Edpuzzle Blog

Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff

Do you know how much your school district spends every year on professional development? The answer may shock you!

In the United States alone, a whopping $18 billion a year is spent on professional development, but sadly, many of the country’s nearly 4 million teachers don’t find it useful or educational.

So what’s the problem with traditional PD?

Just like with students, it all boils down to how you deliver your content. First, consider the format of your PD: is the trainer using the standard lecture model? Or is there something more interactive going on?

When asked on Twitter for their worst PD experiences, the vast majority of teachers cited the horrors of attending a PD where the presenter read the slides of a PowerPoint presentation. Who could possibly enjoying learning like that?

By using video PD, you can dramatically reduce your school’s budget for professional development and increase teacher engagement… worth a try, right?

Here’s how to get started with video professional development to keep teachers happy, entertained and informed.

Step 1: Find Your Resources

The first step to revolutionizing your PD is doing a little research. You’ll need to identify the resources that are available to your school and interesting to your teachers. Here are some great places to start:

  • Edpuzzle. Check out their online professional development with a choice of 19 courses on topics ranging from tech integration to online privacy & security, project-based learning and more! The great thing about these certification courses is that they’re self-paced, so teachers can work through the videos based on their learning needs.
  • Teaching Channel. This online platform is based around the idea that teachers learn best by observing each other, allowing them to get inspired and discover new teaching techniques. You can filter the videos on Teaching Channel by grade level, subject area and topic, with options like differentiation, technology in the classroom or new teachers. Why is this beneficial? Teachers respect learning from other teachers.
  • Video conferences. By having your PD via FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype or any other video conferencing platform, you’ll be able to reach a new pool of trainers that normally wouldn’t be available to you because of geography. What’s more, your district can save money by having multiple schools connect at once, so you’re only paying for one PD session. This is a great way to connect your teachers with the best of the best!

If you’re ever at a loss for where to look for resources, don’t forget to ask your teachers! They may have a whole list of learning resources they’ve been waiting to explore.

Step 2: Personalize Your PD

Once you’ve got a handle on some different options for your PD, the next step is to make it relevant, and there’s no better way to achieve this than through personalization.

There’s a reason why personalized learning has become such a popular term in education over the past decade, and that’s because students learn better when the material is tailored to their needs, and the same goes for teachers!

To get started personalizing your video professional development for teachers, first try grouping your teachers based on their needs. For example, new teachers might need more support with classroom management but they might already be pros with edtech, whereas veteran teachers may need extra training on new technologies and look at a course on classroom management as a waste of their time.

After you’ve grouped your teachers by the skills they’re interested in learning more about, you can survey your teachers to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Asking for teachers’ opinions before you choose your PD will make your teachers feel respected and heard – so don’t skip this step!

Step 3: Make It Flexible

This step is all about choice, and luckily, video learning is the perfect facilitator! In addition to giving teachers a choice about what type of content to view and study, depending on the type of video PD you’re using, you can also give them the freedom to choose when to complete their PD.

If you’re using online video PD like Edpuzzle, there’s no reason why teachers need to complete it on school grounds. Everyone knows how exhausting teachers’ schedules are, so by allowing them to complete their PD hours when it’s convenient for them in the comfort of their own homes, you’ll be doing them a monumental favor.

Set a deadline to complete the online course, and then leave it up to your teachers to let them do it during their free time. There’s nothing teachers love more than being able to do PD in their PJ’s!

Step 4: Ask for Feedback

Finally, when all is said and done, you can’t forget to ask for feedback. Not only is this crucial in determining your teachers’ satisfaction with the PD, but it’s equally important for choosing which PD is worth repeating for new teachers in the future.

It can be as easy as sending around an online survey via Google Forms, or sitting down for some small group sessions over lunch to talk about what teachers learned (or were missing) from their PD.

You should treat this feedback for what it is – a goldmine! – and make sure to encourage an honest and open dialogue.

So, are you ready to shake things up at your school and say goodbye to traditional, boring PD? Get started with video PD and transform your professional development into something your teachers look forward to rather than dread.

Find video PD on Edpuzzle