Standard 4: "Professional Development and Program Evaluation"
Designing a Professional Development Based on an Analysis of Needs 4.a
Technology coaches conduct needs assessments, develop technology-related professional learning programs, and evaluate the impact on instructional practice and student learning.
a. Conduct needs assessments to inform the content and delivery of technology-related professional learning programs that result in a positive impact on student learning b. Design, develop, and implement technology- rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment c. Evaluate results of professional learning programs to determine the effectiveness on deepening teacher content knowledge, improving teacher pedagogical skills and/or increasing student learning and assessment.
As important as it is to keep professional development current, it is also invaluable to keep it pertinent to the needs of the attendees. We know from research that educators occupy a wide range of expertise with technology, and many veteran teachers are less than comfortable integrating the resources available in schools today. There are concepts such as SAMR and TPACK of which few, outside of the technologically-active, are familiar.
Our students today are considered "digital natives" and speak a language that must be met with translational crossover from traditional paradigms. Teachers are obligated to make an effort to bridge communication with students in a way that is meaningful and rigorous, while differentiated by design and expectation.
One way to ensure that teachers are ready for this call of duty is to provide practical trainings customized to the level and pertinence of content. I created a Google Form questionnaire to assess the technology needs of the staff at my school site. It was a way for me to isolate a single topic for a professional development that would meet the needs of the greatest number of people.
This needs analysis questionnaire, coupled with my school site technology plan, helped me develop a two hour session that trained 4th and 5th Grade teachers in our site-approved Office 365 program initiative. The impact of the needs analysis is that it allowed the teachers to receive training in an area that they felt lacking in confidence, yet were expected to utilize on a regular basis.