The month of March has me breaking out the basketball analogies. March also seems to be the month that district technology directors are thrown into the fire and asked out of the blue to quickly provide some kind of technology related professional development to their staff, in what is left of our quickly ending school year. Sometimes tech directors fall back on sharing information about emerging technologies they just learned about at one of our wonderful state conferences and workshops. Sometimes, they take a look at what their neighbors are providing for PD, and sometimes they reach out to others to provide the content for them.
I use the opportunity to remind you that support for planning quality PD opportunities for your staff is available. In order for real impact to be made with your teaching staff, a proactive stance is a must. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) provides excellent resources for frameworks to achieve the next level of technology integration, no matter who you are, or where you are in the adoption process. They have different sets of standards for the different segments of our educational environment, including students, educators, coaches, administrators, and computer science educators.
This spring when you are pulled from the administrator’s bench to join the team on the court, I would remind you that you are supported by the ISTE standards for Coaches. According to an ISTE article, more than 90 percent of teachers believe that up-to-date training on using technology in the classroom is important to achieve success, while nearly a third are not satisfied with the support they receive from their schools in integrating technology. (Roland, J., 2015) The article goes on to stress the importance of determining the needs of your staff and how assessment and evaluation are imperative. Another ISTE article takes a look at best practices of when and how to assess needs and learning. (Crompton, H., 2015) This article walks a coach through the standard and various approaches to planning professional learning.
I encourage you to actively plan and practice for this moment when your sneakers hit the court each spring, and check out the many pd evaluation tools that are at your disposal for free! Future Ready and Project Tomorrow both provide FREE survey tools that support professional learning. Signing up as a district allows access to the survey tools and results, as well as a multitude of other valuable planning resources. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provides guidelines for what to include if you are creating your own survey tool for staff. Using these tools to understand where your staff is and where they need to go will help you to have maximum impact and put you one step closer to that MVP title.