1. Complete busy work before the session.

Many PD sessions today require logins to different types of software, a process that should be completed pre-session.

Also, knowing how you’re going to group participants based on skill level and/or subject taught, as well as the design of content in the PD session, should happen pre-session.

Many times, novice flipped PD instructors think that the openness of the session means simply answering questions in person, but a structure should be in place that includes actual practice for the participants, which is the true perk of the flipped model.

2. Pre-session material should be multimedia-packed.

Prior to the PD sessions, instructors should provide an agenda with multiple resource links, including various interactive media (videos, digital tools, et cetera). This can not only provide a more personalized learning experience for the participant (see tip #3), but can help the participant to see how the tools they will learn about can be used.

“One of the goals I had for creating the agenda was to use digital tools from the start,” said Laura Conley, PD facilitator at Clarksville High School, creator of the Flipped PD website, and weekly moderator of #flippedPD chat each Thursday evening at 8 central time (@lconley86), in an article for Getting Smart. “I wanted to be able to model the use of these tools and maximize the time we had with each group. From the feedback in the emails, I decided on creating an infographic and making it interactive by linking the items on the agenda to videos, websites, and other digital tools. [Participants] would have the opportunity to take a look at what they would be learning in their workshop by simply clicking on the links in the agenda.”

3. Digital tools/resources should be personalized.

In most cases, there’s a multitude of multimedia resources available to teach your subject, but choosing high-quality and highly-specific videos, infographics, interactive photos, and more, is important.

“Coaches [should] provide teachers with personalized digital content that is relevant to their personal goals, whether they are tutorial videos, website links or other digital assets,” explained Kristin Daniels, education technology consultant for TIES in St. Paul, MN, for EdSurge.

Daniels recommends technology tools that make it easy to create a collection of customized resources, such as Google Docs/Sites, BlendspacePinterest, and LiveBinders. She also recommends Screencast-o-maticSnagit for ChromeExplain Everything, and MoveNote for creating content in-the-moment.

“Teachers enjoy watching digital content that is clear and concise. Videos should not be longer than 5 minutes, and some even suggest 2 minutes,” she noted. “The exploration of digital content has brought interesting and unique uses of digital content, as well. For example, coaches can provide links to a Google Hangout On Air recording, archived Twitter chats, or captured conversations.”

Daniels’ incredibly ambitious district in MN has its own groups of personalized videos for PD. The district produces four types of videos:

  • “Proactive” videos are tutorials covering the basics of the district’s most-used technology tools
  • “Reactive” videos are created in response to a specific request
  • “Spontaneous capture” videos document best practices, project ideas, and success stories
  • “Individual backpack” videos are raw, unedited snippets created on the fly to answer specific questions.

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