Edsurge has designed this guide to illustrate the many changes in PD tools and in the sequence of learning. There are tools available that help teachers collaborate with other educators to adopt new ideas and fresh approaches. As soon as you click on the link, you will notice a great visual called ‘Brew Your Own Personalized PD’. This illustration lays out the specifics of this style of professional development.
Another method for employing PD is a system of badges. In this technique, teachers earn badges to show digital certification of competencies and achievements. According to Blattner and Abramovich, leaders in the study of micro-credentialing (digital badges), “Badges can tell the story of a learner, mark achievements, and reflect a learner’s knowledge, skills, habits and learning pathways in more detail than what is possible with traditional assessments, like grades or certificates”.
Gamification is becoming a popular catchword in education. In this teacher-driven PD, teachers are engaged in self-paced training through technology applications founded on game mechanics and design. Unlike the sit-and-get type workshops, gamification allows teachers to be active in their learning as they assume autonomy over the direction and pace of their learning. This article is a great read on gamification and provides explicit steps for initiating this style of PD at your school.
According to education innovator Starr Sackstein, “Professional development (PD) should be treated the same as student learning. It should be differentiated for all learners so that all learners get what they need." In this article, Sackstein offers guidelines for implementing personalized PD tailored to engage all participants. In one of her key suggestions, she says PD needs to align with the needs, interests, and goals of the participants as well as the student population being serviced.
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are a hot topic in education and for good reason. PLCs employ a collaborative learning community focused more on what students are learning (results) rather than what they are taught (teaching). This article is a great read if you are new to PLCs or if you are more of a veteran to this shared approach for school improvement.