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Professional Development
Each January, Proctor's faculty are provided the opportunity to engage in professional development days. While Proctor's extensive professional development budget affords faculty and staff professional development experiences throughout the academic year and during the summer, specific days during the school year are targeted to inform, and potentially inspire, faculty to further evolve their teaching.

Last January, Will Richardson spoke to the community about technology, its integration into education, and the potential future direction of technology. His insights, documented in this blog post, were incredibly well-received and have been frequently referenced as we continue to shape our culture around technology at Proctor.

This year, our focus remains related to technology as we continue to prepare for the integration of iPads as a learning tool for all students during the 2013-2014 school year. After spending the morning in small groups working on our New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) reaccreditation, Hans Mundahl, Director of Technology Integration at nearby New Hampton School spoke to faculty about his work successfully launching an iPad program at New Hampton over the past two years. Mundahl, who most recently co-authored an ebook Teaching with the iPad, provided invaluable experiences regarding what has worked well at his school and what has been a challenge.

The concept of a values based technology plan resonated well with Proctor's faculty who so highly value the unique 'style' of learning at Proctor. When Mundahl asked Proctor's faculty to complete the sentence, "Learning at Proctor is…" answers included individualized, collaborative, experiential, challenging and fun. In short, Proctor's learning environment is truly unique, and therefore, Mundahl encouraged us to develop a technology integration plan that fits with who we are as a school.  

Perhaps most importantly for faculty, however, was his emphasis on technology integration falling along a spectrum. Understanding where you are on that spectrum as a teacher is important as we all move forward in setting realistic, clear goals for how we want to integrate iPads into our academic curriculum. As this blog post noted earlier this winter, the ultimate goal for integrating any new technology into an educational setting is the enhancement of student learning, and we must continuously keep this at the center of our work introducing new teaching tools at Proctor, as well.

While Mundahl served as the keynote speaker at this year's professional development days, it has been the work of Jim Cox, Proctor's Director of Technology, and a team of motivated, technology adept teachers who are driving the implementation of our technology plan. Thursday afternoon saw faculty meet in smaller groups to further explore specific applications on the iPad that have the ability to augment student learning at Proctor. Friday will allow for department specific professional development related to iPad apps and the implementation of those apps.

As students return this weekend for the remainder of the winter trimester, we are excited to jump back into the routine of the school year. We are thankful for time off to rest and recharge, and are especially thankful for a school that sets aside resources for faculty to continue to pursue professional development opportunities related to an ever-changing educational landscape!
Hans Mundahl shared his expertise integrating technology in the classroom with faculty during Thursday's professional development day.
After a morning of NEASC reaccreditation work, faculty gathered to further explore innovative teaching practices and resources.
Understanding how to implement a value-based educational technology plan is a complicated process; one that demands we look honestly at our mission as a school.
As faculty enter more department specific professional development on Friday, we must keep in mind advice Mundahl shared: understand what you believe, why it matters, and how you will deliver it.