Finding effective PLD opportunities for staff can be problematic, with many principals and teachers citing issues such as;
- accessing quality facilitators, programmes and resources
- the increasing costs of attending off-site PLD
- limited numbers able to participate because of cost
- the limitations of one-off workshops or seminars vs. ongoing PLD
With my colleagues at CORE I have been working on developing a range of online professional development options, drawing on our extensive experience providing face-to-face facilitation. I’m happy to announce that the first of these, an e-portfolio course, is starting in the coming week, with others following in the near future as the numbers of enrolments increase.The CORE Achieve suite of courses uses a mix of synchronous and asynchronous technologies to enable teachers to participate at the time, place and pace that suits them.
One of the things I am keen to see develop is the use of these online courses within schools as the basis of whole-staff (or department, syndicate etc.) professional learning and development. With the benefit of a well-structured course as the basis, providing high quality resources and learning activities – plus the benefit of an experienced and knowledgeable facilitator to guide things along, the person with responsibility for PLD within the school can confidently lead the process with staff. I’ve been trialling this approach with a cluster of schools in 2010 with excellent results, and look forward to exploring more of the same in the coming months.