Innovative Professional Development for Teachers | Skillshare Projects

Michael Boll

Building a teacher-focused online platform



Innovative Professional Development for Teachers

Innovative Professional Development (IPD) is a community of educators focused on providing high quality, interesting and entertaining professional development opportunities. IPD is  location independent and focused on assisting international schools all over the world.
IPD is committed to:
● Open and free access to all course content
● Outstanding and engaging instructors
● Developing individualized PD opportunities for schools

The Founders

Brandon HooverBrandon Hoover
Brandon is an overseas professional with stints in Jakarta, Indonesia as a Technology Director, and his current location at International School, Manila. When not spending time with his wife and two young daughters, Brandon is engaging in photography. “I am really passionate about design and photography is a fantastic lens through which to find interesting design elements all over the world.”

Brandon is looking to take his current photo series, presentation skills and artistry with web
design to the next level. “I was on the lookout for an opportunity to step up and take on a
project where I could both enhance and apply my current capabilities.”

Michael Boll

Michael Boll
Michael, a technology coach at Concordia International School , was looking for a new venture to start. “My wife and I had just co-founded a school for kids with special needs and we learned so much.” He wanted to apply these newly acquired business development skills to one of his primary interests and job responsibilities: designing professional development. “I have been giving presentations for many years in the Asia region and was looking for a way to share on a wider scale. I just needed to find the right people and build a team.”

David Collett

David Collett
David is a stereotypical Third Culture Kid (TCK). Raised mostly in Jakarta, Indonesia where he attended a prestigious international school, David always felt that uncomfortable tension back in his native country of New Zealand when someone would ask “Where are you from?"

“I just never really knew how to respond. Did people really want to hear the whole story?”

David is currently the High School IT Integrator for International School, Manila and is
pursuing his Doctorate in Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. His life as a TCK may have influenced his thesis title: The Experience of Social Identity for Third Culture Kids who use Online Social Networking.

David’s wide variety of interests, both technical and educational, enabled him to participate in multiple ventures. “In addition to my job in education, I also co-owner of a boutique hotel in Bali, Indonesia.”

David’s wide ranging expertise inspired him to look for new opportunities in the education
field in which to contribute. “Starting an online distance education project has always
intrigued me. Frankly, I was thinking I would become involved with a project of this scale
after I finished my Doctorate, but that was not to be.”

A Fateful Collision 
It was April 2013 and three future cofounders of Innovative Professional Development collided with each other at the Shanghai EARCOS Teachers Conference.

David, Brandon and Michael, have a habit of giving presentations wherever large groups of teachers gather. It was during and after these presentations that the three of them started to talk about their common interests.

Their conversations turned to the conference itself.

“You know, these conferences are great, but people always leave wishing they could learn
more. You know, pick up where they left off after they return to their schools.”

“Yes, for sure. And when you look around, you realize that many of the presenters here will have been appreciated by the 30 or so people they touched, but that will be the extent of their reach until the next time.”

Entrepreneurs are always looking for problems to solve. In this case, Michael, David and
Brandon agreed they had an interesting problem before them. They quickly realized that
together they possessed the necessary set of skills to launch an education startup.

“We realized that our design, technical, and business backgrounds presented a unique ability to build something. On top of that, we all shared the same passion for education; specifically professional development,” explains David.

Early meetings and brainstorming sessions pointed the three founders toward a common
mission: To facilitate professional development for overseas educators.

“Once we had our mission fully articulated, we set out to build a platform that connected
educators looking to design professional development courses with educators searching for professional development opportunities.”

Fast Forward to Launch 
After a summer sprint to build the technical platform before the inevitable crush that is part
of all school year beginnings took place, the team refined its internal systems and processes and met its launch date of early November.

“After so much work, it felt great to launch and be open for business. Now the true test of
our efforts begins.”

Today Innovative Professional Development (IPD) has over six online courses available for
university credit. More instructors are coming online all the time and students have already
successfully completed coursework for graduate credit.

The Future 
IPD is razor focused on its mission and actively recruiting instructors to be part of the
founding team of content providers.

“Our instructors make the IPD model successful. As a group we can leverage our individual talents to expand our reach to a large-scale audience. It is really a blast to see how talented individuals contribute to the success of a larger goal.”


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