Social Networking for Professional Development
Capitalize on social networking's ability to build community and share expertise in professional development for teachers. Informal learning environments eliminate the hierarchy and model the "guide on the side" approach championed by PBL, inquiry based learning, and hybrid environments. CCSD, the fifth largest district in the nation, piloted and implemented new teacher professional development using edmodo. Teachers choose their "courses" based on immediate needs and join in a learning community facilitated by Project Facilitators. Participants essentially work through curated content and then either reply with peers, implement and report back to the group, or turn in assignments through edmodo. In the process, the use of edmodo as a learning tool is modeled and teachers are encouraged to join communities to extend their PLN, or Professional Learning Network. Furthermore, the informal nature of the platform allows facilitators to draw on the new teacher's experience & expertise.
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Additional Supporting Materials
- How can we provide individualized, timely professional development with limited resources? Social networking using edmodo helps focus learning outcomes and enables professional developers to offer more with less. Facilitators can curate content based on district, school, or individual needs and model a peer response model that offers timely advice, reflection, and extended learning for new and experienced teachers.
- How can social networking be used to provide professional development that is highly targeted and relevant? Edmodo enabled us to use feedback from participants to shape the course of the PD. The informal, conversational tone provided a safe place for new teachers to open up about what they needed and for project facilitators to use that information to provide the most relevant learning experiences.
- How can Edmodo be used to build learning communities that extend beyond the professional development? Communities are built in to edmodo, so participants can join groups and build their PLN, professional learning networks. Ideally, they can also "stay" in their professional development groups and extend the learning and conversation beyond the limits of the course and project facilitator. Additionally, it models this kind of learning for teachers to use in their own classrooms. Revolution!
Fawn Canady, Teacher/Adjunct Professor, Clark County School District