Why is Personalized Professional Learning Important?

I participate in only a few twitter chat groups, because of time constraints, and I like them all, but my favorite is #iaedchat. #iaedchat “meets” on Sunday night from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. cst.  I feel the most at home with this group because of our weekly topics that we discuss. Many of the topics have immediate relevance to what I do as a teacher/technology integrationist and I can apply it the next day! The conversations are so quick that sometimes I get lost! We are fortunate to have the sessions archived. This allows me to go back and check out links that others shared during the chat.  Click on this link to see the archives of #iaedchat.

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The topic this week was Personalized Professional Learning. What does that mean? How does it affect me? It means what are you doing as a professional to grow in your learning? How are you holding yourself accountable for learning new ideas, technologies or strategies that can be used in your classroom? Often times school districts offer canned PD. Everyone is in a large group listening to the same speaker and essentially not always engaged with what is going on in the presentation or grumbling the whole time about having to be there. So, how do we change it up? How do we hold people accountable for their personalized learning? Those are all tough questions that many districts are trying to answer. Do we see better results when we offer educators an opportunity to personalize their learning? When we put educators in charge of their learning we tend to see people that are happier because they are able to choose what interests them. This can be done in the form of Edcamps and mini-sessions.

This year we have offered our monthly technology PD in the mini-session format. We have anywhere from 4-6 sessions that are offered. Each teacher is able to read the descriptions about the various sessions and choose to attend one that fits for them. It can be a big undertaking to get a variety of sessions setup, but the feedback has been extremely positive. Because of these sessions teachers are starting to think “outside of the box” about how that technology might work in their classroom.  When I find a teacher who has attended and implemented some of the technology strategies they have learned, I coax them into leading a Technology PD session the next month!

So, what does it all mean? Just like the quote in the picture above; be responsible for your own learning, don’t put it off as a responsibility of someone else.  When we are responsible for our learning the opportunities for growth not only benefit us, but our students as well!

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