“Don’t call it professional development—call it professional learning.” Jill Abbott Sr. Vice President and Managing Director at SIIA, made this statement in a recent edWebinar, with Jeff Mao, CEO, Edmoxie LLC, Bruce Umpstead, Director of State Programs at IMS Global Learning Consortium, and Ilya Zeldin, Founder and CEO of 2gnoMe. The panelists recommended that educational leaders take a deep breath and recognize that there is a crisis happening in our districts. There are a vast plethora of people who could be the best teachers ever, yet they don’t want to be in the profession. It is not easy for teachers to thrive and to grow when teacher professional development is irrelevant, generic, and unsustainable. A familiar comment by teachers regarding district or school-wide professional development is, “Well, we’re just going to ride this one out because it is going to change in two years or when we get a new administrator.” The panelists suggest that if “we can get the professional development piece done collaboratively with teachers, not at teachers, maybe we can retain and recruit highly qualified engaging and innovative educators.
During this edWebinar, we will bring together three former State EdTech Directors to highlight best practices and lessons learned from their experience with system-level initiatives that include support for teachers.