Give Them A Bright Future
A Professional Learning Plan For Blended and Personalized Learning
Blended Learning: An Introduction to Personalized Learning for Teachers
This professional learning plan is designed to be a gradual, manageable approach to introducing teachers to blended learning as an instructional design. The idea of allowing students more control over their own learning and shifting the teacher’s role to one of facilitator and designer of learning will not be readily understood or accepted as a solution to improve student learning experiences. Teachers and school leaders will likely need proof that blended learning is a valid, research-based solution to improving student learning. Therefore, it will be necessary to explain why a change is needed and how this change can improve student learning and student-teacher relationships. When teachers experience the day to day stresses of their job, it is natural to revert to the familiar “that’s the way we have always done it” attitude (Tucker, 2019). This fact amplifies the role of district and campus leaders in establishing a vision for this type of transition. Teachers must feel safe and supported by school leaders if they are to break free of the status quo and invest time and energy to innovate their practices. Just as we must prepare our students with the skills necessary to navigate a future that will be dependent on knowledge acquisition, there is also an urgency to prepare our teachers to provide a learning environment that is optimal for fostering these
self-driven learning practices.
We must rethink how students AND teachers learn best!
We must also understand what makes
effective professional development!
And advise all stakeholders of the
benefits of blended instruction.
The Center for Public Education (Gulamhussein, 2013) states that effective teacher professional development should follow 5 key principles in order to change teaching practices and improve student learning. This professional development plan will incorporate these 5 principals.
This professional learning plan will be made up of five components.
Teachers will begin their blended learning journey by participating in an "Introduction to Blended Learning" professional learning session.
In the second phase, teachers will apply some of the newly acquired knowledge and practices in "Rethinking Learning with Digital Choice Boards", a workshop that will allow teachers time to overhaul some of their traditional teaching practices with the support of an innovative learning specialists and various curriculum specialists.
Next, teachers will learn at their own pace, in a blended learning online course.
During the fourth component, teachers will be given an opportunity to learn from experienced blended learning teachers as they carry out blended learning practices in a classroom setting.
Finally, teachers will participate in a book study to further their understandings of blended learning and promote blended learning practices.
Teachers will also be provided ongoing support from district innovative learning specialists. District ILS staff will consider these factors and use these learning goals and 3 column table to guide teachers' need for support or clarification about blended practices. All district ILS staff will also easily be available to model and support teachers by way of an appointment service.
The duration needs to be significant and on-going. Teachers need repeated opportunities to develop and reinforce the new concept or skills in the context of the classroom as well as time within the school day to collaborate and plan with other teachers.
Need For Teacher
Teacher support during the implementation stage is necessary to adequately effect change in the classroom. Continued coaching after the introduction phase of a new concept has also been proven to be beneficial.
Initial Exposure Needs To Be Engaging
Teacher’s initial exposure to the concept should be active and engaging and not passive. Active engagement promotes adoption and long term retention of the concept. Teachers are most successful when learning new concepts and skills if they use hands on learning rather than just isolated one way pushing of information.
Having the ability to observe another well versed and experienced teacher in a particular teaching method, is preferable to increase the likelihood of adoption. Seeing and listening before doing is highly effective for changing teaching practices.
The content presented needs to be relevant to teacher groups (subject area and age groupings).
Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the Teachers Effective Professional
Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/research/teaching-teachers-effective-professional-development
Tucker, C. (2019). Power up Blended Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin:
A Sage Company.