My response to this post:
Great and insightful post. I work for the Utah Education Network and we deliver Professional Development all over the state in a variety of ways. We offer face to face workshops and 2 day courses. We also offer 6 week online courses. Finally, we do a weekly webcast available at http;//www.uen.org/facultylounge
The one area I would like to see more done on is the webinars/webcasts where educators can chat with others. People do some of this over lunch but usually that dissolves into a gripe session. Something teachers need, but a well facilitated workshop or webinar can allow the kind of deeply reflective practice that we as educators can truly benefit from.
The webinar/chat sessions can catalyze the kind of focus that sometimes lacks in a general Professional Development put on by a specific school or district. Maybe what I really need is focused tips and tricks on PowerPoint, or alternative assessment, or rubrics or whatever. When a workshop or professional development session has to appeal to the masses it often gets diluted because of the varying levels, whereas when I chat with my other Science Teacher friends I can focus on the peculiarities of teaching science. To me a mix of