Feb 21st PD day: It’s all about Google

teacher laptop courseOn Feb 21st, 2014, our 7-12 staff have a professional development day scheduled – and this year, the focus will be on differentiating with technology.

Q1. What is the theme/topic? and how did we come up with that?
A1. Last month we met with a group of teachers from our district PD team along with representation from the teachers association. We started by brainstorming ideas/topics, and after reviewing, the group felt the most common tool for all content areas was Google Apps.

Q2. When and where is the PD day?
A2.  Valley Southwoods Freshman High School, Friday, Feb 21st,  8am to 3:30pm

Q3. What is the format? 
A3.  It will be conference style – meaning that multiple concurrent sessions will be available through out the day.  Each staff member will be allowed to select each session based on their own individual needs.

Q4. What types of sessions will be available?
A4.  We are working through specific sessions titles and descriptions now, but many of the sessions will be around Google Apps, although we’re also looking at sessions on Infinite Campus Grade Book and assessment using student phones/mobile devices.

Q5. Will the sessions be hands-on?
A5.  Most sessions will have some time dedicated to hands-on, although some sessions will demonstration only.  We will have have each session labeled clearly so you’ll know what to expect.

Q6.  Will staff need to bring their laptops?
A6.  Yes.  If you do not have a district issued laptop, you are welcome to bring your own personal device or check one out from your school’s existing laptop carts.

Q7. Are all the sessions at the beginner level? or will there be leveled sessions? 
A7.  We will have a mixture of sessions – both introductory and advanced.  Staff will have the option to select the level that is appropriate for themselves.

Q8. Will each session/course be offered just once?
A8.  We are looking to offer each course as often as its needed, based on an interest survey that we are conducting with staff during the month of December.

Q9. Are all the trainers internal staff members?  or are we hiring outside individuals?
A9.  The sessions on Feb 21st will be conducted by a mixture of internal staff members, external resources, and AEA resources.  In most of our previous technology sessions, we have relied on only internal staff members as trainers.  However, for the Google Apps topics, we feel that we need assistance from outside resources for this topic.  In addition, once we announced that we would provide leveled courses – many of our previous trainers commented that they would like to attend the advanced sessions instead of serving as a trainer.  

Q10. How are we paying for this? Are we using General Fund dollars?
A10.  We are NOT using General Fund dollars, but instead are using District In Need of Assistance Funds that are dedicated towards providing training and professional development for staff.

Q11.  Will staff have to register for specific courses prior to Feb 21st?
A11.  Yes, staff will be asked to register online for their courses – prior to the Feb 21st event.

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