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Professional Development

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A teacher’s guide to professional learning | edu@scholastic. In a recent meeting among Instructor magazine’s editors, we talked about the difference between the terms “professional development” and “professional learning.” Becoming “professionally developed” seems so passive, as if it’s something that just happens to you organically over time. And after all, no one shows up to a conference and says, “I’m here, develop me!” But “professional learning” puts you in the driver’s seat—the teacher as an inquisitive learner. It says, “I’m a master at my trade, but I want to know more.” Interested in exploring the latest literacy trends? Steer yourself this way. So in the spirit of self-directed growth, we devoted an entire section to professional learning in the latest issue of Instructor. Five Career Paths: While many educators can’t imagine being anywhere other than in classroom, some want to pursue different career opportunities in the field.

7 Characteristics Of A Digitally Competent Teacher. To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap | Linda Darling-Hammond. For years now, educators have looked to international tests as a yardstick to measure how well U.S. students are learning 21st-century skills compared to their peers. The answer has been: not so well. The U.S. has been falling further behind other nations and has struggled with a large achievement gap. Federal policy under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Department of Education's 'flexibility' waivers has sought to address this problem by beefing up testing policies -- requiring more tests and upping the consequences for poor results: including denying diplomas to students, firing teachers, and closing schools.

Unfortunately, this strategy hasn't worked. In fact, U.S. performance on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) declined in every subject area between 2000 and 2012 -- the years in which these policies have been in effect. Now we have international evidence about something that has a greater effect on learning than testing: Teaching. A Balanced Approach To Social Media For Teachers. A Balanced Approach To Social Media For Teachers by Laura Farmer Sitting at night, in front of my computer, I look at my image on Twitter.

I skim through all my hundreds of tweets. Suddenly, I start to panic. What am I doing? I feel like a fake, a phony. Thoughts race through my mind, and suddenly, I type in the key words–social media and narcissism–in the Google search engine. Call it a moment of weakness, an identity crisis, or just plain craziness, in that moment it all made sense. Over the next week, social media free, I reevaluated. So, how do we stretch ourselves, as educators, without losing our educational identity, or our minds for that matter? 4 Tips For A Balanced Approach To Social Media For Teachers 1. First, let’s keep it focused. Whatever example you follow, choose a niche and be great at it. 2. Secondly, know that it’s okay to be you. 3. Ask yourself, what would I like to learn from Twitter? 4. Finally, stretch your educational pedagogy–bend, but don’t break.

Educational Leadership:Professional Learning: Reimagined:Bright Spots in Professional Learning. Not so long ago, the only measure of the quality of a professional development session was whether the participants were smiling when they left the room—and not just because it was over. In recent years, though, the standards for professional learning have been edging up. Because research is revealing what kind of professional learning most improves student achievement, schools are reimagining professional development. As a result, educators are trying new formats with encouraging results. Our authors share some bright spots: Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).

Groups of adult professionals learning together abound in schools today, whether they are reading clubs, data-driven sessions, subject-level department meetings, mandated ad hoc groups charged with solving a problem, or homegrown efforts examining individual teachers' practice. Thomas Guskey, Richard DuFour, and Bryan Goodwin weigh in on the challenges of professional learning, each with a different emphasis. Right Question Institute - A Catalyst for Microdemocracy.

The elements of #blendedlearning implementation | California Dreamin' by Rob Darrow. The elements of #blendedlearning implementation The definition of blended learning has pretty much been determined as “a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path and/or pace; at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home; and the modalities along each student’s path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.” (Horn & Staker, 2013). The real challenge is how does one best implements blended learning. In research I did as part of iNACOL, we determined there are six elements that are needed to implement a successful blended learning program: 1.

These six elements are in a specific order on purpose because without leadership, it is difficult for any initiative to succeed. Future blogposts will focus on each element with examples of promising practices for each element. Like this: Like Loading... 5 Communication Behaviors We All Must Adopt. I recently worked with an Indian executive based in the USA, an American executive based in Singapore, an Australian executive based in the UK, and a Chinese executive based in Shanghai.

And they all complain about the same problems: “My people need to learn how to get to the point.” “We have too many meaningless meetings.” “I need more context.” Regardless of industry, native language, or country of operations, executives the world over have the same complaint – their people need to do a better job at communicating clearly and succinctly. So if you want to impress the people around you, improve the morale of the people around you, and positively add to your organizational culture, here are some behaviors to think about adopting: 1. Walk into the room ready to go. 2. Avoid the “one size fits all” approach to communication. If they are flipping to your last slide in the first minute or two, your audience may be impatient. 3. We’re not writing movie scripts here. 4. 5. Dean Brenner. Venspired | 10 Myths About Edcamp. Teacher Education: No Longer 'Business as Usual' - Education Week. Published Online: April 22, 2014 Published in Print: April 23, 2014, as Sowing Seeds of Change Commentary By Ellis Hurd & Gary Weilbacher One of our colleagues provided us with an article by David Ruenzel, called "Business as Usual," that appeared 20 years ago in Teacher Magazine (then a print periodical published by Education Week's parent company).

Mr. Ruenzel described the status of teacher education programs at Illinois State University—one of the country's oldest teacher education institutions—as "in the ideological mainstream. " As faculty members now in the throes of helping to redesign its middle-level-education program, we found the article intriguing.

On the basis of interviews and classroom observations, Mr. Ultimately, he concluded that schools of education may be irrelevant, as all they do is prepare future teachers to "adapt to prevailing practices" in the public schools. As public school teachers in the 1990s and early 2000s, we can say that Mr. — Recruitment and Retention Part 6: Enhance Teacher Career OptionsThe Educator. I’m someone that needs a good challenge, whether it be in my personal or professional life. I like the thrill of facing a difficult problem and having to come up with a creative solution. For example, possibly my most exciting day this year was when my air conditioning went out and I had to figure [&hellip... courtesy of teacherleaders I’m someone that needs a good challenge, whether it be in my personal or professional life.

The challenges inherent in teaching are one of the reasons I continue to do it. No educator should ever need to feel that teaching has become boring or mundane. Here’s how a teacher career ladder works in concept. Such systems have faced opposition from veteran educators accustomed to the old step and lane salary systems.

Evidence suggests that a career ladder policy similar to the one outlined here would enhance our ability to retain irreplaceables in the classroom. Shelby County is fortunate in that a template for this type of career ladder system already exists. Technology Advances Professional Development for Teachers. Posted by Herff Jones | Nystrom on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 · Leave a Comment While classroom technology provides a range of benefits for students, teachers can equally benefit from its use. Online sites, such as Twitter and Pinterest, offer perfect platforms on which educators can virtually exchange ideas, lesson plans and stories.

There are, however, other ways that teachers can use technology to help further their careers. Using these devices as tools for professional development can not only lead to higher achievement scores for students, but also increase the impact educators may have on the field of teaching as a whole. Whether they’re attending virtual seminars or learning about the best ways they can incorporate technology in the classroom, these devices are ideal for increasing teachers’ knowledge. “TALENT can be used either asynchronously or synchronously and it enhances professional development when it is paired with face to face training,” Thiel said to the source. When classroom observations make sense. Shared on flickr by Ralph Hockens People are incredibly sensitive to the environment and the culture—to the norms and expectations of the communities they are in. ~Chip and Dan Heath Full disclosure: I am no Instructional Rounds expert.

The majority (ok all) of my exposure to Instructional Rounds has been experiential and in context of the work I do as part of our district’s Instructional Leadership Team (6 teachers who work on site with teachers in an iterative cycle of co-planning, co-teaching and co-learning). As such I would rate my knowledge of the theory behind instructional rounds as low (I just want to make that part very clear :) ). I also have to admit I did not “get” the Instructional Rounds concept. At all. The majority of our work happens on site with a school based group of teachers.

Onto co-planning The co-planning stage sets up the tension for the underlying why of classroom observations (in my limited experience!). Why this kind of classroom observation makes sense: 1. Great Management Questions from Paul Graham, Jim Collins, and Other Business Leaders. Technology Advances Professional Development for Teachers. Are Existing Tech Tools Effective for Teachers and Students?

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation just released a report detailing the results of 3,100 teacher surveys and 1,250 student surveys on the kinds of digital instruction tools that are useful and effective. The foundation has asked teachers and students what they need when it comes to digital instruction, aiming to close the communication gap between commercial developers and schools. One of the biggest takeaways is that most teachers — 54 percent — don’t find many of the digital tools they use effective.

That’s partly because teachers often aren’t making purchasing decisions. When they do have a say in tool selection they often report on its effectiveness more favorably. When asked about free products, teachers reported that free products are just as likely to be effective as the products the district purchased for them. [Click on images below for higher resolution.] Click here for the full report [PDF]. Related. Teachers are Learning Designers. Late in 2012, I wrote a blog for the Huffington Post that articulated what I really feel should be and is a role of great teachers.

Great teachers are "learning designers" who seek to create a space where all students are empowered to learn. I was further inspired to rearticulate this idea when I saw this video from Sir Ken Robinson: What really struck me is that great teachers create the conditions for success, just as gardeners do. You can't make a flower grow, but you can design and improve the condition for that flow of naturally occurring events. It's the same for our students. We have the power and the duty to create the best conditions for students to flourish.

Empower Yourself For so long, teachers have been disempowered to design. Stop Blaming Kids There is one pitfall in Sir Ken Robinson's metaphor of teachers as gardeners and students as fruit. Revise and Reflect Are more voice and choice or self-directed learning needed? PLC - Professional Learning Community. How Teachers Are Learning: Professional Development Remix | EdSurge Guides. There are two components to the EdSurge PD framework: professional learning stages and tool classification. On the EdSurge site, each of the 28 tools listed here have been analyzed according to this framework. You can read the analysis of each of these tools by searching the EdSurge site for the individual product page for each of those products. Stage One: Engage Teachers gain tremendous value from interacting with peers and colleagues--sharing challenges, successes, what works, and what doesn’t. Community support is a big part of the way teachers process and apply what they learn. We have included “Engage” as the first stage of the professional learning cycle because often it is from conversations with colleagues that teachers identify new practices that they want to implement or solutions to problems they would like to fix.

Stage Two: Learn New methods for teaching are being created, reimagined or revived from the past. Stage Three: Support Stage Four: Measure Tool Classification Pedagogy. 6 Possible Roles For Teachers In A Personalized Learning Environment. By Justin Marquis, Ph. D There is a mountain of speculation and debate about what school and learning will look like in the near future. Will education be online? Individualized? The Future of Learning An October, 2012 video released by telecom company Ericsson presents a survey of educational experts and entrepreneurs speculating about the future of education.

The focus of the video is the ability of these technologies to track minute user data and facilitate intimately individualized instruction based on that data, including student learning preference, peak performance times, prior knowledge, and a host of other information. “Coursera’s Koller says one of the revolutions in education is that teaching will be less about conveying information and more of a return to its original roots where instructors engage in dialogue, develop critical thinking skills and spark passion about a discipline.” (23 Oct., 2012) The Role of the Educator on an Individualized World? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The 4 Components of a DIY Professional Development Toolkit.

Education has always been a reflection of broader cultural values. As such, the roles of teachers and students have evolved as our models of education have moved from one iteration to another. Teachers who once traveled to town to instruct a heterogeneous room full of passive learners on matters of rote memorization have come to adopt new roles and philosophies toward learning. As these new models have emerged, educators have been required to hone their skills and adapt to ever changing sets of priorities, needs and expectations. Where such trainings were once the sole responsibility of state and district organizations, many teachers are now seeing the value of venturing out to amalgamate their own professional learning experiences.

While no two paths are the same, there are four components of effective do-it-yourself (DIY) professional development that all educational professionals should consider. Twitter I finally understand how much differentiated learning matters. Blogs Edcamps.