Photo Challenge–Day #6: Differentiating for PD

It’s kind of awesome when your staff freely tells you about what their specific professional development needs are.  We have an Institute Day coming up, and some of our high school staff told me they would really love some training on Google Classroom.  Since we now have much more technology available in the district than we had three years ago, the use of this management system is becoming more and more common.  Me being the edtech nut that I am, I was happy to oblige.

However, the sticking point when it comes to any kind of technology training is this: how do you meet the needs of a group with a wide range of technology capabilities?  The answer is this: the same way you’d meet the needs of diverse learners in a classroom–by differentiating.  And the key to good differentiating is to know where your learners are at so you can match them to learning activities that will help them grow.

Of course, teachers are a bit harder to pre-assess than a captive audience of smaller humans, so a Google Form was created to help participants help themselves figure out what Google Classroom training group would best meet their needs.  The secret is a liberal use of the “Go to page based on answer” feature found in Forms.  If you’re not familiar with this feature, it basically lets you turn a Form into a Choose Your Own Adventure pathway, with users going to different pages based on the answer to a specific question.  The pictures below will walk you through our Google Form adventure (I know this is more than one picture…but it’s my challenge and I’ll break the rules whenever I feel like it. 🙂 )

All form-takers start out with this screen:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 1.37.20 PM

The last question is key–the answer to that question determines where our form-takers go next.  Here’s what that question looks like behind the scenes:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 4.26.03 PM

Notice that if they answer that they checked between 1-2 choices, they will be bumped to a section that tells them they would be most suited to the beginner Google Classroom section.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 1.37.37 PM

If they select any of the other choices, they will be taken to a screen that further refines their knowledge to see if they would be better suited for an intermediate session or an advanced session.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 1.38.18 PM

Again, that last question is key–the first two choices will tell them they are better suited for an intermediate session, while the last choice will state that an advanced session is where they should be.

 

Offering the right professional development is important, but it is also just as critical to match skill levels to the PD.  This is our attempt at doing so; I’ll update you later (with a picture or two, of course!) on how well it worked for us.

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