|4b. Design, develop, and implement technology- rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment.|
As coaches who design learning experiences for adults, we need to always be considering how we can create and model the types of learning experiences we want teachers to create for their students. There are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration when developing Professional Development. I examine the call for changes to professional development in the National Education Technology Plan (US Dept of Education, 2017) in my Leveraging Technology to Change the Professional Development Landscape blog post. At it’s heart I believe there are four main components that need to change:
- Clarity of Professional Competencies and Expections
- Teach skills the way they’ll be used
- Use technology to provide choice and flexibility
- Make use of professional networks and learning communities
Learning Forward is the organization that helped push for the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to include changes to the definition of professional development. Their Standards for Professional Learning suggest that their are several factors that should influence decisions about learning design “including the goals of the learning, characteristics of learners, their comfort with the learning process and one another, their familiarity with the content, the magnitude of the expected change, educators’ work environment, and resources available to support learning.” (Learning Forward, 2017)
As we consider good design we also need to consider how we would develop technology rich learning that supports and enhances learning for our teachers. Understanding the Essential Elements of Online Professional Development is a good first step to developing blended and online elements that provide choice to teachers. I do believe that one on one, job embedded learning is the best way to provide relevant, timely and long lasting training for teachers. However, in most districts it’s not possible to provide building embedded support.
Traditionally, clock hours have been measured in seat time and without requiring any real evidence of learning from participants. One of the things that may begin to change is treating learning for teachers with the same mastery based expectations we have for our students. My blog on The Potential for micro credentialing in support of adult learning explores the possibility of teachers showing evidence of their learning to earn mircro credentials that they can use toward professional development goals.
Learning Designs. (2017). Retrieved from https://learningforward.org/standards/learning-designs
U.S. Department of Education. (2017). Reimagining the Role of Technology In Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update (p. 3). Washington D.C: Office of Educational Technology. Retrieved from http://tech.ed.gov