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.
Since he began teaching in 1997, Holbrook has been interested in the use of technology to facilitate learning in the classroom. Unimpressed with the online platforms provided by the university, Holbrook found out about edWeb through a colleague and was immediately pleased with the wealth of opportunity for collaboration and discussion. edWeb makes collaboration outside the classroom simple for Holbrook’s busy doctoral students, many of whom also balance families and full time jobs.
Rachel Langenhorst, K-12 Technology Integrationist and Instructional Coach in Rock Valley, Iowa, presented an edWeb.net webinar on “Implementing a Personalized PD Program in Your District” where she provided a guide for how educators can use edWeb in school districts as a tool to implement relevant and collaborative PD.
edWeb is kicking off back-to-school with two webinars and three surveys on professional learning and development! Callie Turk, founder of Intersections in Education Consulting, began the webinar on “Building Trust, Respect, and Empathy into Personalized PD” by discussing the fall 2015 Personalized Professional Learning Survey sponsored by Performance Matters. In the next webinar, Get the Survey Results: Online Professional Learning, Karen Billings, recently retired as Vice President and Managing Director of SIIA’s Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN), began by discussing the spring 2016 Vision K-20 Professional Learning Survey released by ETIN.
edWeb.net has just released a survey on Teacher Professional Development that provides insights on the kinds of professional development (PD) teachers find most helpful to improve their teaching practice and their students’ learning.
All educators need PD and learning that is relevant to their practice to keep up with the rapid pace of change in technology and education initiatives such as ESSA, Common Core, Next Gen Science Standards, Future Ready, and more.
One of the most significant benefits of connected learning is the ability for educators to follow their specific passions to improve professionally. Motivated by an intrinsic desire to improve, connected learning and PLN’s provide personalization and differentiation like never before.