PD in Focus
[ASCD (703) 578-9600]
PD in Focus, a powerful professional development resource that offers high quality online media and tools, does much more than provide an array of streaming videos packed with educational content, research and classroom practices. Extensive footage of actual classroom episodes with real children and teachers, and interviews with renowned education authorities who exude a love of teaching and a positive attitude about education, are sure to inspire and promote excellence in teaching.
PD in Focus provides professional development tools for Teachers, Teacher Leaders, Administrators, Regional and State Agencies, and University Faculty. Major areas of instruction are The Whole Child, Best Practices in Action, The Brain and Learning, Differentiated Instruction, English Language Learners, Formative Assessment, High Schools at Work, and Literacy Strategies, and are accessed on the "Channels" page. Each page offers links to content such as Search, My Library, My Journal, Reports, and Help/FAQs.
One of the videos we reviewed, An Introduction to English Language Learners, featured children of differing ethnicities introducing themselves, illustrating the fact that classrooms are comprised of children who have individualized needs, readiness levels, and cultural and gender differences.
PD in Focus is a unique technology tool for expanding professional development, and we highly recommend it.
The UpFront series, from Australia's EdAlive, received three awards in the 2009 EDDIES: Early Learning Language Arts (Upfront Reading Success), Early Elementary Math (Upfront Maths), and Upper Elementary Language Arts (Upfront Word Skills), all richly deserved.
In truth, all three are actually one seamless multi-level tool for ages 5 through 15, and can be installed together as one huge database of wonderful skills and drill activities. The programs can also stand alone, or be implemented into an individualized lesson plan by the teacher. And while the teacher chooses which exercises to use, it's the kids who will have the most fun.
Upfront is versatile and easy to use, both as an activity bank for interactive whiteboards and for printable worksheets. The thousands of activities are based on EdAlive's BRAINtastic series, and are sequenced by difficulty and skill levels.
A wonderful product, and with the hearty reward voices in the programs, we say good on you, mates!