Sunday, October 5, 2014

6 SMART Tips for Effective Professional Development

This summer my department partnered with technology companies (such as PBS Learning, Google, and SMART Technologies) that provide resources used and loved by NYCDOE teachers to provide an innovative professional learning experience. The goal of the program was to create and connect teachers across the district who are power-users of the same resources so they could become area experts supporting others back in their school and districts.

What was terrific about the partnership is that these companies really came to life with real people building relationships with our staff to support them and help them grow. In the end it was a win, win. The participants loved this type of learning. Our partners enjoyed the new connections and communities they were able to build and they will be expanding this work to other districts as well. 

Here are six tips for SMART professional development opportunities.

1. Host the program kick-off in an inspiring setting. 
2. Provide PD paths and options. 
3. Build in opportunities for socializing during in-person training. 
4. Self-paced opportunities extend beyond the event. 
5. Reunite and reflect. 
6. Establish community beyond the PD program. 

These tips were the takeaways from SMART who said, “Thank you to everyone at the NYCDOE for building such a great program and allowing vendors like us to participate – we learned so much too!” Now that is true success. Not only does our staff members get SMARTer, our partners do too. 

You can check out the whole story with details on each tip at the EdCompass blog

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