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Terrilyn H.

Assistive Technology (AT) Department- Lead Teacher/2 years
Activity: Conduct Professional Development Sessions for AT (D. c.)

I have the pleasure of planning and conducting some professional development sessions for members of the
AT team. There are two ways that I generally conduct the professional development sessions. I discover some AT
techniques/equipment through current research or I provide professional development opportunities on software
/equipment that is of interest to my supervisor. Whether the PD comes from my own research or the desire of my
supervisor for the team to learn about the most current piece of technology, I have to coordinate the presentation of
the information via a webinar, some sort of presentation software, or by way of a conference.
I have found that my team is always willing to learn about the most current and cutting-edge technology
that producers say will solve all of the academic problems of our students. Our assessment schedules are usually
booked solid so that means that many professional development sessions are offered on professional development
days, during our weekly team meetings, as part of a working lunch and after school hours (voluntarily). Every AT
team member is present for professional development sessions being offered after school hours or via most
webinars. This shows their dedication to the students and their desire to provide access to the curriculum through
appropriate technology.
I have noticed that whether a certain professional development topic is needed by team members, they all
take advantage of the learning opportunity. However, being present for training that one does not need is not the
most effective use of ones time. When the opportunity arises again for me to coordinate PD sessions for the team, I
will do some things differently. My plan is to conduct a needs assessment survey to determine what PD sessions are
necessary for the majority of the team. I would also encourage the team members to research those PD opportunities
that are they find personally valuable. AT is the same as any other area of academia, meaning that every AT team
member will not need training in the same thing. As a member of the AT team, ones personal professional
development is especially important if you intend to be an expert in a certain area of AT. The most difficult task of
coordinating the PD sessions for the entire team is providing training that is relevant to everyone. Unless it a new
way of doing things in which all teachers will participate, the importance of specific PD sessions is relative to the
person receiving it.