Do you use software to keep track of professional development? What features do you like about it.
I've been looking around for a web-hosted solution for keeping track of our teachers' professional development. The system we envision has two levels of access. An individual level, in which individual teachers can update what they have done, and an administrator level at which administrators can see reports that show what all teachers (or individual teachers) have done.
Our school has three divisions, so we would want to be able to assign teachers to a certain division so that that division's administrator would only see those teachers' records, but a system administrator would be able to see everyone's records. This feature is not a deal-breaker. It would not be a big problem if all administrators could see all records, so long as they could sort by their division.
It would be useful if teachers could use the system to receive approval to attend events from their supervisors. In this scenario, a teacher would log into the system and enter an event details entry and trigger a request for approval to an administrator. Once an administrator approves an event, that would trigger a message back to the teacher notifying them that the event has been approved. This feature is not a hard requirement if it significantly increases cost. We could skip it, and just use the database to keep track of completed events only.
Division administrators might want to be able to enter upcoming PD events into the system and then recommend those events to certain teachers.
The database would need to be multi-user and robust enough to handle several concurrent connections. The types of info we need in the database include:
- first name
- last name
- job title
- number of years of service (based on employment start date)
- degree(s) info: degree(s) completed or working towards, dates, institutions, majors
- database security user type (administrator or teacher)
Professional Development Activities
- Event format (conference, seminar, workshop, after-school meeting, etc.)
- Event focus (e.g. technology, diversity, differentiated instruction, etc.)
- Event title
- Event goal/objectives (what will you learn or be able to do after this event?)
- Event date & time
- Event duration (Number of hours)
- Event designation: internal or external
- Event location
- Event sponsoring entity
- Event website address
- Event status (requested, approved, completed)
- Event eligible to count towards continuing education credits
- Event follow-up details field (how will this event affect classroom practice)
- Events at which this person has been the presenter instead of the participant
Professional Goals Table
- Goal type (e.g. technology, diversity, differentiated instruction, etc.)
- Goal title
- Goal details
- Goal status (percent completed)
available to administrators:
- list view shows all teachers (by division), total number of hours currently completed, and events attended
- granular view to see all events of all teachers by event focus type
- list view to show all goals of all teachers
- lists showing what teachers are enrolled in what upcoming events
Addenda: (added after this discussion was posted)
By the way, if you are a Filemaker Pro user, you might want to contact David Baker at Mt. Tam about this topic. In October of 2008 he posted a message to the ISED-L list-serve that said he was developing a Filemaker database for this and would be happy to collaborate with other FileMaker users. His email is dbaker at mttam.org
Another company offering a product can be found here: