EDTC6106 M1-ISTE Coaching Standard 4

Design an Effective and Impactive Professional Development for Teachers that Utilizes Educational Technology

ISTE Coaching Standards

ISTE Standard 4: Professional Development and Program Evaluation
● Design, develop, and implement technology rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment.

How to Define Professional Development is Effective

Fullan (2007) argues that external approaches to instructional improvement are rarely “powerful enough, specific enough, or sustained enough to alter the culture of the classroom and school”. The effective professional development results in changes to teacher knowledge and practices and improvements in student learning outcomes. It should lead to powerful continuous subsets of professional learning in different forms, instructional improvement, and deeper student learning.

How to Impact Teachers in Professional Development Utilizing Educational Technology

Develop a Growth Mindset in PD

As technology thriving, educators should integrate new teaching method using educational technology to support the increasingly complex skills students need to learn in preparation for further education and work in the 21st century. As we are striving for developing our student growth mindset to handle challenges and problems, we also need to develop educators’ growth mindset in professional development to inspire them to accept changes as the opportunity for learning. With the growth mindset, educators can open their minds and enjoy collaborating with peers on seeking new teaching practices with technology to help students achieve competencies for the digital technology era. Provide more time for teachers to share their improvement as models, which is the best way to inspire peers using the growth mindset to practice new skills from PD. 

Try to Understand Teachers Needs and Interests-To be content focused

The well-designed professional development will provide the survey to teachers to assess their needs and interests before implementation. The data from the sources can help find the direction that professional learning is connected from practice and supports the areas of knowledge and skills teachers want to develop. To be content-focused doesn’t mean content learning in the PD but links the specific content learning to pedagogies which can offer teachers a clear vision of how to connect new skills to their classroom contexts and address the diverse needs of students in differing settings.

Model Teachers in the Way You Want Them to Teach-Active learning

In the well-designed PD, Vicki Davis (2015) it’s not enough to teach the right things to teachers– you need to teach your teachers in the right way. If you attempt to introduce them to how to use digital technology to engage students, you should use the same way to engage your teachers in the PD. If you attempt to introduce collaborative learning using technology, you should involve this directly in practices in the PD. Don’t deliver too much in one session of PD which will make teachers overwhelming but offer them more time to have active learning. Teachers will get immersed in the types of learning activities and environments they would then create for their students. Their try-out or experiences in the same learning activities as their students will provide more confidence to identify potential challenges to students and adjust the new skills they learned into their context. 

Bridge Teachers Expertise with Educational Technology in Contexts-Support Collaboration

Well-designed PD is like a chemic reaction between new learning and existing expertise. The effective PD can catalyze teachers’ ideas of using educational technology in their own teaching context and transform their teaching method not simply layer technology on the top of the old for its own sake. Effective PD can provide a platform for teachers to collaborate with peers beyond the school. Teachers can get more inspiration from peers than any other way to allow them to take risks, solve problems and get through dilemmas in new practice using technology to bring larger-scale improvements to teaching and learning.

Ask for Feedback and Reflection- Offer Long-term Plan with Sustained Support

In the effective professional development programs, feedback and reflection are critical components to share constructive thinking and authentic instances of teaching practice. The feedback is the data from both teachers and students which needs to be analyzed when the new skills are implemented in practice. In the effective PD program, sustained support needs to be offered depending on the data from authentic feedback in classrooms to provide a greater chance of transforming teaching practices and student learning. 

We cannot expect one-off workshop PD can impact teacher’s practice and student learning in a short time. But we can expect the sustained impacts from the PD will be effective enough on transforming teaching and improving student learning achievement in a long-term span by continuous collaboration, support, and modeling.


Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M., Gardner, M., Espinoza, D. (June, 2017). Effective Teacher Professional Development. Retrieved from https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Effective_Teacher_Professional_Development_REPORT.pdf

Davis, V. (2015). 8 Top Tips for Highly Effective PD. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/top-tips-highly-effective-pd-vicki-davis

Aguilar, E. (2014). 10 Tips for Delivering Awesome Professional Development. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/10-tips-delivering-awesome-professional-development-elena-aguilar

3 thoughts on “Design an Effective and Impactive Professional Development for Teachers that Utilizes Educational Technology”

  1. You make simple, but power points in this post. Effective professional development must include feedback from the participants as well as a continuous improvement model. These are the same concepts educators want to use to improve student learning experiences. The point about having educators collaborate on professional development is also vital to success. Working with peers is a key part to how educators can continually evolve their teaching practices as well as improve the learning experience for their students.

  2. Helen, I appreciate how you called attention to the need for teachers to use a growth mindset, just as we want our students to do. The best PD connects to something teachers know (as you say in your post), but also pushes them out of their comfort zones while being supported by their colleagues.

    I also really like how you connected PD and data – both through surveying what teachers want to learn about and in tracking the effectiveness of PD through teacher reflection and measured student learning.

  3. Helen,

    Your statement “Well-designed PD is like a chemic reaction between new learning and existing expertise. The effective PD can catalyze teachers’ ideas of using educational technology in their own teaching context and transform their teaching method not simply layer technology on the top of the old for its own sake”, proves your claim that professional development can change the culture when the buy-in of the educators participating is intentionally planned for and reflected on. Your focus on growth mindset supports educators as they try new systems and strategies. The opportunity to fail is important to make space for as the learning is in the reflection.

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