I recently found some great professional development tips on Twitter, and I'm sharing them here. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.
Teacher Alex Corbitt shared an infographic on professional development that included interesting stats and some helpful tips too.
For the most part, the stats are encouraging. 96 percent of teachers believe technology plays an important role in their classrooms. The stats suggests the majority of teachers are at least putting in an effort to keep up with the times. Another encouraging statistic is that 74 percent of educational officials think professional development is a top priority. And it should be! Teachers need to continue learning to stay relevant, and the only way to do so is if schools are providing quality development. Unfortunately, one data point isn't as uplifting as the others. Despite placing professional development as a top priority, 46 percent of teachers don't think they have adequate training to incorporate technology into their classrooms. Increasing the professional development quality can fix that.
The infographic also provides 10 professional development tips. You can break the tips down into a few basic categories. First off, the tips suggest you personalize the development. Make sure the courses are tailored to what the individual district, school, or classroom needs. Set the development up so teachers can work at the pace they want to set (and also suggest using video to “flip” development the same way you would a classroom). Also, the tips stress that the development doesn't end when the training session/video does. The tips suggest you get follow-up from the trainers, recognize and reward teachers that have put in the extra effort, and to give teachers a chance to share what they learned. Lastly, the tips focus on outside factors that could hurt development, including making sure the teachers have enough time for proper development and that the size of the development classes aren't too large or over crammed with information. You can see the full infographic below.
What other tips would you include? What are some ways your school is implementing those tips? Is there something it could do better? Is there something they're doing that is successful? What kind of professional development do you find the most useful?
Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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