The KDSL Global Team wrote an article focused on personalized professional learning that was featured in the Back to School issue of Teach Middle East Magazine. To view the entire issue visit https://view.joomag.com/teach-middle-east-magazine-sep-dec-2019-issue-1-volume-7/0440805001567443261?short.
“Professional learning will become more personalized with educators creating opportunities that they need through networking, collaboration, and relying more on colleagues rather than external experts.” – Deb Delisle, President and CEO of Alliance for Excellent Education
What is the future of professional learning? In a blog post published last year, we posed this question to three leaders. What emerged was the need to be personal, flexible, and open to new ways of delivery. What are some ways we can personalize professional learning for educators and leaders in the MENA region? In this article we will share some models and resources to consider and explore as you launch into the new academic year.
Every August the school year for teachers starts out the same way with an intensive “welcome week” of professional learning that consists of a speaker, PowerPoint, and a full staff listening idly for several hours. With the increase demand on schools to push student performance to meet international expectations, this may rarely leave time for follow-up throughout the school year. So how do schools keep up with teaching, curriculum pacing, and meet the development needs of a diverse staff? Ever consider Flipped PL? Similar to Flipped Class, this method will allow schools to differentiate, customize and innovate professional development with easy follow-up.
Flipped PL can be designed very simply using pre-developed tools from Teaching Channel, TeacherTube, Khan Academy or other resources. These websites offer videos on several topics that cover teaching strategies, subject specific content, and other material, with most offering video transcripts, discussion topics, and/or comprehension questions. Using a school-wide platform such as Edmodo or Google Classroom, videos can be posted with comprehension questions or an online quiz to check understanding. Discussion can take place online or in department meetings with skill specific observation to follow. If transcripts are available, they can be translated to ensure all staff are able to participate in PL.
For the more advanced and adventurous in developing PL, videos can be designed using iMovie (for Mac users), Movie Maker (PC users), Adobe Premier Elements, or Lectora. Videos can be made from pre-recorded teacher lessons showing best practices or imbedded from Teaching Channel and other resources. Comprehension questions or a quiz should also be included to check understanding with discussion taking place online or during meetings.
The platform used to implement Flipped PL should be one that has a management option which can be monitored by school leaders. Edmodo and Google Classroom work well as they both allow groups to be created to differentiate PL topics and departments, in addition to allow members to interact with each other through chat and let group admin create quizzes and monitor activity.
Using Flipped PL will create 21st Century professional learning that is easy to create, track, and improve teaching and learning in schools.
While personalized learning has increased for students, the same should be for educators when it comes to professional learning. One pathway is micro-credentials. This digital certification allows for voice and choice based on interest of the learner who work towards demonstrating competence in a specific skill. Micro-credentials offer a way for schools to both recognize the existing skills of teachers and administrators. In this digital form of certification, educators and leaders learn by doing. They can be earned as a digital badge or bundled into courses that may be eligible for your licensure renewal. A micro-credential is a badge that represents the skills that the teacher or administrator has been proven to possess.
So how do micro-credentials work? Educators review requirements and select the micro-credential they would like to earn. This is usually based on needs and interests. Next, educators engage in their learning and put it into practice. While learning the educator may ask questions, access available resources, and receive feedback and coaching. Evidence of their competence will be gathered and submitted to a trained assessor. The assessor will evaluate the evidence shared from the educator. Samples of evidence could be a classroom observation, student work, lesson plan, audio or video from the classroom, or reflections from student or teachers. Once the micro-credential is earned a digital badge will be awarded. Find out about three organizations focused on providing micro-credentials to educators.
Digital Promise has built an ecosystem of micro-credentials in partnership with issuers, earners, and recognizers to personalize learning for educators.
Bloomboard is the leading platform for enabling educator advancement via micro-credentials, a form of micro-certification.
MISIC has developed micro-credentials in collaboration with member schools to facilitate the learning and implementation of effective instructional practices, building the understanding and teaching of standards, and designing instruction that includes 21st Century skills.
Whether you’re looking to grow as an institution or individual, online resources are guaranteed to meet your needs. With a plethora of materials to choose from, below are examples who provide high quality learning experiences to support in meeting your goals.
Edraak: Edraak, is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, that is an initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation (QRF). QRF is determined to ensure that the Arab world is at the forefront of educational innovation. As such, QRF has capitalized on regional Arab talent to leverage technology developed by the Harvard-MIT consortium, edX, to create the first non-profit Arabic MOOC platform. https://www.edraak.org/en/
ASCD Webinars: ASCD a global non-profit that supports the advancement of educational leaders has a plethora of free online archived webinars for members and non-members to access. The registration for the webinar can be completed within 5 minutes and then access to the archived webinar along with handouts is made accessible. Once the webinar is over, a professional certificate is offered. The webinars range from topics on curriculum, wellness to teacher retention. ASCD prides themselves on having free professional learning, online and all the time, so these webinars are ideal for personal development, professional learning communities, and even staff meetings. http://www.ascd.org/professional-development/webinar
The Teacher’s Guild: The Teacher’s Guild is an initiative of IDEO, a global design and innovation company and offers online innovative collaborations that allow educators to practice design thinking methods. The overall objective is to activate and ignite expertise in pedagogy by finding ways to generate new ideas through a 14-week online challenge. The Teacher’s Guild is truly innovative and gives educators an opportunity to embark upon new challenges, while empathizing, building, testing, refining and sharing ideas. At the end of the 14-week challenge, all of the information is stored and can be accessed online. Some of the latest projects highlight storytelling through podcasts, hyperdocs as a tool to communicate with parents, and parent-share conferences. www.teachersguild.org
Author Allison Rodman of Personalized Professional Learning: A Job-Embedded Pathway for Elevating Teacher Voice, says that “as educational leaders, we need to be both mapmakers and travels in professional learning. Set the course but also walk side-by-side as a partner.” As you launch into the new year, we hope you keep this in mind as reflect on and collectively craft the professional learning plan for your community. If you are on Twitter, then follow and share your journey at #personalizedPL and join in the conversation at #PPL1Cchat.
Rashenah Walker, Manager of Learning at KDSL Global
Ashley S. Green, Senior Associate at KDSL Global
Kevin Simpson, Managing Director at KDSL Global