Submitted by Shannon J. Cole, Ed.D., Director of Professional Learning, Irving ISD
We are happy to share any and all resources and have had the chance to collaborate with districts across the metroplex!
In preparation for the reality of remote teaching, the Irving ISD department of professional learning prepared resources for teachers to support the continued mindset of “learning” for themselves. This was a priority for our superintendent. Our Professional Learning HUB was released March 23 with various training, podcasts, webinars, and opportunities for learning all in one central location. This resource has been updated weekly to have the most relevant and timely information that is just one click away.
It is also the time of the year when teachers are finishing their 18 hours of required PD. In response to the needs, a SMORE was created and shared, with numerous options for teachers to complete this requirement. The document has been a source of information for many based on the number of “hits” (719 as of April 7).
Our next priority was to support teachers who had varying skills when it came to delivering instruction in a digital format. We joined forces with our Digital Learning department along with their digital learning coaches and rolled out 20 beginning level sessions focused on the use of Zoom, Google classroom, Seesaw, Nearpod, and Flipgrid. During the first week of offerings we had over 1,000 teachers who took advantage of the basic offerings. At the end of each session a survey was completed to indicate any additional professional learning needs and requests for other digital support.
Based on the surveys, we continued our collaboration with our department of digital learning and also included our librarians to support offerings in the second week. Librarians are dedicated to their campus and act as first line digital support for our teachers. With their help we continued to offer basic support and more advanced options for teachers and tier 2 support personnel. We also included more specific sessions to begin transitioning from a session focused on the tool, and began moving to the tool being an avenue for delivering high quality content.
Currently we are working on training options for parents that include the use of multiple platforms that their children are accessing. These trainings may be live or in eCourse/video format and will be delivered in English and Spanish.