Much is made of the effect a 1:1 move has on students in a school district. But what about the teachers and administration? How are they affected and what can they do to better handle the change? This is the premise behind Edutopia’s piece about bringing professional development into a 1:1 district. In the article, they focus on the Salisbury Township School District and its mission to not only bring 1:1 devices to the students in the district but also change the mindset of its teachers and administration as well.
[1:1] requires a shift in mindset and in the daily practices of school leaders, teachers, and students. In order to support school leaders and teachers to become their most effective at using digital technologies with new pedagogies, it is vital that a district support the digital transformation through varied building-level and district-level professional learning opportunities.
Changing the mindset and daily practices is no small task, but Edutopia gives us some helpful hints:
- Align PD goals with 1:1 program goals – with goals clearly defined, professional development efforts can be fine-tuned.
- Rethink use of human resources – rethink the human and financial resources dedicated to supporting change.
- Personalize the PD program through differentiation and choice – adult learners come to the work environment with a variety of knowledge.
- Instructional Technology Cohorts – professional development took the form of a cohort model over three years.
- Summer Academy – professional learning offerings has been provided for professional and support staff.
- Conferences and Workshops – encourage staff to attend conferences and workshops offered outside the district.
- Learning for School Leaders – school and district leaders meets monthly in a lunch and learn format.
- Evaluate PD efforts to meet developing needs – professional development should be monitored and evaluated to stay relevant.
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