SALT LAKE CITY — Aug 27, 2012 —School Improvement Network’s PD 360 is bringing applicable professional development, collaboration with educators nationwide and increased educator enthusiasm to a rural Kansas school district, a new School Improvement Network case study reports.
“PD 360 materials are excellent, simple to use, and will benefit anyone in education,” said John Thissen, superintendent of Herington Unified School District (USD) 487. “Our teacher performance is improving because with a resource they like, they are open to change and more motivated.”
USD 487 is a rural Kansas district with 524 students, 43 teachers and many miles separating it from neighboring schools. Despite being part of a technology network with other rural schools in the district, the remote USD 487 still struggled to find affordable, relevant professional development without paying for a conference or an expert guest speaker. Fostering conversation between educators was equally difficult in a small, rural community.
But with PD 360, Thissen and USD 487 found solutions.
PD 360 is an on-demand professional development resource within School Improvement Network’s Teacher Effectiveness System. PD 360 contains an ever-growing library of over 2,000 videos on 125 educational topics featuring 120 experts, and the largest online community of verified educators with nearly one million members. Along with the Teacher Effectiveness System, PD 360 bridges the gap between training and classroom implementation with job-embedded follow-up, tracking and reflection tools.
For educators at USD 487, PD 360 meant professional development they could afford from the experts they wanted.
“The real experts are a big selling point for PD 360,” Thissen said. “Teachers sit up and take notice when they hear information coming straight from the people whose names and work are well known to them.”
Thissen said USD 487 also uses PD 360 to help teachers recertify. By watching PD 360 segments, answering reflection questions and implementing the strategies, teachers can earn the points necessary to recertify every five years.
But more importantly, educators at USD 487 are now part of the world’s largest community of educators in over 98,000 schools across the nation. Like USD 487, thousands of these schools have seen positive results from PD 360 and its mission of creating more effective teachers and helping every student become college and career ready.