Initially, Differentiated Visual Tools professional development (PD) begins with a general overview-type workshop. These typically focus on the “big picture” (e.g., what are DVTs, how they differ from traditional graphic organizers, how DVTs address specific CCSS standards, an examination of many samples of how teachers have used them, and some basic information about DVT-based instruction. Depending on how much time the workshop is scheduled for, a number of hands-on activities are integrated into the workshop to provide participants opportunities to explore the DVTs program on their laptops, practice developing content for a few of the DVTs, learn about a few instructional stratagems and to begin initial planning on how they might begin to use them in their classrooms and/or share information about DVTs with their peers in their schools.
Typically, these workshops are scheduled for half-to-full day sessions.
Ideally, professional development is discipline-specific, which means that under optimal conditions, we are working with specific groups of teachers (e.g., science teachers, English teachers, or history teachers) separately. We recognize that what is optimal is not always feasible, so the almost-ideal situation is to work with groups of elementary or secondary teachers separately.
Fidelity and sustainability are important! …so follow-up PD is recommended and is customized so that it seamlessly integrates with a school or district’s professional development plan, innovations currently being implemented, and goals such as supporting DVT implementation fidelity via use of professional development communities and/or instructional coaching. We provide several forms of support, including a range of tools that can be used to support step-wise goal setting and strategic plans.
Significant discounts in the DVT software is typically provided when multi-user license are purchased in conjunction with PD.
We recognize that PD can be expensive and difficult to attain by schools in smaller districts, so we have an on-going commitment to post downloadable DVT presentations at www.MakesSenseStrategies.com and to develop and post videos of the presentations. We also provide webinars.
Please contact Dr. Ellis for information about DVT professional developers who may be in your area or to arrange professional development with him.
If you are interested in becoming a DVT Professional Developer, please contact Dr. Ellis.
Edwin Ellis (205) 394-5512