Online Professional Development: Assist. Supt. Julie Rolling
Reviewer: Julie Rolling
Position: Assistant Superintendent, Learning Teaching and Family Support
District: Puget Sound ESD, WA (PSESD)
Number of Students in District: 383,000
Products: ASCD PD Online
I wanted to offer a variety of K-12 professional development to meet educators' range of needs. Given Seattle's traffic issues and educator's busy schedules, driving to a region workshop is not feasible for most. So, having the opportunity to access online, high quality, professional development on their own time and in the location of their choosing was critical.
Each year the number of classes taken has increased significantly and the response has been very positive - the content is very high quality, relevant to their teaching setting and convenient way of learning new information to better serve students. Educators appreciate hearing from experts, and applying what they’ve learned to their own setting, as well as being able to work at their own pace.
The online sessions are very easy to use. PSESD simply surveys educators to gather needs and offers technical assistance as needed. We rarely hear of problems with the use of the product. We offer continuing education and graduate credits from local universities to make the learning connect to recertification goals.
How We Use It:
Online classes supplement the in-district professional development that educators already receive. These classes often fill a need for individual teachers that is different than the needs of their entire staff. For instance, many new teachers find the sessions on classroom management helpful, and others offer another learning opportunity for a topic that has great depth, like differentiated instruction. Experts, like Bob Marzano, have come in to work, and then we utilize the online classes prior to or after the face-to-face sessions to help educators deepen and apply learning.
We will survey educators in the region and offer classes that meet their needs. We will also continue to offer existing classes that are popular, as well as new sessions based on the changing needs of the region. Furthermore, we would also like to connect with individual districts to see if we could partner to offer sessions based on their improvement goals.