Videoconferencing for PD
When Orange County Public Schools in Florida launched a 1-to-1 program five years ago, leaders knew they had to ensure teachers used the 74,000 devices to their fullest potential.
The district implemented a scalable, blended professional development program that uses face-to-face, online, recorded and live PD sessions that incorporate videoconferences and other technologies. And PD recordings that are curated within a district learning-on-demand course are available.
The district also expanded training in test preparation and proctoring, which allows hundreds of staff members to be trained simultaneously without leaving their school site. At the same time, the model supports virtual parent academies.
Hundreds of parents can join from computers or mobile phones to ask questions about district or school initiatives.
Over a recent three-month period, the district has averaged close to 90 videoconferencing sessions per day with close to 300 participants each. This has reduced both travel costs and the need for substitutes when teachers leave their schools for PD.
To start your own program:
- Consider what you want and the staff available.
- Develop a comprehensive plan that incorporates multiple forms of PD.
- Commit funds to ensure sustainability and ensure that long-term goals are achieved.