How can personalized PD go beyond "sit-n-git" professional development sessions?

Personalized professional development: a better approach

For K12 educators, enhancing their professional development often means the traditional "sit-n-git" approach. Attending seminars, listening to speakers talk about the newest teaching innovations and walking in circles trying to get the next certificate that would mean an "upgrade" in their professional careers are just some of the hurdles that teachers need to face.

These tedious settings and traditional methods of sitting through one-size-fits-all trainings, with credits earned for tackling unfocused lessons, is often ineffective and offers no measurable positive impact. Attending unrelated classes will often lead to a knowledge mismatch because teachers, just like students, have different learning needs and goals.

A better approach which targets the focus on teachers’ and educators’ unique needs, goals and interests while rewarding them for mastery of skills is personalized professional development (PD). With this, the traditional way of acquiring merits and credits is turned into a customized learning platform which works for every teacher’s needs.

Personalized PD as a modern learning tool

The 21st century landscape of education is global in its reach but it should be personal in its impact. To meet the needs of both students and teachers, educational systems should create and evolve the effective use of technology for accessing customized content.

A learning platform relevant and useful for specific questions teachers are trying to answer is a great way to make sure that it isn’t a “sit and git” learning experience. Personalized professional development helps provide this engaging learning experience, making sure that teachers and educators learn fast and learn smart.

According to recent studies, teachers who participated in blended learning programs (both online and physical classroom attendance) outperformed those teachers who only participated in a fully online or fully in-person learning class. The tools offered by personalized PD platforms such as remote access to resources, ability to choose which lessons to study, capability to offer feedback to peers and ability to earn merits based on learning achievements move the learning platform from traditional to personal.

Why the traditional “sit-n-git” learning method should be replaced now

In a traditional “sit-n-git” set-up, learning is disseminated through speakers, sessions and lessons where teachers sit and digest information. There is no measurable way to ensure that learning is effective in this kind of set up.

On a personalized PD platform, the delivery and dissemination of content can be done online from anywhere, anytime. For example, teachers can log in to view lessons and choose the best ones suited for their current needs when it is convenient for them. With this sophisticated technology, there is no more need to physically attend a seminar or a join a classroom session. Time, a very valuable resource, is saved and teachers can now focus on other important tasks.

Just like a real classroom, personalized PD can also emulate the classroom experience by introducing a collaborative tool for the teachers and educators. One can easily reach out or ask for feedback regarding a topic, and the peers can quickly reply and give suggestions within the framework. Fast, customized and reliable service is provided when needed, where it is needed --- an evolved experience compared to the traditional methods. Such is the strength of a personalized PD platform, which is why it is important for institutions to adopt it into their system. Have you thought about adopting a personalized PD platform yet?