Step 2: Lead Face to Face. Leave Digital Footprints

When delivering face-to-face professional development, what happens after the inservice day is over or after the guest presenter leaves? Right now school and district leaders are planning professional development that will take place in the upcoming weeks as part of our back-to-school routine, but what will be the impact by October? January? How much of the PD we plan today will result in changes in teaching practice tomorrow?

Typical PD tries to solve this problem by giving workshop participants a binder, a three-ring notebook with articles and handouts that sits on a shelf rarely to be opened beyond the initial workshop. This analog resource is hard to access when teachers are planning at home or over the weekend. It’s a 20th century PD solution for 21st century schools.

Instead of copying reams of paper to sit on a shelf, let’s provide teachers with digital, on-demand resources to make implementation of target changes in instructional practice easier. For example, Lessoncast offers PD packages on topics like Universal Design for Learning and Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching. As a supplement to an engaging face-to-face experience, we provide participants with digital resources that model target practices and include downloadable resources to make implementation easier in their classrooms. The example featured below is used as a follow up resource to Lessoncast PD sessions on UDL.

Click to view full details and attachments

This type of digital resource supports changes in teaching practice because it:

  • Breaks down the planning required to effectively implement the target practice.
  • Shows what effective classroom implementation looks like.
  • Models teacher reflection about the benefits to student learning.
  • Provides downloadable handouts and templates to help teachers get started.
  • Is available beyond the face-to-face workshop and readily accessible when teachers are planning classroom instruction.

You can gather these types of video resources or create your own specific to your learning community’s needs. The next article in this series, #3 Show What Target Changes in Instructional Practice Look Like, shares one district leader’s perspective on the benefits to creating locally these digital footprints leading the way to improving classroom practices.

This was the second of 10 Steps for Planning PD that Thrives Throughout the Year. Sign up to join the Lessoncast Newsletter and receive an email alert as new steps and additional interactive PD ideas are published. Here’s a list of what’s to come:

  1. Use Interactive Professional Development Strategies
  2. Lead Face to Face. Leave Digital Footprints
  3. Show What Target Changes in Instructional Practice Look Like
  4. Capture What Target Changes in Instructional Practice Look Like in Your Teachers’ Classrooms
  5. Share Teacher-to-Teacher Examples of Best Practice
  6. Build a Gallery Showcasing Your Teachers’ Expertise
  7. Personalize PD with Differentiated, On-demand Digital Resources
  8. Fuel Common Planning Time to Sustain Changes in Instructional Practice
  9. Collaboratively Develop Lookfors to Exchange Effective Feedback
  10. Use Real Results to Plan for Next Year