360 degrees of professional learning: Data-informed, personal, and collaborative

May 18, 2023
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Professional development has made great strides over the last decade to offer more integrated, collaborative, and sustainable opportunities for educators to grow their craft. As a result, educators can take a more personalized approach to professional learning by self-identifying areas of improvement, creating mindful goals, and actively taking steps to reach their potential.

What has been driving this change? Education today is experiencing unprecedented insight into student learning and educator effectiveness data. Professional development programs now have an opportunity to capitalize on a wealth of information that can inform and connect every aspect from initial goal setting to summative conferences--all aimed at the singular goal of improving student learning outcomes.

The mind-shift in professional development, driven by data, means that the “sit and get” workshops approach is gradually being abandoned and for good reason. This age old approach inhibits collaboration, meaningful evaluations, and the ability to track progress. Instead, school districts are looking for new tools and strategies that can help them fundamentally change their professional learning programs. Eduphoria’s Strive is one of these innovative tools that supports the new mind-shift in professional development, and with data.

In Strive, the purpose is to have goals, evaluations, and professional learning opportunities work together to help teachers grow. Because Strive is designed to strategically connect these elements, it provides an elevated approach to professional learning where no one is left out of the loop. It’s a win-win for everyone because educators get a personalized, interactive experience while administrators have a full view of how effective their professional learning program really is, and what type of improvements, if needed, they can make.

The key to Strive is in the initial goal-setting phase of the evaluation process. This is where educators and staff create focused goals for what they want to achieve over the course of an academic year. Educators can track evidence of their work toward the completion of each goal and post reflections about their learning, ultimately creating the “big picture” of their professional development journey. The goals are tagged to dimensions of the district’s framework for measuring professional development. This provides clarity to, and in many ways simplifies, the relationship between appraiser and appraisee, principal and educator, district and campus.

Goal-setting in Strive is also an interactive element to tracking progress since the goals are tied to the framework dimensions, evaluation forms, and professional learning opportunities set up by the district. District administrators can then run an analysis of goals and the evaluation process, and match that with professional learning achieved by their educators and staff.

Overall, Strive supports a healthy professional learning process by focusing on educator needs and providing the right structure to foster collaboration across teams and enable leadership to easily manage the process. Strive helps districts to not just meet compliance, but move beyond it-- it’s 360 degrees of professional learning that meets the criteria of integrated, collaborative, and sustainable opportunities for educators to grow their craft.

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