Every successful technology implementation has one thing in common. If you guessed properly trained users, you’re right on the money! Some schools have professional development built into their calendars; other times, it’s up to teachers to get creative with their hours. Having the right approach to professional learning can mean a difference in results.
Professional Learning Benefits
Imagine buying your dream car but never learning how to drive. Your instructional technology can help you and your students, but only if you know how to use it properly. That’s why it’s important to look for companies like Classworks that offer a mix of professional learning to meet your busy schedule's various learning needs and demands.
Data tells us that in-person training leads to more successful implementations. Having an expert onsite for feedback and coaching is especially helpful for those who are learning new technology doesn’t come easily. This means having an open communication channel with product experts is necessary.
On-site training is an ideal scenario for every new user. During expertly crafted workshops, trainers can transform product knowledge into actual practices that blend seamlessly into your day-to-day activities. After training, users need access to an environment where they can brush up on their skills, ask questions, receive feedback, and retain their new knowledge.
While few options rival the effectiveness of on-site training, sometimes complicated logistics can press schools to seek out virtual alternatives to get the job done.
Many instructional platforms offer free online certificate courses (like Classworks Smartguide) that bring users up to speed on weaving key features into their teaching practices. Plus, on-demand access to these courses allows users to revisit topics and explore new ways to impact learning. On-demand training options mean teachers don’t need to wait for their district-mandated PD day to roll around. Also, it allows teachers who want to learn slower or faster to do so.
Additionally, virtual live coaching can effectively deliver professional learning to groups of teachers when pulling them together in one location isn’t feasible. Virtual live training simply means that a trainer delivers the same training they would have given in person using Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, or another video conferencing platform. Virtual live training can be effective IF expectations are set in advance with the district. Teachers should have cameras on to maximize virtual live training and plan to engage with the trainer. If professional learning involves using a software program, each participant should have their own device to follow along. We all experienced the challenges of teaching students virtually during the pandemic, and we want to set an example by being engaged and present virtual participants.
Which Option is Best for You?
So, what’s the best route to determine if your school would benefit from online or on-site professional learning? In a perfect world, the correct answer is both! Districts that receive on-site training supplemented with free online courses and virtual coaching typically see the strongest implementations and the biggest gains for students.
Follow the path to see what training option is best for you.