Personalized Professional Learning Hits the Mark

Challenges of Effective PD for Teachers 

In K-12, teacher training is at least a $4 billion market, or approximately $1100 per teacher per year. And yet over half of teachers report no positive impact from professional learning on their teaching practice. “Treats them like children” is one of the key complaints about training.

Professionals leave when they do not receive professional development that supports their learning needs. Almost half of all new teachers leave the profession in the first five years. Nationwide, shortage of teachers already exceeds 110,000 vacancies.

Can the best models in adult learning be relevant to support teachers' development? If we are to expect that teachers will use available tools to personalize learning for their students in the classroom, why can't we do the same for teachers themselves?  

 

Research-Based Models

Based on the report from Education Reimagined, there are Six Areas for Innovative for Learning Environments, which represent the best practices in designing asynchronous learning that make adult learners thrive in their professional learning. Asynchronous learning recognizes that people may start at different levels of knowledge and learn at different paces. The six elements worth considering in designing the learning environment are:

  1. Skills, Knowledge and Dispositions that prepare learners for lifelong success.
  2. Competency-based learning experiences organized around building capacity to do things proficiently.
  3. Learning that is Personalized, Relevant and Contextualized to each learner's individual needs, strengths, and circumstances, and adaptive to real-life challenges, interests and experiences.
  4. Empowering Learner Agency through capacity for educators to organize and drive their own learning experiences.
  5. Socially Embedded learning that is rooted in communities where learning with others is a central part of the learner's journey.
  6. Finally, learning communities that are Open-Walled where learning is unconstrained by time or space, and integrates opportunities beyond the limits of the primary learning environment.

 

Research in Practice

2gnoMe (To know me) is one of the solutions that aims to connect this kind of research to practice for adult learners. Our approach:

  1. Puts teachers in the epicenter of their professional learning
  2. Tethering all available resources around every teacher
  3. District leaders get a 360-degree view of their teachers' learning activity with clear-eyed information about its effectiveness, across any learning framework or set of standards. 

Designing systems that work with educators must include deep research into skills awareness and asynchronous learning. For example, we realized that there is no shortage of PD resources for teachers but the missing piece is understanding who needs what kind of training in the first place.

By leveraging the science of learning, technology can bring research information and tools to practice, and enable best practices to supplement every district's unique learning environment.

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