Ongoing professional learning
Technology-related professional learning plans and
opportunities with dedicated time to practice and share ideas
What is it?
Educators need ongoing training to keep up to date with
rapid changes in educational technology. Yet when planning for a systemwide
transition, leaders often budget for infrastructure and equipment but overlook
the need for professional learning.
To support a systemwide initiative, all educators and staff
need professional learning plans that:
- Meet each individual’s needs with relevant
- Are implemented regularly
- Are continually updated
to reflect current trends and technologies
Educators also need to carve out time in their busy
schedules to assimilate their new knowledge, practice new skills, learn from
each other and work together. Each professional learning plan should include
policies that allow participants time for planning, creating and reflecting on
what they’ve learned about the teaching process.
Why is it important?
All the technology in the world won’t make a difference if
educators don’t know how to leverage it for deeper learning. Buying hardware is
only the first step. It’s what educators do with these tools that will determine
a technology initiative’s success or failure.
Ongoing professional learning imbues educators with the
confidence they need to use technology successfully. When educators have
adequate time to build their networks and collaborate with each other, their
ability to effectively apply digital tools in the classroom grows
What does it look like?
With so many training options available, professional
learning plans can look different for every educator. Online courses, virtual
classroom coaching and asynchronous collaborative teams allow professional
learning to be relevant, job embedded and just in time.
School or district leaders can support professional learning
- Offering regular access to diverse professional
- Providing opportunities based on educators’
needs and realities
- Developing incentive structures to encourage
- Focusing on both learning to use technology and using
technology to learn
- Helping educators implement new knowledge and