My good friend Andrew Schwab (@anotherschwab) has been in the forefront of EdTech for a while. He has an excellent blog (anotherschwab.com/)and podcast (rebootedpodcast.com/) about it. In his latest blog, he touched upon something that a few of us in our school district have been feeling of late. The approach to PD and especially EdTech PD is a wrong fit for what we want to accomplish.
I make this claim, to point out that most EdTech and a lot regular PD just delivers content. There are minimal efforts, if any, to follow up on what happened in the classroom. How do you measure the value of the classroom targeted PD? We have all been in PD sessions, and have filled out the dreaded end of session self-reflection. If it is a self-reflection then why didn't they follow up with me about it, or more important why did I never go back and reflect on it in a week or two? As a teacher, I had to make sure that I had a lesson plan, and efforts were made to ensure that they were completed. There were formative and summative assessments that I could give during and at the end of the lesson, that would help guide my instruction. So, I ask all administrators out there. How do you know that the EdTech PD or any PD you provided is working in the classrooms of the teachers that attended?
This is something that Alison Lopez (@alopezlg), another good friend and English teacher at Le Grand HS, have been discussing this last summer and during this last semester. Alison is our district's technology coach, and is a successful presenter and EdTech evangelist. Over the last five years we have had the opportunity to use Action Research in Education to evaluate how EdTech PD is helping teachers and students in the classroom, and we have used Instructional Rounds to help us inform PD. This has helped us identify strategies that support our problem of practice and improve student learning at the higher order thinking levels.
|LGUHSD Clarity Survey|
We, educators, talk often about data driven decisions, and we are moving in the right direction. We need that same approach to EdTech PD and PD in general. We need to ask the same questions of our PD that we ask of our approach with Common Core. The most important question should be: How do we know it is working?
Magboo, Mike Student Focused. 2015. Le Grand Union High School District, Le Grand.
LGUHSD Clarity Survey. Digital Image. Clarity. BrightBytes.net, 2015. Web. 22 November 2015