Life as a teacher begins the day you realize that you are always a learner.
It’s time for a professional development revolution. Professional development is not always easy to squeeze into the schedule of an educator, let alone a whole school’s worth of schedules. From the high demands of the classroom and endless to-do list tasks, to personal responsibilities (What? You have a life?), it is daunting to have to tack on another whole day of professional development (PD).
Leaderally’s mission is to change the idea of PD from an added stress to an engaging, reasonably timed, and worthwhile endeavor. We are currently creating new professional development coursework to roll out in January 2018. We can’t wait to launch our product, as we believe wholeheartedly that it will revolutionize PD for the professional educator.
In order to make sure that our course content, timing and ideas match the PD needs of educators, we are launching a beta test on January 16, 2018. The beta test is an opportunity for us to hear from our most important stakeholders: educators. It is also an opportunity for educators to take courses in current, relevant subjects, such as whole child theory of learning, classroom and behavior management, and how to effectively communicate with school leadership. In addition to learning new content that you can bring into your classroom, there are opportunities to earn CEUs or PDPs, which we know are critical to educators as they maintain and build their professional profiles.
Oh, and by the way, the beta test means that we are giving away FREE memberships to our learning platform.
Like what you’re hearing so far? Click here and sign up to get more information about our free membership to the Leaderally Learning Platform. Still have questions? Please, keep reading.
Professional Development Revolution? Really?
How is the Leaderally Learning Platform going to revolutionize professional development? There are three major aspects of the platform that will create this massive shift: micro-learning model, on-demand convenience, and reliance on social learning theory.
What is the big deal about this little learning concept, anyway? Well, micro-learning responds to the challenges that traditional professional development poses. First, traditional PD can be cognitively oppressive, as too much information is thrown at the brain at once, causing an overload and an inability to truly process and retain the bulk of the information.1 How many times have you heard a presenter say, “If you have zoned out during my presentation, please listen now, as this is the most important thing you will hear today?” Micro-learning coursework eliminates the cognitive overload, and offers training in digestible bits, which increases the likelihood that teachers will actually retain and implement after the training is complete.
Micro-learning also addresses a challenge of traditional professional development in that skill development needs to be in the right context, at the right time.1 Summer is a popular time for professional development; however, after you sit through that two-day workshop on how to teach study skills in early July, there are still several weeks until the beginning of school. Why not address professional development in smaller portions, throughout the school year, in a manner that allows teachers to take the course when it is relevant for them? Micro-learning models allow this shift in professional development to occur, again creating a stronger likelihood that the information will be processed, retained, and successfully implemented.
Leaderally believes that educators should have a say in which courses they take, and when they take them. Therefore, our platform offers coursework that is on-demand. Course selection is completely up to the user, and can happen day or night, whatever works best. Recent research shows that the more choice in professional development that teachers have, the more empowered they feel as educators. In fact, in a 2016 study, almost 64 percent of teachers reported that required PD workshops do not support them in their work. On the other hand, 98 percent said they felt supported in their work and more skillful at working with students after taking courses that they had the opportunity to choose.2 If 98 percent of our educators tell us that choice matters, why not listen to them? On-demand coursework allows free choice of topic and timing.
As we work to move to a student-centered learning model for our K-12 students, why not apply that thinking to adult learning as well? Student-centered learning includes using social learning theory as a way for learners to work together, collaborate and learn from each other. One of the cornerstones of Leaderally’s Learning Platform is our Study Hall. We invite educators from across the globe to join us in live, virtual meeting rooms. Study Halls are a space for educators to share ideas, ask questions, and learn from each other. We know that one of the most valuable types of professional development is delivered from educator to educator, and our Study Halls are designed to facilitate this mode of learning.
Let’s Do This Together
The bottom line is that we want to support the educator’s journey. We believe that educators deserve to be successful, to feel validated, and to learn material that matters to them and to their students’ success. There are great new ways to think about PD and we are embracing them, starting January 2018! Join us and make your voice heard!
If you’d like to sign up for free professional development and be a part of the revolution, click here!
- Why micro learning: http://blog.grovo.com/why-microlearning-works/
- EdCamps: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/edcamps-the-new-professional-development-nicol-howard-sarah-thomas