Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Personalized Professional Learning

Personalized Professional Learning

Standards---yes, we use them to guide our teaching but did you know that there are standards for professional learning too? Learning Forward is an organization devoted to professional learning.  They state that:
“The standards make explicit that the purpose of professional learning is for educators to develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions they need to help students perform at higher levels. The standards are not a prescription for how education leaders and public officials should address all the challenges related to improving the performance of educators and their students. Instead, the standards focus on one critical issue -- professional learning.”  

Indeed, you have been a part of professional development or learning in the past.  Many times the PD or PL includes an outside source telling you what you should learn or develop. I am sure that you can reflect on times when the PD was “great” or “just what you needed”.
Likewise, there have certainly been occasions when the time that you spent being developed fell short.  What if you took some control over what you learned?  This is not to suggest that you ditch the next PD session you are invited to.  Instead, this is to remind you that you have options.  

Below are some things to think about as you take more control over your learning!  

  • Visit this guide from EdSurge for Brewing your Own Professional Development

  • Consider using Twitter to create a Professional Learning Network or PLN.  Check out this post on the topic.  You do not have to be an expert or even know how to tweet.  Set up an account and start searching for topics that you are interested in.  Soon you will find yourself following others and learning from them.  When you are ready, you might just start to find your voice in 140 characters or less.  For a little more wisdom on twitter, look at this blog.

  • Visit Connected Educators.  This is a site dedicated to help educators thrive in a connected world.  Bet you did not know that this is Connected Educators Month?  

  • Participate in a webinar- Many companies have free webinars that you can sign up for.  Being part of an actual webinar is exciting as you have an opportunity to ask and hear questions in real time.  Can’t make the specified time?  Don’t worry. Often times if you have signed up to be a participant you can watch an archived version at a later date.  

The challenge is up to you.  Decide.  What do you want to learn about.  Take charge and investigate.  You will thank yourself.  

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