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Two Women Talking

Personalized Learning for Teachers

by Stephen Sawchuk

Education Week

Article excerpt

Long Beach District Sets Course to Personalize Teacher PD

In an era where everything from book buying to online dating is personalized, why does professional development for teachers often seem so, well, cookie-cutter? This school year, in a bid to counter that dynamic, the Long Beach, Calif., district is debuting an ambitious effort to personalize teachers’ PD experiences, while still aiming to afford them a consistent level of high-quality training aligned to district goals.

Our take

Engage Teachers in PD Design and Development

Technology can provide opportunities for professional development (PD) to be more specifically focused on individual teacher needs. Personalized learning is not just for students; teachers can benefit too as this Long Beach initiative demonstrates. How could you incorporate some of these principles into your PD efforts?

A good starting point, as this article illustrates, is getting input and feedback from your teachers on what they like—and don’t like—about current PD efforts and what they would like to see in the future. Whether gathered through focus groups, one-on-one interviews or formal surveys this input can ensure that solutions are designed to meet your teachers’ unique needs. Engaging them, up front, in the design process can help to ensure their commitment and ongoing engagement in the future.