Digital Directions - Fall 2012 - (Page 29)

By_Katie Ash High-Priority Virtual PD Common core raises the profile of online training programs for educators T IMAGE: iStockphoto_mbortolino eachers at Highlands Middle School in Kentucky’s Fort Thomas school district recently did something they’d never done before: They took professionaldevelopment classes online. Spurred by a need to provide highquality, comprehensive professional development to help teachers make the transition to the Common Core State Standards, Highlands Middle School Principal Mark Goetz discovered online courses from ASCD—a nonprofit membership-based professionaldevelopment group based in Alexandria, Va.—that addressed those very topics. “There was no one I could bring in costeffectively to do professional development in this specific area for what I thought we could get off the PD online,” says Goetz, although he is quick to point out that while saving money was a bonus, it cannot outweigh the need for high-quality PD for his 660-student school. “[The courses] really pinpointed laser-like focus on what we were trying to get done.” Goetz is not the only administrator turning to the Internet for professional development for his staff members. Ongoing and effective professional development is critical to implementing the common standards, experts say, and technology holds the key to providing deep learning experiences for teachers that can be scaled across state borders. “[Teachers] have been teaching a certain way and under certain kinds of standards and objectives for a long time,” says Barbara Treacy, the director of EdTech Leaders Online at the Newton, Mass.-based Education Development Center. “To change, we’re not going to be able to snap our fingers. They need support, and we cannot short-shrift the PD that teachers need.” Organizations providing professionaldevelopment resources, such as the EDC and ASCD, have been inundated with requests from schools for guidance on implementing common standards, officials from those organizations report. “Everywhere we turn, we’re asked to PAGE 31 > Fall 2012_ Digital Directions >> 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Directions - Fall 2012

Digital Directions - Fall 2012
Editor's Note
DD Site Visit
Bits & Bytes
Shifting to Adaptive Testing
Tailoring the Tests To Special Needs?
Choosing the Right Device
Bandwidth Demand Rising
Are You Ready?
Where’s the Money?
High-Priority Virtual PD
Online PD Destinations
Virtual Ed. Dives In to the Common Core
Open Education Resources Surge

Digital Directions - Fall 2012