Professional development for student engagement

students engaging each other virtually on laptop

Published: January 15th, 2021

The 2020 pandemic expedited the adoption of new edtech tools, revealing an urgent and widespread need for additional professional development focused on teacher technology training. In fact, Promethean’s State of Technology in Education report found that approximately one-third of respondents’ schools were lacking a formal strategy for utilizing technology.

2021 will bring the continued adoption of learning technologies; The same report indicated that 82% of educators will use educational technology in the next 10 years. With the knowledge that student success depends on teacher preparedness, proactive schools are looking to reprioritize professional development, treating it with more urgency and finding new ways to support teachers as they leverage technology to drive student engagement.

Fostering a growth mindset around engagement

While it’s common for schools to apply a growth mindset to test scores and graduation rates, it is less common for them to look at student engagement through a similar lens.

Adopting a growth mindset around student engagement begins with engaging educators and developing new approaches alongside them. This can involve seeking teacher insight and help with setting engagement and professional development goals. Professional development plays a crucial role and is often the best forum in which to integrate a student engagement growth-focused approach.

Integrating student engagement into professional development

Redesigning professional development to be consistent with a growth mindset empowers teachers to innovate with student engagement. There are many opportunities to address student engagement throughout teacher-preparation programs.

To create a successful process, schools may consider:

  1. A facelift for teacher training, including remote professional development: Regular formal training should cover guidance on how to provide learning opportunities for students beyond the classroom and demonstrating how students can connect to lessons in new, ongoing ways using a range of devices. The 2020 State of Technology in Education report also found that interactive panels were among the most frequently used technologies in school. Given this tool’s ability to drive student engagement, schools with this resource should make professional development around this technology a priority. Using classroom technology in innovative and collaborative ways will remain mission-critical for decades to come. Teachers need training to fully integrate this tool into their curriculum, and they need to know how to leverage it beyond whiteboard functionality. Formal training should provide teachers the opportunity to confidently teach a lesson with these tools directly.
  2. A centralized resource platform and easy-to-access supplementary materials: Ensure access to a remote learning guide that includes a repository of resources designed to support student engagement. This can be a marketplace for lessonson-demand education on teaching tools, and resources that offer product upgrades at no additional cost to educators.
  3. Providing access to conferences and events introducing new engagement ideas: In the 2019 State of Technology report, a majority of teachers expressed a need for collaborative planning time with peers in order to more effectively implement new teaching and learning innovations in the classroom. This would contribute greatly to expanding their professional development skills and can be achieved through conferences and professional development events that enable educators to learn alongside like-minded professionals.

Schools have the opportunity to equip their educators to drive meaningful innovation and advancements in the area of student engagement. By designing teacher technology training with this in mind, schools can ensure that their professional development efforts are impactful in marching towards better outcomes for the entire education ecosystem.

To learn how Promethean can support professional development to drive high student engagement in your school, contact us for a demo today.