Online Professional Development: Get the Facts

  • Make sure the PD system you choose evaluates all necessary skill areas and that teachers can apply the skills in the classroom between online sessions.
  • Assure online discussions and, if possible, face-to-face facilitated meetings to help build or strengthen the online learning community.
  • Check to see that the PD curricula have been written by a combination of well-known researchers and practitioners and are current in their resources.
  • Require alignment to your state's teacher PD and student standards with proof of where in the curriculum these standards are being met.
  • Be sure to set up face-to-face or online time to train teachers how to use the technology and the curriculum. Provide ongoing follow up.
  • Monitor ongoing completion rates and assessments and collect all data generated by the provider.
  • Ask that reports provide snapshots of your most critical goals on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Ensure the final report looks exactly the way you need it to in order to justify funding or meet other requirements.
  • Train administrators to look for implementation of skills learned during online PD when they visit classrooms.
  • Provide or request professional credit (CEUs), university credit, or salary enhancement opportunities that will motivate teachers to participate.
  • Include a certificate of completion or of mastery and/or a culminating event when specific district/school-wide goals are met.

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