ASCD Introduces Enhancements to Premier Professional Development Tool for Educators
Alexandria, VA (09/06/2012)—ASCD today introduces version 2.0 of its award-winning PD In Focus® online professional development tool. Based on research and user feedback, the enhancements in version 2.0 help teachers and administrators better meet their personal and systemic professional development goals. ASCD is the global leader in providing programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner.
The PD In Focus tool provides educators with cost-effective, on-demand access to hundreds of hours of high-impact videos, plus related resources and activities. The program is designed to bring practical classroom applications to life, coupling examples from contemporary teaching with insight from some of the most important voices in education today. The PD In Focus tool is web-based, so users can access it anywhere there’s an Internet connection, any time they need it—including from mobile devices and tablets.
Among the PD In Focus enhancements, which are helping personalize professional development and connecting users in communities of learning, are
Customizable channels. Users can now build custom PD In Focus channels and subchannels tailored to their specific professional development goals.
New group discussion boards. Individual professional development can be extended even further with the PD In Focus group discussion boards. Educators can ask questions, leave comments, and connect with users for their perspective on the topics of interest to them.
Video comment tool. A new comment tool offers educators the opportunity to comment directly on the videos they see, providing another venue to continue the dialogue on the PD In Focus tool's powerful content.
In addition, administrators will appreciate new features that can help them both better guide learning and improve accountability. Those new features include
Enhanced assignment capabilities. School and district leaders can personalize assignments for individual teachers and highlight portions of important video content to direct online discussions.
Automatic e-mail alerts. With the PD In Focus tool’s new e-mail alert feature, educators can receive instant updates on the status of assignments. Not only can administrators receive an e-mail alert when assignments are finished, but they can also broadcast new assignments or assignment modifications to teachers.
Downloadable reports. School and district leaders are able to easily drag and drop user information to create reports that they can then download in PDF, Microsoft Excel, and Miscrosoft Word formats.
"ASCD understands the need for educators at all levels to have an easy-to-use and personalized professional development tool at their fingertips," said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Gene Carter. "Since its introduction, the PD In Focus tool has been recognized as one of the leading online professional development solutions available to educators today. We’ll continue listening to educator feedback as to how to further improve this service to meet their needs."
For more information about the PD In Focus tool and ASCD’s other professional development resources, visit www.ascd.org/pd. For more information on ASCD’s other programs, products, and services, or to join ASCD, visit www.ascd.org.
- Stephen Wakefield, communications director, 1-703-575-5764 or by e-mail.
- Marissa Bialecki, communications coordinator, 1-703-575-5461 or by e-mail.