Survey: What online professional learning do teachers prefer?
Educators from Pre-K up through higher education most often prefer to participate in professional learning opportunities that focus on training for online software and digital resources (34 percent), classroom management strategies (34 percent), and digital device training (33 percent), according to a new survey released during this year's ISTE conference.
The 2016 Vision K-20 Professional Learning Survey Report is the ninth annual national K-20 educator survey from the Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA, and also is the first survey focusing on online professional learning (PL).
The survey finds that educators from PreK-12 and higher education institutions most often enroll in courses that provide training for online software and digital resources and classroom management/behavior training.
“Educators have an increasing number of online professional learning choices that provide them with a flexible alternative to traditional professional development formats,” said Karen Billings, vice president and managing director of the ETIN. “The Vision K-20 Professional Learning Survey provides educators and administrators with critical insight to how educators are taking online PL courses, why they take them and who provides them.”
Nearly 60 percent of participating survey respondents said they enrolled in online professional learning in the past year. The survey defines online professional learning courses as any course that includes online, blended or hybrid learning.
Seventy-five percent of participating educators said they enroll in online PL courses when they are personally interested in the subject and want to increase their knowledge in that area. The second most common reason for online professional learning enrollment is to receive continuing education credits (46 percent of respondents).
Educators with less than 20 years of experience working in an educational institution are more likely to enroll in an online professional learning course than educators with more experience.
Educators most commonly select learning opportunities from educational institutions (60 percent) and online communities (60 percent). Courses include videos (76 percent), discussion forums (73 percent), audio (72 percent), quizzes or assessments (68 percent), and slides (64 percent).
IO Education, EADMS merger will expand online formative assessment
IO Education and Educator’s Assessment Data Management System (EADMS), a provider of K-12 assessment and data management software, have merged to better leverage online formative assessment capabilities.
With EADMS’ fully integrated assessment and data management capabilities, IO Education will continue to strengthen its ability to utilize all student data to drive educator insight and improve educational outcomes. These complementary solutions will give educators an integrated solution across assessment, analytics and reporting, talent management, professional development and classroom management.
EADMS offers a comprehensive formative assessment and data management solution that provides educators at all levels immediate results to measure student performance, and is optimized for online and paper-based assessment. EADMS enables K-12 districts to personalize instruction by providing the tools to identify performance gaps that prevent students from achieving standards mastery.
“The EADMS platform will deliver instantaneous, invaluable data to IO Education users, so they can leverage it most effectively to drive instructional practices,” said Anthony Tooley, founder of EADMS. “EADMS customers will now benefit from a comprehensive data analytics solution from IO Education that will further empower educators and administrators to personalize learning and improve outcomes.”
As IO Education incorporates EADMS into its product suite, Mr. Tooley will lead the company’s assessment division.
“We believe that formative assessment data provides critical and timely information to personalize learning for students,” said Michael Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of IO Education. “A key driver of student growth involves equipping teachers with the ability to easily assess and measure student mastery in real-time to take personalized action for each student.”
With IO Education, schools and districts can break down data silos and aggregate state, district, classroom and assessment data to develop a rich understanding of student growth. Learn more at www.ioeducation.com.
New Common Sense tool shows how secure your ed-tech apps are
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Yes, teens are addicted to mobile devices — but so are adults
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5 things changing today’s CTO role
Chief technology officers (CTOs) in school districts juggle any number of demands relating to IT support, technology integration into classroom instruction, and future district technology plans. But as technology changes, and as the needs of students and teachers change, so does the role of the CTO.
A panel of CTOs, ed-tech specialists, and educators at ISTE 2016 in Denver, moderated by Jeremy Shorr, the director of innovation and education technology in Ohio’s Mentor Public Schools, explored some of the challenges that come along with those changes and shared their best practices for ensuring that technology continues to meet the needs of teaching and learning throughout those changes.
Blended learning has enjoyed time as one of ed-tech’s big buzz phrases. But is it still relevant today, and if so, why? When and where does blended learning make sense, and how do CTOs support that transition? The blended learning umbrella is very, very big. Is that broad umbrella an asset or a detriment?
“Blended learning means flexible learning that caters to learning styles of students,” said Kevin Honeycutt, a technology integration specialist at ESSDACK. “Schools that try to do right by all students, instead of teaching one way, have never left this game. If you’re willing to be flexible to the point of contortionism on behalf of what students need, you’re in that game.”
The broad umbrella “can contribute to blended learning being a buzzword, and not necessarily something that is working to make learning better for kids,” said Susan Bearden, director of IT at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Florida.
Open educational resources
How do we support teachers in using OER? How should we share this content?
“The biggest challenge is that too many people still define curriculum by their texts - they buy a curriculum,” said Andrew Chlup, director of application programming and support in Alaska’s Anchorage School District. “Every one of those is a closed ecosystem by default. You’re not allowed to modify or share. Either a district itself starts to promote the Creative Commons, or you start tapping into the amazing resources out there, and it gives people the opportunity to grab it and let you personalize it.”
“I don’t think you should force people to do things,” said Alice Keeler, a Google Certified Teacher and the author of the book 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom. “We should be concerned about quality. It’s great that [OER] are out there and free, but do we ask that the teachers wade through things that are not high-quality? There has to be an effective way to rate that, and crowdsourcing is not necessarily an effective way to do things. How do we have administrators and teacher teams look at the resources in a way that they’re not wasting their time?”
“I think there has to be a balance,” Chlup said. “Are you expecting people to go into it blindly and recreate things from scratch?”