Are staff development days at the end of the year a good idea?


Yesterday I had the honour of speaking to the staff of Guildford Primary School and Auburn North Primary School.  Speaking at staff development days can be a daunting task, there are always those who love what you have to say and those who were wishing they could be somewhere else…anywhere else!  I love the challenge of engaging teachers from all different cultures, life experiences and career experience.

In 2010 the NSW Department of Education gave schools 2 extra staff development days at the end of the year.  In the school that I am a teacher we conducted our two extra days during the course of the year which was beneficial as we were in the flow of the school year, and addressing issues that we were facing at that time.

Having had the opportunity to speak at schools all year round as well as the last couple of days of the school year I would advise principals who are looking to maximise their staff development time to try and hold the extra days either on a Saturday or a public holiday throughout the year.  Having said that it might be a tough road to convince the teachers to give up their weekend!

If you are going to conduct a staff development day at the end of the year my advice would be to bring in someone who can speak about teaching and learning in general rather than a strategy specific session.  In 2011 I will be suggesting to the schools I speak at on the last 2 days to request a session on how generation Y and Z learn, or a session on the latest research on the brain and learning.  These options are interesting and relevant but the teachers will not need to know the makeup of their class to maximise the benefits.

What were your staff development days like this year?  What was the best and what was the worst?

Infographic: The Rapid Growth of Google Apps For Education

For those of you who like infographics, here is an interesting infographic showing the rapid growth of Google Apps for Education: The infographic was created a few months ago.  Since then, the Malaysian Government have signed up every school student and teacher to Google Apps, as have many other school

Pokemon Go and Geography with Google maps

Pokemon Go and geography lesson without using the Pokemon app

If you want to engage and motivate – there’s nothing better than Pokemon Go at the moment. And when you connect an engagement tool with something meaningful – you get some super effective teaching and learning!

In this post we show you the exact steps needed to make a Pokemon map using Google maps and connect this to a history and or geography lesson for students.

NOTE: If you are concerned about security and the Pokemon App, we don’t use the Pokemon game to develop this lesson – you just use the images off the internet.


LearnBytes episode #6 – Michelle Bowditch: Do these 4 things when facing uncertainty or frustration

Samantha is joined by Michelle Bowditch, the founder of Door 20A and a Tech Lover, Educator Connecter & Advocate for Executive Assistants.

In her race against the clock, Michelle shares the 4 things you can do when facing uncertainty or frustration – even with little things like tech problems! We also hear some great podcast recommendations & a handy tip for planning your podcast listening.


Here’s What
Our Clients Say

PR Industrya


In 2018, Using Technology Better designed and delivered a two phase post-migration training program for this New Zealand based graphic design firm. The initial goal of the training program was to reduce frustration with G Suite, with the long term aim of facilitating a change in culture and collaboration that can lead to transformative practices