topic as well as free food. Tech Mex Tuesday can be as simple as an overview of a website, like geoguessr.com, paired with chips and dip. Teachers are able to learn about a great website or resource in a less formal, but more flexible, setting. Sessions can be offered on a weekly or monthly basis, providing an opportunity to share the latest app you’ve found or a clever new way to use an existing piece of technology.

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