There is no turning back. The ever growing set of professional development resources online makes it easy for teachers to have quality, effective professional development online from any location in the comfort of their own homes or classrooms. Evidence of the growth in online learning is compelling. Designing online professional development for teachers at our 167 schools made perfect sense. We decided to set up a Virtual Academy to deliver online professional development to our teachers and administrators.
Two years ago when our schools were participating in a PLP cohort, three things became apparent
- Teachers could easily learn online. We had had several online sessions via Elluninate (for webconferencing) and our teachers and administrators really enjoyed it. They liked the online method of professional development. Plus, they could personalize their learning – PLN.
- When teachers learn online they experience digital learning, and the power of networked collaboration. They see how technology can enable and enhance learning.
- Teacher Reflection and networking play and important role in the learning.
Plan your Sessions: We enlisted the help of Powerful Learning Practice and their Virtual Institute. Together we designed a set of online sessions for our teachers in the 2009-2010 school year. In advance, we surveyed our educators to see what topics would be of interest, incorporated our archdiocesan goals of Rigor and Relevance, the TPACK framework and the results of the latest Horizon Report. Session resources are stored on this wiki and session archives from 2009-2010 school year Virtual Academy sessions are here. Sheryl Nussbaum Beach has been an excellent guide in the process. They are also posted on the PLP site under Virtual Institutes.
Listen to Participants: Topics offered reflected a blend of educator requests and diocesan goals.
Set up a Virtual Community: A ning was set up where discussions, resource sharing and reflection could take place. We now have close to 800 educators in our ning. This has been a valuable tool.
Repeat! Our 2010-2011 Sessions are underway. View our topics and archives.
Philadelphia had 16 inches of snow recently over a 2 day period. It was a heavy, wet snow that shut schools down for 2 1/2 days. One of our online sessions via our PLP cohort was scheduled. We were happy to see 57 teachers arrive in Elluminate. It was great to see that so many took the time during a snow day to further their own professional development. Anytime, anywhere learning for teachers is here to stay!