When most teachers receive professional development regarding a technology tool, they are often provided a “this is how you use this” workshop. At Phoenix Union High School District, a portfolio district in Arizona, we’ve found that personalized professional development gives teachers a voice in their learning, which makes the experience much more powerful for them.
A personalized approach revolves around the following questions:
• What do you want to do?
• What tools are available to you?
• What is stopping you from using those tools more regularly?
Our work with edtech professional development really began in 2011 and was sparked by data showing a strong correlation between freshmen passing Algebra 1 and graduating high school. We wanted to determine how our teachers could (1) differentiate instruction more effectively, (2) create an early warning system to identify children who needed reteaching or intervention, and (3) leverage technology to facilitate those two endeavors.