Learning is a never-ending process for students and everyday citizens, but for teachers, continuous learning is just part of the job. As such, their learning is a bit more robust. They must continually update their knowledge of their subject matter, behavioral management practices, new technologies, and developments such as social-emotional learning and culturally responsive classrooms. But how do you ensure that teachers are receiving the right training on the right materials? Well, your first step is to build a professional development program that incorporates the right technology.
Building a Professional Development Program
Building a professional development policy or plan is essential to ensuring that all of your objectives are on the same page, receiving the same training, and that they’re equipped for success in the classroom. The success of the teacher is vital to the success of the student.
When creating a professional development plan, you may realize that it draws parallels with creating a curriculum. In other words, it should contain certain elements, particular subject matter, and aim to reach certain goals. One of the first steps you should create in planning development is to outline the goals and objectives. Below are some of the most common professional development goals, though your own may be different:
Integrate the right technology
Technology is an increasingly common feature in the classroom today. It facilitates learning, gamifies difficult lessons, and helps teachers create more-efficient lesson plans. However, learning how to use all of these technologies can be a difficult process, especially as more apps, software, and equipment are introduced. Add this item to your goals if you have many new technologies to add to the classroom or if you feel your teachers aren’t entirely proficient in existing technologies.
Better Behavioral Management
Behavioral management is one of the least discussed topics in teacher training. In fact, many teacher programs spend only eight hours of training teachers on behavior management strategies. Because of this, teachers often waste a lot of time trying to control their classroom, only to be unsuccessful in curbing behavior—in addition to having wasted valuable lesson time. To make matters worse, for teachers, continuously trying to control a classroom can cause burn out. They have difficulty remaining energetic with the class, and they slowly lose their passion for their role. Equipping teachers with the right training on behavior management can help ensure that they maintain engagement and control in the classroom and that they continue loving their role in the lives of students.
There’s an emerging trend across the country to better immerse the classroom and students in different cultures and different methods of learning. Understanding your students, where they come from, and their different learning methods help to ensure that all students are learning adequately. For instance, some students may come from a culture in which oral speaking and storytelling is how they learn. Knowing this, you can incorporate some of those same methods in your classroom. In addition, consider making your classroom more like a community, engaging every student and even the teachers, to foster an environment conducive to learning in various ways.
Using this concept in the classroom helps teachers manage behaviors, keep students better engaged, and create better learning environments and outcomes. This should always be the goal of any teacher program, but they need to have the right tools and skills to achieve this.
Technology for the Professional Development of Teachers
Once you’ve established the goals of your professional development plan, you need to decide which technologies can help your teachers reach those goals. There are generally five key points that you should focus on when it comes to professional development, including:
- Content – Teachers must continually update their subject matter knowledge.
- Active learning – Teachers should actively engage in their own learning, allowing them to better retain lessons.
- Coherence – Teachers should know how to use technologies and principles around school.
- Proficiency – It takes time to truly understand certain technologies and lessons. You can’t expect teachers to know something after one lesson. Provide a program that fosters proficiency.
- Collaboration – Sometimes other teachers or instructional technologists are the best resource.
Below are some of the best technologies and online resources that help you achieve professional development for teachers.
Youtube Teachers is a free resource that helps teachers inspire and engage students with subject matter content. It also helps to inform teachers of their own subject matter, and it provides them with training tips on behavior management, lesson planning and engagement, and so much more.
Podcast- Learning to Teach Online
Earlier we mentioned utilizing different methods of learning to help better engage students. Well, the same applies for teachers. The Learning to Teach Online podcast provides teachers with over 50 guides and lessons on how to use technology in the classroom.
EdTech Leaders Online offers resources, full courses, and webinars that help aid professional development, help teachers design customized learning paths, and more. It also helps administrators build successful blended learning programs online.
Teacher Training Videos
Teacher Training Videos is a full database of training videos for online teaching, interactive whiteboards, and loads of other subjects. This will help teachers continue their training on a variety of technologies and become more proficient in the process.
GoGuardian Teacher Training
GoGuardian software helps admins and teachers monitor student activity and progress while working online. It allows educators to block sites that may be harmful or distracting to students using Scenes, block, and allow lists. It helps to protect the school network from viruses, malware, and phishing scams. This technology also helps with classroom management and student engagement, which makes it an excellent tool for any classroom. Although this technology is simple to use, additional training can help users feel confident in their mastery of the software. GoGuardian Teacher Training and Admin Training can help you get the most out of your filtering and classroom management solution.