What opportunities currently exist at your district for teachers to take control of their learning?

From macro to micro

As the world continues to change and evolve from macro to micro, opportunities for personalized professional development (PD) are starting to become more important. Just think about it--mobile apps, such as your calorie counter, can tell you how many calories you’ve gained by eating or how many you’ve burned through exercising. Don't you think this kind of "personalized" approach could be applied to professional education, growth and learning as well?

Teachers have wide and varying needs. Because of the different learning capacities and opportunities of their students, a one-size-fits-all approach to teachers' and educators' professional learning is not always optimal.

With this in mind, personalized learning and professional development is an important opportunity for teachers and educators. Every learner is different, each presenting different challenges and needs, which is why customized PD works. In an era where everything from online shopping to creating your own pizza is personalized, professional development for teachers should be a top priority, too.

Case Study: "myPD" Personalized Professional Development Platform

Are there opportunities that currently exist in your district to cover the need for personalized PD? What are these opportunities, and how can they help you grow as a modern educator? To further understand how essential district support is to boost the personalized PD movement, let us examine California's "myPD" Personalized Professional Development platform.

To better equip modern teachers with customized knowledge and help create an improved platform for personalized learning, the district of Long Beach, California has launched the ambitious "myPD" platform. In an effort to personalize California teachers' PD experiences, and at the same time, still aim to afford them a high-quality and consistent level of training aligned to district goals, the myPD platform system was launched.

Just like a personalized tracker that you get when you sign up for a fitness class (to track your weight and lost, exercises performed, etc.), the myPD online system is designed to offer teachers more channels to access professional development that is better matched to their own needs. Aside from that, a way to track the teacher's own growth is also embedded into the system.

How Does myPD Work?

Just like a personalized fitness plan whose aim is to lay out goals such as losing weight, gaining muscle or improving body mass ratio, while specifying targeted exercises tailor-fit to reach those goals, the Long Beach's myPD provides educators with personalized goals. By creating custom-made goals and plans, and indicating the needed learning resources to help teachers reach these set goals, myPD is able to laser-target each educator. myPD also helps teachers find aligned resources and track their progress--a revolutionized system for professional development.

Once logged in to the online system, teachers can create a profile, select which of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession they want to improve on, and start to climb the ladder of professional development. Teachers can perform self-assessment ratings, and see student-performance records that are linked to the system. With this technology, teachers can now upload information on their students' academic achievement, add feedback, check progress and more.

This breakthrough system is something that the district of Long Beach, California has in store for their teachers. While this opportunity might be considered ambitious, the spread of this kind of technology will greatly improve not only the professional growth of educators, but the ability to customize the learning and interaction between the student and their teachers.