edWeb 2018 Professional Learning Survey: K – 12 Educators
Continuous, effective professional learning can help teachers and administrators improve teaching and learning, but research shows traditional forms of professional development have become expensive and ineffective.
In the past 10 years, social media has helped educators connect online to more easily share resources, ideas, and practices among themselves, leading to more grass roots, open source collaboration and the evolution of personal learning networks. This trend is disrupting traditional models for professional development.
edWeb.net helps educators connect and collaborate using our social network and edWebinars to provide free professional learning. We’ve been conducting research on educators’ use of social media and its impact on professional learning for a number of years to track how technology is impacting professional learning and to continuously improve edWeb.
We conducted a survey in March 2016 on teachers’ attitudes about professional learning, in general, and about edWeb, in particular. This March 2018, we asked many of the same questions again, added some new ones, and also conducted a survey of school administrators, for the first time, on similar topics.
In 2016 and again in 2018, we found that the top reasons why teachers engage in professional learning is to improve learning for their students, to help improve their own teaching, and because they enjoy learning new ideas and practices from peers and experts in their field. These results reflect the dedication of teachers to the goal of professional learning – to have an impact on student learning – and also show how collaboration with peers makes professional learning enjoyable.
We were surprised to see so many similarities in responses from teachers and administrators for our 2018 survey results. Both teachers and administrators (46% and 47% respectively) said that webinars were the most helpful type of professional learning.
Both teachers and administrators (93% for both) also said the most important quality of professional learning is that it be available anytime, anywhere and that it be free (86% and 78% respectively).
We asked a number of questions about how edWeb meets members’ professional learning needs and found the respondents were even more positive about edWeb in 2018 than in 2016. We’re glad that we can demonstrate that helping educators connect and collaborate to share ideas and practices can have such a positive impact on educators’ practice and student learning.
The edWeb community has grown to 540,000 educators around the world. We currently host 300 live edWebinars a year. Every week on edWeb we average 3,800 live attendees and 3,100 on-demand views. That is powerful, sustained engagement. edWeb provides professional learning that is personalized, relevant, collaborative, and sustained over time – and we provide it for free. We received so many comments in the survey and every day on edWeb that inspire us with how edWeb helps educators get the learning and support they need for themselves and for their students.