In this post, we want to briefly discuss our third PD challenge - sustainability of professional development.
The pace of change in educational technology can make it seem nearly impossible for teachers and edtech leaders to stay current on updates and new features. Consider the constant evolution of Google tools, for example. With frequent updates to key Google tools, such as Google Drive and Classroom, there are simply not enough traditional training days to keep educators abreast of this dynamic suite of tools.
Many districts provided Google Classroom training during preplanning, for instance, only to watch Classroom undergo some pretty significant updates a month or so later. We’ve also seen schools receive Chromebooks or launch G Suite in August or September, hoping that they can start using the tools before their first dedicated PD day a month or two later. When we rely only on face-to-face training, we are at the mercy of the district schedule, and it might be weeks or even months before teachers can receive initial training or refresh training on tools they’re expected to be using in the classroom
This helps explain the major shift to the concept of “always on”, continuous learning. Educators need to have access to PD that they can hop into at anytime and from anywhere. In addition, they need to up-to-date training on the tools they’re expected to be using on a regular basis. This means offering job-embedded, on-demand PD to our extremely busy educators that is regularly updated.
When developing the MobileMind professional learning hub, we kept in mind the need to be able to update our content quickly based on the fact that technology is constantly evolving. So, it is our job is to stay current with Google and share updates with educators so you don’t have to. Because we embrace a micro-learning methodology, we can shift very quickly when Google updates or changes a G Suite tool, meaning we can update a course quickly for our teachers.
Lastly, because we have made MobileMind easily accessible and available anytime, we are accomplishing our goal of facilitating meaningful job-embedded learning that is accommodating to teachers. Our data of MobileMind average daily access times over the last couple of months suggests that the highest volume of teacher access occurs during school hours. This means that our google PD is valuable enough and time conscious enough that teachers are choosing the right time and place to learn for them, individually. This can often also mean that they don’t have to learn after school hours following a long day of teaching. (We have facilitated quite a bit of after-school PD, and we all know that it is less than ideal!)
We know that educators have so much on their plates, so to have anytime, anywhere access to sustained training at the click of a button is definitely a win! In our next post, we’ll discuss the challenge of time when it comes to educator training.