“NSDC believes that educators learn most effectively when they are provided adequate time during their work day to learn and collaborate together to accomplish a school’s mission and goals. Many educators, however, are uncertain how to find time for any additional tasks during the work day given the sometimes seemingly overwhelming tasks they face already.” (Finding Time for Professional Learning, NSDC National Staff Development Center)
Time is one of the main barriers for educators to implement professional learning. Schools that are making time usually do so in one of three ways. They use available time, buy time, or create time.
To help Kent county districts overcome this barrier, Kent ISD created pdNOW, a source for on-demand professional learning. pdNOW currently offers both online professional learning courses and webinars.
In an effort to provide more online learning opportunities for educators, the Kent ISD educational technology team launched a monthly webinar series during the 2014/15 school year. This series highlighted different Kent county educators and offered them the opportunities to share how they are using technology to improve teaching and learning with their students.
The goal of this series was to bring greater awareness around the power of educational technology and encourage more educators to take advantage of the technology available to them.
We have decided to expand our on-demand professional learning library to include videos that showcase the effective technology integration practices of local educators.
Reviewing the Data
As the 2015/16 school year draws to an end, our team has reviewed the data from the edtech webinar series over the past two years. One trend that was consistent both years was the number of live views vs the number of recording views. With nearly every single webinar, there were more views of the recordings than there were live views.
This made us wonder: If our audience prefers to watch the recordings, how might we adjust the format of our webinars to better meet the needs of a non-live audience? This led us to develop a new format for our educational technology webinars for the 2016/17 school year.
Rebooting the Webinar Format
Starting next year, each educational technology webinar will be split into two parts:
- a short (10-15 minute) video showcase. The short video showcases will highlight effective technology integration practices of local educators.
- Following the release of each video, there will be a 30 minute Q & A session with the teacher highlighted in the video.
This will be an opportunity for people who watched the video gain a better understanding of how the highlighted teacher structures teaching and learning in his/her classroom.
We are very excited to offer this new format for webinars and hope it will allow greater access to the quality technology integration practices in Kent County. As we prepare for this new format of webinars, we are seeking local educators who would like to showcase the use of technology in their classrooms.
How You Can Help!
If you would like to share your experience and tips with other educators, please take a moment to complete the Kent ISD EdTech Webinar Series – Call for Presenters form. Only 8 educators will be selected to participate for the 2016/17 school year.
Check out our online courses and webinars available on the pdNOW website! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for even more professional learning when and where you need it. Let’s overcome our barrier of time together!
This blog post was written by Andrew Steinman, Ed Tech Consultant for Kent ISD and edited by Amanda Walma, Professional Learning Coordinator for Kent ISD.