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Focus On Basics

Volume 5, Issue D ::: June 2002

The Professional Development Kit

Multimedia Resources for Adult Educators

by Kelly Hunter & Nathalie Applewhite
The Professional Development Kit (PDK) is composed of three main elements: an interactive Web site, a collection of videos on CD-ROM, and a guide to help users navigate the PDK system and design their own professional development plan. The online gateway to the PDK system is at www.literacy.org/pdk. Its three main sections are PDK Community, Investigating Practice, and Knowledge Databases.

PDK Community

PDK Community contains online discussion boards and personalized portfolio activities. The discussion boards provide the opportunity to communicate with other adult educators and experts around the country. Community members can also develop their own public or private discussion boards.

The portfolio takes a teacherŮ researcher approach in encouraging practitioners to investigate their own classroom practice through guided activities. The activities include self-assessment, data collection, action planning, lesson planning, case study development, and reporting. Practitioners who engage in these activities can save them online, and develop a personalized program for professional development.

Investigating Practice

The Investigating Practice section is designed to inform and engage teachers in an exploration of the major issues in adult basic education (ABE). This section contains more than 10 hours of edited video organized into three main areas:

While viewing the material, teachers are encouraged to think about the following questions: What's working? What isn't working? What is happening in my practice? What would I do differently and why? What do I need to know? After exploring these questions, teachers are encouraged to document their thoughts, questions, and lessons learned in their portfolios or share their ideas in a discussion board. They may also want to gather more information from one of the Knowledge Databases.

Knowledge Databases

The Knowledge Databases section contains an extensive collection of articles, essays, lesson plans, and additional online resources related to the field of adult education. With more than 200 articles and still growing, the searchable "Articles" database contains online adult education documents from various resources and organizes them in one place, making it easy for users to find appropriate resources.

Using PDK

Teachers can use PDK to guide them in reflecting on and improving their teaching strategies and to connect with other professionals in the field. Professional developers can use PDK to extend and enhance professional development initiatives or design new ones. Depending on the needs of the individual or the program, PDK can be a short-term resource or part of a longer-term plan.


All of the PDK web resources, including the PDK Guide, are available for free at www.literacy.org/pdk. The CD-ROM, which contains the entire collection of videos, is available for free while supplies last. (Request them via e-mail from Ashley DelBianco at delbianco@literacy.upenn.edu; include your complete address and phone number).

Updated 7/27/07 :: Copyright © 2005 NCSALL