Personalized Professional Learning – Planning


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 formulate a plan for shared ownership and responsibility of professional growth based on their investigations, research, and their preferred future scenarios. They pilot the new approach within a limited number of current programs, evaluate, and adjust the plan through lessons learned.

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 develop a professional learning plan that addresses 21st Century skills. It includes staying current with research and trends on 21st Century skills, plus policies and funding for professional learning that, when implemented will result in increased capacity by teachers, administrators, and other education professionals to integrate proven 21st Century skill sets into classroom practices and professional learning.

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 have collected data on current practice, skills, and available technologies. They have used that data to develop a plan for professional learning that includes a broad spectrum of opportunities from face-to-face, through new technology-mediated options. The plan addresses elements essential to the success of these new options including the assurance that education professionals have required technologies and associated skills, and that policies related to professional learning support such options.

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 and school leaders plan the transition to a system where evaluation is a collaborative process. Multiple data sources are identified that will allow educators to discover areas of need and collaboratively plan to meet those needs. Digital tools are identified that allow educators to access data, communicate, and collaborate in the service of professional development for digital learning.