OPINION: How to Move PD Forward

Fixing professional development requires much more than online videos

Flickr user X-Ray Delta One

The fact that there are plenty of companies touting video-based PD as more efficient, individualized, cheaper, and faster should not surprise anyone who has been in the education game long enough to have suffered through Harry Wong.

But to suggest that video versus in-person PD is the real play here totally ignores what is happening back in reality. A reality where we merge online and real-life everyday through the act of sharing.

Video Killed the PD Star?
There is so much talk recently about online video replacing live PD that one might think video libraries were the key to teacher effectiveness. This begs the question: what makes online video so special?

Content with Content?
Especially in terms of professional development, it is plainly a mark of insanity that so many companies are vying to be the content producers and managers of video and live curricula alike. Insane because the greatest content management system the world has ever known, and the largest and easiest to search content repository in the history of human experience, is freely available to anyone with a connected device. It’s called the Internet.

What do we need?
More participant-driven PD. More data (and more kinds of data) on the effectiveness of PD at the classroom-level. More social technologies built by and for educators who best understand their own professional needs.

If you want teacher buy-in, let the teachers buy.
We don’t need PD video libraries and district-level PD rubrics. What we need is to accept the fact that educators are professionals. And we need to give them–like we give professionals in most any other professional field–the pro-grade tools they need to innovate and to develop the profession themselves, on-the-ground, in the classroom where it matters.

Read the entire article by Shelly Blake-Plock on edSurge at https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-12-16-opinion-how-to-move-pd-forward

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