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A Framework for Blended PD (Part 3) – SULS073




Delivering virtual or blended professional learning can be challenging.

Today, I’m sharing Part 3 of my series on Blended PD.

In Part 3 of this series on Blended Professional Development (PD), I’m sharing PD activity ideas, facilitation tips, and sample schedules.

As we prepare for the new normal of remote and hybrid learning, let’s work together to deliver the best PD for our teachers and schools.

Did you miss Part 1 and 2? Be sure to listen to Part 1 (e71) and Part 2 (e72). The entire series is accessible on this page.


I want to give a shoutout to (Kayla McNaughton) on Instagram for sharing her love of the Google Slides Master Course.

The Google Slides Master Class is currently 50% off. ENROLL HERE!

Listen to this article.


Quick Tip – Interactive Google Slides

The key to making Google Slides interactive and more than a presentation tool is internal linking–linking objects and words to different slides, not just outside links. This one little tip can change how you view the tool and use Slides with students.

Here’s a short video learn how!

Want an in-depth lesson? Enroll in the Google Slides Master Class (50% off).

You can access all the quick tips on this page.

In this podcast series, I will share ideas for planning, scheduling, strategies, modeling, facilitating, and everything else that I can think of to help schools make the most of the situation. This is our chance to revolutionize professional development, which needs a shakeup!

Did you miss Part 1 and 2? Be sure to listen to Part 1 (e71) and Part 2 (e72). The entire series is accessible on this page.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in Part 1 and Part 2–needs assessment, planning, creative scheduling, and adult learning strategies.

In part 3, I share activities for engaging adult learners in blended PD, facilitation tips, and some sample schedules to pull it all together.

Designing Meaningful PD Activities for Teachers

Evidence of Learning

Don’t forget your goals! Begin with the end in mind and create an assessment that aligns with your learning goals first.

This assessment can be informal, formal, or even observational. How will you know when they get it? Decide how you will collect evidence of learning. Participants should be required to create or develop something as evidence of learning, no more seat time certificates.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. The evidence may be observed through online discussions, submitting a reflection in Google Classroom, or creating an activity for students.

In this guest blog post, Pam Hubler shared a great idea for using Google Challenges as an activity and way to gather evidence of learning from participants. She even shared her template so you can modify these to fit the needs of your teachers and align with your learning goals.

Aim for Dynamic PD

Get rid of static PD activities! As you think about designing your learning experience and gathering evidence of learning, I want you to think about moving away from static, one-and-done activities, and transition to more Dynamic Learning, or dynamic PD.

Sit and get PD has to go! Whether you are face-to-face or staring at a screen, we should aim for more active learning experiences in professional development.

Incorporate Multiple Types of Media to Reach All Learners

Context gets lost in the online environment. In a face-to-face setting, you can usually see and read the faces of your participants. Those physical cues are much harder to receive and interpret in an online environment, so we much reinforce the content with additional multimedia resources such as text, audio, images, video, infographics, etc.

Blended Book Studies

Blended book studies are a great idea for blended PD. I’ve facilitated many online book studies, and it’s a great way to discuss and dive into the content, but it’s also a great model for teachers to see the implementation of an LMS like Google Classroom.

We offer several FREE Shake Up Learning online book studies throughout the year. You can learn more and access the schedule on this page.

The Shake Up Learning book was designed for book studies, as are many other educational publications. You will find chapter resources and discussion questions that make facilitating your own study a breeze!

Also, check out this post on How to Plan an Awesome Book Study.

Model the Strategies and Tools You Want in the Blended Classroom

If your school is implementing new classroom initiatives, these should be modeled in the PD experience. This could be as simple as the tools or LMS system, like Canvas, Schoology, or Google Classroom. Or, it could be Project Based Learning. If you are delivering PD on Project Based Learning, the participants should learn by doing Project Based Learning. If you want teachers to use Google Meet for live lessons, virtual office hours, or meet with their teams, incorporate these as authentic experiences during blended PD.

See also 15 Ways to Use Google Classroom in Professional Learning.

If you want teachers to learn how to design Hyperdocs for blended learning, use a Hyperdoc to teach Hyperdocs. (Here’s a folder of some Hyperdoc PD!)

Choice boards are also a favorite activity of mine. These can be used at any grade level, and with adults during blended PD (like Pam’s Google Challenges mentioned above). You will need to model the use of choice boards and the facilitation, pacing, and be transparent as you answer questions so every participant can read/see how you facilitate and address any issues.

Don’t forget to model things like engagement strategies, inclusion, online behaviors, and accommodations. Teachers need to see examples of what these things look like in the most authentic way possible.

Model Everything in Blended PD:

  • Digital tools
  • Engagement strategies
  • Discussion strategies (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Differentiation
  • Inclusion
  • Behaviors and norms
  • Accommodations
  • Live lessons
  • Recorded lessons
  • Virtual office hours
  • Hyperdocs
  • Choice/Choice Boards and pacing

Include the Uncomfortable Topics: Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism

In this BONUS episode, I interviewed Keisha Rembert about how to be an anti-racist educator. She shared a lot of ideas to help teachers have uncomfortable discussions with each other and with students.

We cannot forget the importance of these issues during blended PD. Use this as an opportunity to share school policies, facilitate online discussions, and share supporting resources.

Reflection Activities

Reflection is a critical part of the learning process for adults and children. We must remember to include meaningful reflective activities for teachers during blended PD.

Post reflections in Google Classroom, as an assignment, as comments, or even private comments. Flipgrid is perfect for sharing video reflections while also modeling the tool. Be sure to give some reflective questions to guide the activity.

Coaching Activities

One idea is to have teachers record and analyze their own blended learning lessons or watch their own videos. This would be similar to recording a live lesson in the face-to-face classroom but with a blended learning twist. (I discussed this in episode 50 with Jim Knight, The Instructional Coaching Playbook.) Of course, be mindful of what can and cannot be recorded when minor students are in the videos. You can also have teachers observe the blended learning lessons of their peer teachers. We can all learn a lot from each other.

Coaches can follow-up and continue the coaching cycle in the blended environment.

Active Learning (Learn by DOING)

We all learn best by doing–by creating, playing, and experimenting. This is especially true with technology. You need to get your hands on it.

One strategy that I use in The Google Classroom Master Class is called “How To/Now Do.” I record the “How To,” video and then the activity that follows is the “Now Do,” where they get hands-on and try it.

If we need teachers to practice facilitating an online discussion, we need to provide this as an authentic activity during blended PD.

Time to Create Lessons and Activities

One of the biggest complaints about PD is that there isn’t enough time to create something with what you have learned. Always plan for additional time for creating lessons and activities. This is a great way to collect evidence of learning, address questions as they arise, and get teachers to share their ideas with their peers.

Facilitation Tips

Presentation Materials

Yes, we want beautiful presentations and training materials, but pretty doesn’t always give them context, extension, or the opportunity to review content. Be sure to include more information in your training materials to make up for the fact that you are not there to explain every detail.

My presentations, with the exception of a keynote speech, usually have a lot of text and links, as well as images and screenshots. I realize that text is not always as engaging as a pretty picture, but you need it all for blended learning. When participants go back to review the material, they have your words and resources. If a teacher comes back to this resource next semester, will they still understand it?

Virtual Office Hours/Coaching Calls

I highly recommend that virtual office hours and coaching calls be a part of your blended PD plan.

No matter how you support teachers, give them an opportunity to get the 1-on-1 support, or group support they need through weekly or daily online office hours. If you are an instructional or tech coach, make regular coaching video calls part of your coaching cycle.

Empower Your Teacher Leaders to Facilitate PD

Your rockstar teachers often have a lot to share. If you haven’t already, empower them to be a part of your blended PD sessions to share how they do it. This can level the playing field and be less intimidating for teachers.

You could also share weekly shootouts to highlight these teachers and share their ideas. These little sparks can inspire and help you celebrate your teachers.

Sample Schedules

Let’s put it all together! I’ve covered a lot of ground in this 3-part series. Let’s take a look at some sample schedules. As I discussed in Part 1, cramming everything into one-day is not ideal. As we rethink the school schedule, let’s rethink our PD schedule.

The sample schedules below are based on my Dynamic Learning Workshop, but you can use it to guide your own content, incorporating breaks, reflection, and creation time.

Please note, these do not have to be delivered on back-to-back days. Depending on the content, this could be spread over a month or semester.

Half-Day Staff Development – Day 1

8:30-9:20: Go BEYOND with Dynamic Learning (Live and recording made available in Google Classroom or other LMS)
9:20-9:30: Break
9:30-10:00: Reflective task (Flipgrid assignment posted in Google Classroom or other LMS)
10:00-11:45: Lesson Development task/work time (Facilitated with evidence of learning submitted by noon)
11:45-12:00: share progress with an assigned group (3 to 5 group members)

Half-Day Staff Development – Day 2

8:30-9:20: Dynamic Learning – Continued (Live and recording made available in Google Classroom or other LMS)
9:20-9:30: Break
9:30-10:00: Reflective task (Screencastify assignment posted in Google Classroom or other LMS)
10:00-11:45: Lesson Development task/work time (Facilitated with evidence of learning submitted by noon)
11:45-12:00: share progress with an assigned group (3 to 5 group members)

Half-Day Staff Development – Day 3

Within groups, each teacher will share/teach the lesson they developed (guided feedback forms and assign a timer)
8:00-8:20: teacher 1
8:20-8:30: group feedback
8:30-8:50: teacher 2
8:50-9:00: break
9:00-9:10: group feedback
9:10-9:30: teacher 3
9:30-9:40: group feedback
9:40-10:00: teacher 4
10:00-10:10: break
10:10-10:20: group feedback
10:20-10:40: teacher 5
10:40-10:50: group feedback
10:50-11:00: break
11:00-12:00: revisions and reflection

2-hour Staff Development – Day 1

8:30-9:20: Go BEYOND with Dynamic Learning (Live and recording made available in Google Classroom or other LMS)
9:20-9:30: Break
9:30-10:30: Reflective task (Flipgrid assignment posted in Google Classroom or other LMS)

2-hour Staff Development – Day 2

10:00-11:45: Lesson Development task/work time (Facilitated with evidence of learning submitted by noon)
11:45-12:00: share progress an assigned group (3 to 5 group members)

2-hour Staff Development – Day 3

8:30-9:20: Go BEYOND with Dynamic Learning (Live and recording made available in Google Classroom or other LMS)
9:20-9:30: Break
9:30-10:30: Reflective task (Flipgrid assignment posted in Google Classroom or other LMS)

2-hour Staff Development – Day 4

10:00-11:45: Lesson Development task/work time (Facilitated with evidence of learning submitted by noon)
11:45-12:00: share progress with a tablemate

We have many programs to help your teachers learn how to meaningfully integrate Google tools and the entire G Suite in the classroom. From online courses to books, to face-to-face training, we got you covered!

COVID-19 forced many teachers and schools to scramble to find tools to deliver online assignments, design digital learning experiences, and G Suite was the number one suite of tools to help make this a reality.

Just in time resources and learning will help teachers, students, and parents survive the crisis. When we return to the new normal, G Suite skills will help set the foundation for more dynamic and meaningful learning in the classroom.

Get your entire campus or district on board with G Suite! Help your teachers learn more about G Suite tools, Google Classroom, and meaningful technology integration strategies. You can even help all your teachers become Google Certified Educators!

© Shake Up Learning 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kasey Bell and Shake Up Learning with appropriate and specific direction to the original content on See: Copyright Policy.



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Top 5 Essential Tech Devices for College Students




It might be hard to spend a day without using a technological device, as these tools offer the desired convenience during our day to day activities. Likewise, at school, students need to break the tedious studying process, and the use of these modern devices can easily make them achieve this desired break.

As entertainment tools, technological devices can be used to ensure the utmost convenience when learning. Therefore, college and university students need to consider the following education gears and gadgets, as they enhance learning and play. As a parent, the guide below will help you choose the right device for your young ones.

Laptops and Tablets

The recent tech advancements have seen incredible growth in online education. Therefore, it is right to say that most learning in the coming months will be web-based. As a result, investing in laptops or tablets will offer your kid the convenience they need to access the course materials and enjoy their free time through the available entertainment features. When purchasing school laptops and tablet, it is essential to consider the following features:


To enjoy the maximum speed, go for laptops and tablets fitted with the latest 10th gen Intel i5 or i7 processors. The device should also have over 8 GB of ram and 128 GB Solid State Drive. Avoid purchasing HDD laptops because, even though their cost is relatively low, they are extremely slow compared to SSD counterparts.


This is mainly affected by screen and overall machine size. Desktop and all-in-one computers are good for in-house use. They are powerful, and they ideally fit application as workstations. However, their portability issues make them a rare choice for those seeking computers for use in school. Therefore, ensure the student or essay helper gets a device that they can carry to class with ease.

Screen Size and Resolution

Small screen laptops are easily portable. However, if you want a big screen, a desktop will be perfect for you, as it’s fixed. For resolution, go for a device that has over 1080p.


There are multiple options available for purchase, depending on your budget. So, if you are looking for a mid-budget laptop, be ready to spend about $500. However, it’s worth noting that with such a budget, you will be required to forgo some features such as:

  • Battery life
  • Webcam quality
  • Speakers
  • Mouse and typing experience

Besides, you can look for traditional laptops that are worth the $500 price. For students looking for flexible gadgets, it is important to check the 2-in-1 tablets, which offer both laptops and tablets features.


Fortunately, you can easily get a good smartphone even with a considerably low budget. For instance, even though many flagship phones go for over $1000, you can easily get a top phone with a budget of less than $450. Such phones also come with incredible features, including:

  • High-resolution camera
  • Superb software
  • Auto-transcribing app

Around the said budget, you can also get a 5g phone that’s ideally worth the cost. The best thing to note is that the gadgets you get here offer premium security features, good battery life, incredible performance, and exceptional screen resolution.


Their main advantage is the incredibly fitted features that can help bolster your concentration in relatively noisy places. Therefore, you will be in a position to read with minimal disturbances, thanks to:

  • The incredibly incorporated noise-cancellation features;
  • The top-notch build quality making them super convenient
  • Their high compatibility with multiple devices

Note-Taking Apps

Cost and convenience here are the main factors to consider. For instance, Evernote and MS’s OneNote offer this convenience at a price that ideally fits under your budget. Evernote is compatible with all devices, and it has a free basic package. Here, you will have up to 60mbs storage capacity for text and photo uploading every month.

Evernote premium is available at highly affordable monthly subscriptions. For annual subscriptions, you access the service at half its price. With the package, you will have over 10 GB of uploads monthly. Besides, you can use the app on every device. Finally, it is worth noting that these apps support:

  • Texts
  • Images
  • Handwriting
  • Attachments
  • Audio recordings
  • Drawings

Final Thoughts

These technological devices and apps offer students the utmost convenience in their studies. However, choosing the right device is highly important as the tool provides the desired value for money for all parties. Therefore, you can use the guide above to know some of the essential features that you ought to consider during the purchase of each educational tool.

Source: George Thompson. Georg is a stellar writer and a prominent journalist. His research studies in writing have helped thousands of students achieve better results. He shares valuable insights on writing that resonate with the readers. His articles garner a striking number of views, likes, and shares, and she finds this recognition as his biggest career achievement so far.

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