During the study, TNTP found that there was no formal process or goal setting in these training sessions, and “districts just throw different teacher-development techniques (and lots of dollars) at the wall and hope something sticks.” In essence, thousands of dollars were wasted on teaching techniques that didn’t contribute or negatively contributed to the performance of their teachers.
In response to a growing need in the education industry, technologies have been developed to support the fluid nature of professional growth development for educators. Three education technologies that support this critical function of K-12 educator growth are:
1. Customizable, Online Professional Growth Development Courses
Training isn’t confined to the classroom anymore as teachers are seeking new and flexible ways to learn different techniques. Online courses are becoming increasingly more popular with educators, providing them with the information they need to grow and learn in desired areas.
Customizable professional growth development courses allow educators to hyperfocus on their personal goals and allow administrators to personalize professional development. As a result, professional growth development is more targeted and teachers as a whole are more effective. These courses allow schools to bring experts such as Danielson, Marzano, Strong, and many more to the teacher.
2. On-Demand Professional Development Training
While online courses are a great fit for some schools, others need more of an express approach. On-demand professional development training in short segments to a targeted need. Administrators and teachers work hand-in-hand with a network of experts across the US to identify needs and create targeted, professional development videos. National Board Certified teachers as well as content experts share best practices and hands-on tips to drive growth. It could be classified as “Training-as-a-Service”.
3. Teacher Evaluation Solutions
Professional growth plan development is all for nothing if there isn’t a way to measure its effectiveness. That’s where teacher evaluation comes in.
Professional growth plans should be directly aligned to specific goals and metrics, which can be easily identified with the right teacher evaluation software. These solutions should also provide administrators with the ability to customize individual plans for individual teachers and different rubrics so PD can be tailored for each and every school.
The combination of these three technologies is the key to effectively identifying and delivering on-demand, targeted professional growth plan development for your teachers. The reality is students suffer when teachers aren’t provided with the right training, which impacts performance, motivation and overall productivity. Instead of wasting thousands of dollars on training that contributes little to nothing to the student learning experience, consider investing in these technologies to develop professional growth development plans that work.
About the Author:
Todd Whitlcok spent 20 years in public education. He served as a classroom teacher, coach, and district administrator overseeing technology, curriculum, testing, and early college programs. Todd was recognized as the TechPoint 2012 Bridge Builder Award Recipient, was the 2008 winner for contributions to K-12 education and was recognized as a National School Board Association (NSBA) “20 to Watch” school leader. As an entrepreneur, Todd has founded or co-founded three companies in the technology and service area during the last 21 years. His passion for helping people be successful in the classroom, office, and workplace motivates him to continue to think out of the box in bringing solutions to Standard For Success clients.