Planning Effective Professional Develpoment

Planning effective professional development is important if one wants to see positive results: change in the classroom that leads to improved learning. This week, I put together a short outline highlighting the five key principles of effective PD and how I can use them for our dental hygiene program to transform our traditional courses into blended ones. A more detailed plan will follow soon…

I.                   Duration

a.       Minimum 30 hours of ongoing professional learning during each 10-week term (approx. 3 hours per week per instructor)

b.       Sessions will be 30-60 minutes each, assigned to each class meeting during the week

c.       The entire PD training will occur throughout all five terms so teachers have a chance to apply techniques to each class they teach (both junior and senior level courses)

II.                 Support

a.       Teachers will work collaboratively with each other, meeting weekly to discuss challenges and solutions

b.       PD leaders will be working with teachers during class time to help with specific challenges during implementation

c.       IT will be available via phone to assist with technical issues

III.              Engaging teachers

a.       Training will initially be held as a group with opportunities to use technology the way students will be using it in their classrooms

b.       Show exciting videos on Blended Learning

c.       Discuss why change is needed

d.       Foster group discussions on pros and cons of change, fears and objections the teachers may be thinking about

IV.             Modeling

a.       After initial training, rotate instructors through my classroom to observe how I use technology in my own class

V.                Content

a.       The content presented will be applicable to college-level courses, specifically tailored individually for various courses in the dental hygiene program

Collaboration will be fostered by hosting weekly meetings to discuss what is working and what isn’t. These will also be sessions dedicated to helping teachers understand that by working together, there will be more continuity for our students. Instructors will show others what they are specifically working on in their classrooms and how the students are reacting to it. These meetings will be led by our Program Director and myself. The more tech-savvy teachers can mentor the ones who struggle with technology. I prefer to use the BHAG and 3-column table for its simplicity and effectiveness; the main focus should be on the pedagogy, not the technology. This PD series will begin after I launch my Radiography course as a blended class. I want to experience a full 10-week term of teaching this way so I can share my experiences with the group. If I can successfully implement the blended model of my course, we will be on track to start PD on blended learning in October 2017. Since we used Schoology in 5318, I want to continue using this program for all the other courses. We will incorporate free online resources for both faculty and students (such as Kahoot, Quizizz, YouTube, etc.) to use in the courses.


Creating a Plug for Professional Development

In this week’s assignment, I taught myself how to create a video that focuses on directing change in professional development. At our college, we have scheduled professional development meetings quarterly. At most meetings, we have a speaker in the morning who gives us tips to use in our classrooms, and then we take online professional development classes for the rest of the afternoon (MaxKnowledge). Sometimes, teachers can’t attend the meetings, but they can still complete the online training. The biggest problem I see with this model is the inclination for many teachers to skip through the modules and quickly take the exams at the end. Many teachers even share the answers to the module quizzes. This suggests that teachers find the online courses irrelevant or even useless to them. I’ve actually enjoyed some of the courses, but I can honestly say I have never implemented what I’ve learned in my own classroom. Most of what I implement comes from ideas I’ve heard others use successfully: games like Kahoot or Quizizz, giving students group projects or activities that I develop on my own. I truly think a lot of how we teach mirrors how we were taught as students. Today, there are so many technological tools we can use in the classroom that will help make lessons more engaging, interactive, and interesting for our students. The problem is that many teachers may be afraid to use technology, or don’t know where to start. We recently had a lesson on how to use Kahoot; the tutorials were great, but I haven’t heard of one teacher trying it for the first time in their own class since we attended that P.D. session. Many teachers really need more personalized coaching and help in their own classrooms to feel comfortable enough to implement something new.

While I’m still learning how to improve professional development, I created a short plug for this new type of P.D. Making a movie was something completely new for me, and it took a lot of trial and error. I had grand ideas for how I wanted it to flow, but eventually decided to keep it simple, using still pictures and music with a voiceover. After researching different apps, I went with iMovie because it is easy to use and has a lot of options for music and special effects. It’s fairly easy to edit, and works in an intuitive way. I spent several hours learning how to use it to edit my short movie. I’ll definitely practice more with it because I can see its value for future applications in my own classroom as well!

Here’s what I created: