Rolling Out the PODD: STEP 1

Oh PODD… how I love you. You are a wonderful language based, low tech system that grows with students (check out my Pillars of PODD post to get the scoop). My dream is to have a lending library of PODD books in my district to use for assessment purposes – just another tool in the toolbox.

Yet, PODD is providing to be a good bit of work. Anyone who has spent hours trimming those tabs knows what I’m talking about… But there’s more to it than just getting the books made and distributing them throughout the district to all of the little boys and girls. In order to ensure that devices are used in the classroom, it is important to make sure that the classroom staff understand and feel comfortable with devices. Here’s where we are so far in the PODD roll out in my school district:


Student identified as possible candidate for PODD system – After a brief training for our district SLPs and EC teachers, many approached me asking if they could try PODD with a specific student.

Introduction of PODD to Classroom – Once a student was identified as a possible candidate, I brought the appropriate level of PODD over to the classroom. I did a quick “Pillars of PODD” training. DON’T FORGET TEACHING ASSISTANTS IN THIS TRAINING!

Full disclosure: Initially, I sat down with teachers and therapists in initial training thinking they would relay the information to the TAs. While intentions are good, in the hustle and bustle of the day, the information wasn’t always transmitted. TAs have asked to be included right from the get go. LESSON LEARNED!

Identifying Targets – I asked staff to think about the curriculum and the student’s communication needs to determine our first vocabulary targets. In order to keep it doable, I’ve asked staff to pick 3-5 to start with. This vocabulary can be from the core word vocabulary and/or “fringe” vocabulary deeper in the book. I always make sure that I am not dictating to the team what vocabulary to use. I am not an expert in the curriculum and the team knows the child much better than I.

Now what?

Next Steps:

Once the team has identified the first targets, I will come back for an additional training. This training will focus more specifically on teaching the targets the team has identified and integrating the PODD across the day – not just within specific activities. Data collection will be another story….


Is anyone else out there rolling out the PODD? How’s it going?





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