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What Keeps School Administrators Up at Night

By: Caroline Wynne Date: June 24, 2015

When administrators are asked, “What keeps you up at night?” two challenges consistently come up:

  • Leveraging technology more effectively
  • Enhancing teacher effectiveness through professional development

Let’s look at each of these challenges and address some solutions.

Leveraging technology more effectively

According to the Speak Up 2014 National Research Project, 63 percent of teachers regularly use a tablet and 88 percent of teachers use smartphones.

Teachers are already using mobile devices in their personal lives. How can we translate this use of technology into the classroom?

An obstacle many schools face is lack of sufficient Internet bandwidth. In this day in age it’s hard to believe there are many places, especially schools, that lack Internet connectivity but many schools still struggle with this reality.

The White House driven ConnectED initiative, launched two years ago, is designed to enrich K-12 education for every student in America by empowering teachers with the best technology and training, and empowering students through individualized learning. The goal is for 99% of American schools to have access to next-generation broadband by 2018. The question remains, how do we address the Internet connectivity issue now?

Administrators find it challenging to conduct an online teacher observation with spotty Internet service. With Truenorthlogic’s Offline Observation tool, Internet connectivity isn’t an issue. Observers can capture and store classroom walkthrough data and notes using a handheld device, such as an iPad or laptop, anywhere on campus, even where there is no Internet connection. All observation data can be synched to the evaluation at a later time once connectivity is restored.

“Our principals were impressed with the visual appearance of Truenorthlogic and how user-friendly it was for capturing classroom observation data,” said Mary Knight, Director of Technology at Flagstaff Unified School District in Arizona.

Enhancing teacher effectiveness through professional development

National research measured an increased number of teachers who are using video for their own professional development. In the past year, 62 percent of educators indicated they had used an online video to learn how to do something themselves.

How can administrators make quality online professional development more accessible to teachers when they need it?

Truenorthlogic PD, Truenorthlogic’s professional learning management system, hosts and manages district created online professional development for standalone courses or to supplement face-to-face workshops. Additionally, the Truenorthlogic PD Premium Library provides school districts with a centralized marketplace to easily browse and purchase professional development courses. Educators have anytime access to high quality self-paced courses offered from leading content providers.

By reinforcing the connection between professional growth and student achievement, Truenorthlogic PD increases teacher effectiveness, putting a vast array of learning opportunities at the fingertips of educators. With any time access to professional learning opportunities, teachers have the tools and training they need for continuous improvement.

Hopefully, technology solutions like Truenorthlogic’s Offline Observation and Truenorthlogic PD will help school administrators sleep a little easier.

Woman Sleeping 2002