Note Taking During Professional Development

Staff Development before school starts is just around the corner.  I want to share a great way to take notes and keep them for yourself or to share instantly.  I’ve been using Google Sites.  Hopefully your school started using Google Apps before Google started charging for it.  Here’s how I do it.

I setup a new site for each development I attend.  So for example, let’s say I’m attending a class on Underwater Basket Weaving.  I go to my Google Sites, which for most of you will be

Click Create as shown below:

Step 1


That will present you with something similar to what you see below:


Step 2

1.  Leave as is.  There is not a template available for your own personal Staff Development.

2.  I named my site, “Professional Development”.  I know it is a bit boring, but I’m the only one who is going to see this after all.  You may however wish to share your site with others.  Just be careful with what you share, but more on that later.

3.  You can leave this blank.  It will automagically fill itself in with the title of your site.  If the URL is taken, you may want to add a number onto the end of it here.  For example, “staff_development2013”

4.  Both of these are optional.  Selecting a theme is an easy way to change the look and feel of the site.  More options are, well just that more options.  You’ll have to investigate those on your own.

5.  Finally, click Create.


You will now see you brand new sparkling website!

Step 3


1.  You can see that I attended Teaching Science in a Diverse Classroom and took notes here.

2.  Click the Edit button to edit the current page you are on.

3.  Click this button to add a new page to your site.  This is the button we are going to press now.

4.  This is where you control who can view this site.  You can easily share this with individual people, your whole organization, or the whole world.  Be careful that if you get files in a training that they can legally be shared with who you choose to share them with here.

You should now see something similar to the picture below:

Step 4 PDGoogleSite5

1.  This is where I put the name of the Staff Development.

2.  I chose Web Page because this is the best page suited to taking notes.

3.  I put this page at the top level so that it stays organized on the menu on the left.

4.  Click Create.


You should now see something similar to below:

Step 5


1.  I think it is a good idea to make a note of who is giving the training and where it was that I learned all this awesome stuff.

2.  Always ask the trainer for their files.  Most are happy to email a copy of the powerpoints, or other files they used in their presentation.  Please do not make anything public that is copyrighted.  Many trainers have permission to release material for themselves and the people that attend their training.  so please don’t make it public.


Now that you have it setup, you can keep adding pages for all the Staff Training, Professional Developments, or anything other training you want to remember.

What do you think?  Do you have any tools that you prefer to use when taking notes during Staff Development?  Let us know in the comments!