Sunday, February 13, 2011

A few thoughts on BORING PD days.

I recently attended 2 days of training for Smartboard. What stood out about the training was not what I learned. What stood out was my disengagement.

Unfortunately, many experience PD days like this. They have to sit. They have to listen. They have to read a Powerpoint presentation while listening to the speaker read it at the same time. They have to listen to the speaker’s opinions and not share their own. They have to sit there disengaged. They even question the benefit of such an activity.

Wait! There is a benefit. It reminds me how multitudes of students feel every day the world over- disengaged. It is a reminder to never run a classroom like boring PD days.


  1. I too attended SmartBoard training and last year at a conference we were asked to recall our worst PD experience and guess what I talked about.

    I am a certified SmartBoard trainer and I am pretty sure, I cannot do much with that thing because there were really no hand-on learning opportunities. Total fail as PD!

  2. I spent years sitting in the back row of PD workshops correcting papers. What really drove me crazy was when the presenter wasn't even using the strategies they were promoting.

    Since then, I've had the chance to offer loads of PD sessions. Here's my thoughts on the subject. "A Guide to Designing Effective Professional Development: 15 Essential Questions for the Successful Staff Developer"

  3. It seems obvious that Smart Board PD should involve each teacher being in their classroom on their own Smart Board with a webinar going on for them to follow as they try things suggested by the leader. If teachers find that sitting and listening to someone read their own PowerPoint slides is boring, at least this should give them motivation to do something else with their own students. PD should come in small bites every day rather than day-long sessions. Use the resources at DrDougGreen.Com for this purpose.

  4. I have always felt the way you do at Pro-D sessions, and have a solution - I put together a team to offer better sessions. At out laast district based pro-d day I worked with two of my favourite colleagues, Avi and Tomiko, to guide 60 teachers through google docs and google sites. This was in addition to a weekly google session we run for other teachers in our district. The link to our training is here - and you're all welcome to use it!

    In our 90 minute session teachers we gave the option to follow step-by-step through our guide, or go for it on their own using the checklist (on the left menu bar of the site).

    It was hands-on, self-paced, and by the end, everyone had a useful site or doc.

    Thank to my partners, this was good pro-d!

  5. One of the big changes that has occurred with many of us is that we can find our PD on our own. The day's of sitting in the room and "learning" a 20th century model are hopefully. Things are a changing (I hope)