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T.H.E. Journal Explores How to Solve the PD Puzzle
posted by: Cindy Omlin | April 09, 2013, 02:16 AM   

There’s been a shift in the way that teachers gain professional development.  It used to be that districts were largely responsible for mandating PD through sit-and-get inservices, but in the 21st century with the blossoming of technology and growth of online opportunities, teachers are taking more and more responsibility for their own growth.  PD is no longer something that  consists of an inservice day every few months. Instead it is a continually developing process.

 

As the method for how teachers gain professional development changes, many questions arise.  Recently T.H.E. Journal explored some of these questions in their March issue, where they sat down with several experts in the field to discussthe future of PD.  The result was a very insightful article, with some excellent quotes.

 

On the conflict between online vs. in person learning:

David Hargis, ASCD: It’s funny, for a long time there was a battle between doing everything online versus doing everything face-to-face.  But what the research is showing is that there’s something very powerful in combining the polarity of the two methods.

MC Desrosiers, ASCD: We’ll see more online PD in terms of adaptive, hands-on, user-driven, personalized learning, but teachers are going to still want to go to conferences and have that face-to-face time.

 

On what makes good professional development:

Valda Valbrun, ASCD: I think there also has to be an environment where teachers can create solutions together.  With an online component, you’re working with colleagues both near and far.  They can be in the same building, and have discussions around this professional learning community, or they can be working with somebody who’s not close by. But there really needs to be a strong value to them in regards to collaboration, so it’s not an isolated practice.

 

On video-taping lessons and self-assessment:

Mark Atkinson, Teachscape: For an entire generation of online PD, video has been a passive tool used for watching content, but all of the questions that drive instructional improvement can be moved to the foreground when video is used as a constructivist tool for teachers to compare and contrast their own performance with others.

 

T.H.E. Journal is an online publication exploring the connection between technology and education.  You can read the entire article in their March issue or online.

Originally posted by Melissa at AAE.

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