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Teachers Professional Development Guide: Must Have Tools and Resources

June 18, 2014
In the midst of a growing storm of new technology-induced learning concepts such as flipped learning, blended learning, personalized learning (to mention but a few) , teachers are left with no other alternatives but to enhance and accommodate their professional development efforts to suit the changing educational paradigms. Edsurge called this "personalized professional development". This is the kind of life-long learning that involves the integration and leverage of digital media and technology (and offsite resources) for expanding one's field of expertise.

Image source: EdSurge


The web now abounds with all kinds of resources, tools, materials, and know-how to help teachers  grow professionally. EdSurge has this wonderful guide featuring a set of different tools that teachers can draw on to expand their professional development. These tools are selected in such a way that they address different areas :
  • They support how teachers engage with colleagues
  • They help teachers learn or find support for implementing fresh strategies and approaches 
  • They measure how that learning impacts practice in the classroom.
To better evaluate how  these  tools help teachers grow professionally, EdSurge created a "framework of a continuous cycle of learning." This framework is composed of 4 stages: engage, learn, support, and measure. Under each of these stages is featured a collection of web tools to help teachers get more out of that stage.

Here is a round-up of the the tools featured in EdSurge guide but I highly recommend that you read the entire guide as it contains more explanations and illustrations on how each of these tools work.

Engage
These tools enable teachers to join groups, ask questions and share resources. Most tools that allow educators to engage also include a "Learn" component, such as webinars, online courses, and modules.
Learn
These are content-rich tools presented in a variety of ways including online courses, webinars or self-paced modules. Some of these tools also provide "Support" capabilities that help teachers implement skills and ideas.

Support
These tools help educators connect and share their practice with experienced mentors for feedback and coaching to improve their practice. Some tools in the "Support" category also allow teachers to also "Engage" with their peers, as well as "Measure" their learning.
Measure
These tools help educators connect and share their practice with experienced mentors for feedback and coaching to improve their practice. Some tools in the "Support" category also allow teachers to also "Engage" with their peers, as well as "Measure" their learning.

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