A School Leader’s Guide to Using edWeb for Personalized Teacher PD
To provide the best possible teaching and learning environment, school leaders need to provide their teachers with professional learning opportunities that are personalized and engaging. This is not an easy task when there are so many areas to cover, very little time, and limited funds.
edWeb.net is free and can help school leaders provide teachers with personalized PD that meets teachers’ needs and interests, and promotes collaborative learning with peers. Shannon Holden, Assistant Principal at Republic Middle School, MO, provides a guide for school leaders to demonstrate how edWeb.net can be used in any school or district.
edWeb.net is a free professional learning network that hosts special interest communities on innovative topics in education. Schools and districts can use edWeb to create private communities for collaboration. edWeb’s online PLCs host highly engaging webinars on a wide variety of education-relevant topics that provide a candy store of professional learning for teachers.
edWeb hosts over 300 webinars per year, providing real-time meet-ups with educators all around the world – a powerful and supportive learning community. Over 1,000 recorded programs on more than 60 different interest areas are archived on edWeb – all for free – available for anytime, anywhere viewing on-demand. Since webinars are presented by experts in the field, administrators do not need to worry about being an expert on the topics themselves.
“Professional development should be engaging, relevant, and afford the opportunity for collaboration,” says an edWeb member, agreeing on the advantages of edWeb.
School leaders can assign webinars to teachers for enrichment or remediation. Teachers may not have learned about particular teaching or classroom management strategies when they were in college, may need to re-trained on a topic, or learn how to use new technologies and digital resources. edWeb provides the opportunity for teachers to stay up to date on the latest instructional strategies, research, and more. For example, the search bar on the homepage can be used to search for terms like “flipped teaching” or “cooperative learning” to find a list of webinars about these topics. Webinars can also be used to explore a variety of topics and initiatives that some teachers may not be familiar with, like autism instruction, OER (open educational resources), and the latest tech tools for iPads. Teachers can receive a wide variety of training in an environment where they can ask questions without feeling intimidated.
Using edWeb, a school, district, or any other group can create their own professional learning community. To build a PLC, create a community on edWeb for the group and invite teachers, educators, and experts in the field to join. Communities provide tools to facilitate collaboration, meeting online or in person, keeping track of meeting notes, exchanging ideas, and consulting with others. The blog, discussion forum, resource library, calendar, weblinks, and the ability to add additional tools like Dropbox make edWeb what Shannon calls a “one-stop shop where all of you materials are online.”
“Leaders like myself always turn to edWeb for the best practitioner-driven strategies, ideas, and solutions to improve professional practice,” says Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership, International Center for Leadership in Education.
It’s easy to get started using edWeb, and the edWeb team is on hand to help. Contact us at [email protected].
Shannon Holden has been a high school and middle school teacher and administrator in Texas and Missouri for 20 years. Shannon built a website, www.newteacherhelp.com to help reduce the 50% five-year attrition rate for new teachers in the educational profession. Shannon speaks to college students, teachers, and administrators across the Midwest about classroom management, maintaining positive relationships with parents, instructional strategies that engage students, and implementing technology in the classroom. He is the host of the New Teacher Help and TechTools for the Classroom communities on edWeb.net. Follow him on Twitter @newteacherhelp.
New Models for Professional Learning is a professional learning community (PLC) that will help you implement successful personalized professional learning programs that help educators take charge of their own professional development. Join the free New Models for Professional Learning professional learning community on edWeb.net for invitations to upcoming webinars, online discussions, and access to resources.