In May, when edWeb.net surveyed principals, personalized professional development for teachers was the number one topic of interest. With all the responsibilities and tasks on principals’ plates, relevant, engaging professional development focused on best practices can be extremely challenging. In a recent edWebinar, Dr. L Robert Furman, Principal of South Park Elementary Center in Pennsylvania, asked the question, “Why is it that when we think of professional development, it becomes a comedy or a depression and teachers automatically assume that it is going to be a colossal waste of time?” Personalized professional development can alleviate these feelings about professional development as it provides teachers with opportunities to be better teachers, which translates into improved student learning. Furman and the administrators in his school have completely revamped teacher professional development by utilizing the well-curated webinars and accessible and relevant resources available on edWeb.
“When you have administrators, teachers, and people in my position who are planning PD do so in a way that is meaningful to each and every teacher, in any content area – it’s really exciting. edWeb has been instrumental in helping us achieve this, because it’s easy to get to, easy to maneuver, and there’s something for everyone. To me those are absolutely immeasurable qualities.” Rachel Langenhorst, Instructional Coach and… read more →
Faced with implementing new standards and inquiry-based instruction for over 180 school districts and over 30,000 social studies teachers with a department of two people, the social studies team at the Georgia Department of Education turned to virtual learning communities on edWeb.net to reach Georgia teachers and leaders.
Tech4TeacherEd is a new edWeb.net community for pre-service teachers, college of education faculty, and inservice educators to share resources and ideas for integrating digital tools into the classroom. The goal of Tech4TeacherEd is to provide a free professional learning community where undergraduate and graduate pre-service candidates can discover information about integrating technology into teaching and learning, a wide range of resources for educators, and the ISTE Standards for Students, Educators, Education Leaders and Tech Coaches. The community hosts edWebinars presented by teacher ed candidates, giving them an unprecedented opportunity to share their learning and perspectives on the issues impacting education with the global education community. It helps them engage as a professional in lifelong learning right from the start in their pre-service years.
edWeb.net has free professional learning on such a wide range of topics that we call it “free-range PD!” Learn, share, and mentor with colleagues in your school and district, or meet up in edWebinar chats and in our professional learning communities with educators all around the world. Classroom teachers, librarians, and administrators can use edWeb to fuel their professional growth by viewing edWebinars live or on-demand, joining online discussions, accessing free resources, and creating a support network.
We are delighted to post this article by Brittany Fowler, a Freed-Hardeman University student in the M.Ed. in Instructional Technology Program: “edWeb.net is your one stop shop for professional development opportunities. I enjoy becoming a part of the various online communities. By doing so, I am able to increase my technology tool box as well as collaborate with fellow teachers.”
“edWeb Case Study: Rock Valley Community School District” examines the way the district relies on edWeb.net to support its professional development program for teachers. Their program embodies four of the key features identified by educational researchers as characterizing high quality professional learning experiences, the effective design of online communities for teachers, and best practices for integrating informal online professional learning with formal district professional development. In each case, edWeb.net provides critical support that empowers Rock Valley leaders to implement research-based practices.
School leaders can use online networks and communities for their own personal professional learning, and to support collaboration with staff across schools and districts. In “How Online Learning Communities Help Principals Collaborate and Succeed,” Shannon Holden, Assistant Principal, Republic Middle School, MO, presented on the unique possibilities that online collaboration offers for personal professional learning and within schools, and how school leaders can use edWeb.net for online collaboration with staff.
Rachel Langenhorst, K-12 Technology Integrationist and Instructional Coach in Rock Valley, IA, was interviewed on Education Talk Radio for edWeb.net’s monthly show by Program Host Larry Jacobs along with Lisa Schmucki, edWeb founder. Rachel, Larry, and Lisa talked about the pajama PD day that Rachel’s district held during a recent snow day. The teacher-leadership team in Rock Valley had already planned for a full day of professional development, but had to rethink their plans when the forecast called for a snowstorm.
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.