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Is anyone using technology for asynchronous or synchronous professional development with teachers at your site?  What about teachers collaborating across sites?  I'd love to hear your ideas.

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Hi, Katy!

I am working with middle and high school English Language Arts teachers in ME, NJ, CA and elsewhere (so far) using a first-of-its-kind online professional-development tool for supporting teachers’ calibration of their evaluation of student writing with a CCSS-aligned rubric—strengthening instruction, while also preparing teachers for the scoring of the forthcoming performance-based assessments from SBAC and PARCC.


What's cool about this tool, FineTune, is that it's self-guided and self-paced. Users can log on any time and any place they have internet access.


Teachers are presented with a rubric and anchor papers. They practice scoring student writing and get immediate feedback. Once they feel confident with the rubric, they can take a self-assessment.


Working with teams of teachers at a school or across a district, we encourage folks to compare their results and discuss. Getting the data on the areas where a group is calibrating well and not-so-well allows for the team leader to provide individualized and group support.


AcademicMerit has more information on its website and folks can contact me (sgraham[at] to chat more about the schools I work with and the success they are seeing and feeling.



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