Lecherous Richard Dawson visions aside, I sent out my Fall Professional Development Survey to the staff of the middle and high school today. Here are the questions and the results:
What area of student improvement would you like to focus on this year?
|Personal Productivity and Organization||54%|
|Literacy and Storytelling||15%|
|Analytical Skills and Problem Solving||44%|
|Creativity and Expression||23%|
|Other, please specify||6%|
Do you have a preference for the format of the classes?
|Classes offered as single two-, to three-hour sessions||38%|
|Classes offered as several one-hour sessions.||29%|
Which technologies or applications would you like to become more familiar with?
|Podcasting or Screencasting||42%|
|Photography and Video||35%|
|Adobe Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator)||29%|
Looking at these results, the list of classes I had planned takes new shape. While still in the early stages of development, I had planned on a major focus on subject specific courses with emphasis on collaboration. In planning the survey, I wanted to shift the focus away from tech-heavy topics, which is why I placed emphasis on student improvement, which I truly feel doubles as teacher improvement. For example, helping students create and nurture their own PLE's will no doubt push teachers to do the same, so a class that explains them must first show the teachers how to create a PLE.
I would love to hear how anyone else assesses the needs of your district in terms of professional development: survey? suggestion? mandate from administration?
On another note, the most uplifting part of this survey has got to be the interest we have generated in collaborative and connective tools like wikis and blogs. If you walked through our halls now, these words, which not too long ago were completely foreign, can be heard in conversation between colleagues.