Wednesday, April 4, 2012

eCourse Summer PD

This summer, I am going to try something new in regard to summer staff development. We are using eCourses to build some online PD for credit where teachers and support staff can work independently or in groups using an interactive course structure.

The first step was to isolate professional development from meetings. What are the annual required "trainings" that can be done in a memo versus a face-to-face meeting? What are the mandatory items required of staff each year?

The list was developed: Sexual Harassment, Blood-borne Pathogens, district policies: AUP/RUP, Staff Handbooks, Policy Updates; etc.

I then looked through our tech request system to find the consistent variables of repair and software use. What are the consistent items that all staff should be aware of and how to use in this day and age? Network Access; Email Etiquette; Accessing Work from Home; Using Atomic Learning videos; Accessing TIME/Learning.com Resources; etc.

I paired all this with what we offer for new teachers who come on-board throughout the year. We offer 3-days of inservice at the start of the school year. What do we offer if they come in later? What if we took the technology stuff out of there and put it in a place they could access when they had more time? Trainings: Requesting a Substitute; Tracking PD in Workshop; Filling out a Tech Request; Accessing Project Share; etc.

Then, I looked at the course delivery system I chose: eduphoria! Workshop. I have to scope within the limitations of the system and what is realistic. Due to a background in coding HTML, I have a more adept method for adding embedded media, links and interaction. I culled through the past four years of staff development and have started developing interactive lessons requiring discussion questions in between chapter topics and a homework assignment requiring participants to submit a finished product.

What I have now is a catalog of eCourse professional development for new staff, current teachers, current support staff across the district that can be accessed all year round for credit that is tracked in one system. The lists above are only a fraction of the choices available in this system. We are building more and more each day.

And this course building system isn't my favorite. There are many options out there for people to use. I chose this one because it is ONE LESS place to have to go for training. And the system will track the progress of staff as they go through these modules. 

We are still offering some Face-2-Face (F2F) learning modules. But we are wanting to offer more resources to teachers (and coaches!) who have schedules preventing them from accessing these type of modules.

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