Personalized Professional Learning – Envisioning


Element: Shared Ownership and Responsibility for Professional Growth

Description: Teachers, administrators, and other education professionals actively support their own professional practices by using technology, eLearning, and social media to optimize learning and teaching. They are actively taking responsibility for their own professional growth through professional learning networks (PLNs), online communities of practice, eLearning, and social media (e.g., Twitter feeds, EdCamps, blogging and following bloggers, on-demand videos, etc.). Educators have access to collaborative tools and digital environments that break down classroom, school, and district walls. Professional development encourages, facilitates, and often requires that they individually and collaboratively create, join, and sustain professional networks both within and outside of the district, frequently leveraging the latest in social media. The district has established flexible policies and practices that encourage and credit the personalization of professional learning for teachers, administrators and other education professionals.

Possible Next Step: District leaders build on key research studies and the opportunities that digital and social media present to today’s education professionals as they conceptualize shared ownership and responsibility for professional learning. They build scenarios for a preferred future, identifying the policy, practice, and cultural shifts their district will need to implement personalized learning successfully for all education professionals.

Element: 21st Century Skill Set

Description: Educators have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills to address a 21st Century focus (e.g., critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication, technology competencies, self-direction, information literacy, etc.). Professional learning includes immersion in the learning sciences research to provide support and insights into more student-centered instructional practices and for the purposeful promotion of deeper learning/21st Century skills in all students. Educators master a variety of new, research-based instructional strategies to better engage students and prepare them for college and beyond. In doing so they broaden their own 21st Century skill set.

Possible Next Step: District leaders build on key research studies and associated effective practices related to 21st Century skills to inform scenario building and visioning. They envision student learning environments and their individual and team professional practices, which incorporate 21st Century skills, technology/media-enabled learning, and technical skill development.

Element: Diverse Opportunities for Professional Learning Through Technology

Description: Digital leaders model new types of professional learning and ensure that educators have access to (and the technology savvy necessary to leverage) professional development opportunities that are diverse, customizable, and often supported by the latest technologies. Professional learning is available anytime in a variety of modes. Alternative models are supported through coherent policies and practices in the district.

Possible Next Step: District leaders consider their research findings as they strategize on the benefits and pitfalls to new, alternative forms of professional learning now possible through technology and social media. They have made efforts to understand current professional learning practices (both formal and informal) of education professionals, and have started to expand their own use of technology mediated professional learning.

Element: Broad-Based, Participative Evaluation

Description: In order to promote goal-oriented, self-regulated professional behaviors, evaluation is participative (i.e., the educator who is the subject of evaluation is actively involved in goal-setting, collecting indicators of progress, and self-evaluative behaviors). Professional evaluation uses a broad set of indicators that includes student achievement, evidence of improved instructional practice, student engagement, and 21st Century skill attainment.

Possible Next Step: District leaders describe and select new research-based models of evaluation that are supportive of digital learning goals. In these models, teachers play more active roles in the evaluative process and data sources enable teachers to establish goals and independently track their progress toward goals. District leaders use data sources beyond standardized assessments.