Friday, 24 October 2008

Building a Yardstick for PD Success

Building a Yardstick for PD Success: Establishing Key Performance Indicators for Web 2.0 Personal Optimized Learning Environments” a K12 Online Conference presentation by Sharon Peters and Vincent Jansen.

This presentation discusses the ways that teachers are recording and measuring their Professional Development (PD), and suggests some ideas for developing their own measurable reflective practices.

A big question regards how effective PD really is and why? They say that often it does not even pertain to the classroom, because it tends to be organisationally driven (top down) as institution wide PD for all staff. They do have their role but these PD's are not individualised and not aimed at meeting the needs of individual teachers. We are just like students, we need PD based on our
individual learning needs. We also need to provide evidence of our PD, and what success we have had implementing it into our classrooms.

PD can be followed up and reflected on in new ways, through discussion, blogs and wiki's. The vital element here is that we as teachers are taking ownership for reflecting on
and recording our PD. Over time this becomes a collection of resources, artefacts and a portfolio of ones own PD growth.

Sharon and Vincent briefly looked at some web 2 tools that can be used to measure and record PD growth. My own blog is an example of self directed PD and reflection. PD growth can be measured through comments and looking back through reflection. Further they look at using Key Performance Indicators (KPI) which
define and measure progress toward organisational goals.

We all know the benefits of PD but I believe we now need to reconsider how we approach and measure it. We are modelling ourselves as lifelong learners, and this is just what we hope for in our students.

What is the future of PD? Thanks to the internet and online networking, education is being transformed and we can take responsibility for our own PD. We do not have to wait for mass generic PD to be organised from the top. We are now empowered to make sound PD choices of our own, hopefully more principals will recognise this new individual approach to PD and allow teachers more flexibility.

PD teaching in the future is more likely to be delivered by 'friends' and colleagues which make it more likely to be used and followed-up. The focus needs to be on the individual teachers needs! We insist we do this for our students, are we not worthy of the same?