Enhancing Teaching Practices with Personalized Professional Development
A SMART Customer Story with Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board and St. Catherine of Siena
Teachers and School
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board and St. Catherine of Siena, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada:
Providing personalized professional development to help teachers create interactive activities that target specific learning goals.
SMART Learning Suite
St. Catherine of Siena teachers began to regularly use SMART Learning Suite to enhance their teaching practices and create interactive lessons to target learning goals.
"This was such a great PD experience. It applied to what we needed in our classrooms."
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board is one of the largest and fastest growing school boards in Ontario, with over 81,000 students attending 149 schools. The board includes areas of Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Orangeville and Dufferin County. Dufferin-Peel believes the innovative staff they hire has a direct impact on student success. They also believe educating teachers on current trends in education and technology is essential in fostering continued success.
Dufferin-Peel had been using SMART hardware and software for many years. While renewing their SMART Learning Suite (SIS) software for the 2017- 2018 school year, they realized there were features of SLS that were not being used to their fullest potential. They chose to work with SMART's Efficacy and Implementation (EIM) Team, because they could create a needs-based professional development plan for their teachers; one that would offer pedagogically relevant training focused on enhancing learning and teaching practices.
Knowing the school board wanted to offer SMART training workshops to all elementary schools within Dufferin-Peel Catholic District Board, the EIM team worked with multiple schools over the course of two weeks to showcase how the new features of SLS could create highly interactive learning experiences for students. St. Catherine of Siena in Mississauga was one of these schools. In a lunch-and-learn session, teachers caught a glimpse of the potential of SLS, and were eager to engage in more in-depth training.
Coordinating goals with the school administration, the EIM Team returned to St. Catherine of Senna for 4 days, and worked with 8 teachers to integrate SMART Learning Suite into their classrooms. Throughout those 4 days, teachers had access to professional development that was personalized for them. Each teacher shared what they were working on in the classroom, what they hoped to gain from the training, as well as any difficulties they faced with technology integration. SMART's collaborative planning period meetings consisted of:
Overall, teachers were shown elements of SLS that supported their learning objectives in the classroom. They then built lessons using SMART Learning Suite, and implemented them in their classroom with support from the SMART EIM Team. On the last day of the sessions, students could engage in an interactive SMART lesson with support from the EIM Team.
The SMART EIM Team returned to St. Catherine of Siena one month after the initial in-depth week to follow up with teachers. Teachers expressed how easy it was to create and integrate SMART activities, and that their students were more engaged in the learning process than before implementation. "It's not often you can do lessons in five minutes!" said Anne Connelly. Teachers took it even one step further, and allowed students to create question sets within SMART lab™. The teachers felt supported and comfortable implementing the new technology in heir classrooms.
Through SMART's personalized professional development, teachers were able to see the value of SLS, because it was immediately applied to their classroom goals. After four days of training, teachers were able to build interactive lessons using SMART Notebook' and create engaging learning experiences using SMART Learning Suite Online. Teachers were excited to continue using SMART Solutions to facilitate active learning experiences for students in their classrooms.