I previously wrote about educators turning to social media as part of their professional development goals. According to this survey, educators are increasingly turning to social media and other online resources as part of their professional development. What accounts for this increased interest among educators? First, 78% of surveyed educators noted they are not comfortable with facilitating student collaboration using digital tools. Additionally, when it comes specifically to PD wishes, using technology to differentiate instruction, using technology tools for formative assessment, and implementing blended learning. Interestingly, 54% of educators reported that their districts struggle to empower them to become self-directed learners and provide personalized professional development opportunities.
Today’s educators increasingly look for new opportunities to improve instruction. Unlimited access to countless online resources means educators, like many of today’s learners, are taking the initiative in their professional development. Traditional PD is often stalled, one-off workshops with no follow-up or action item, tick an administrative box, and not personalized enough for their specific instructional goals. I am not surprised that the surveyed educators highlighted a lack of support from administration to become self-directed learners. It is encouraging to see educators highlight self-directed learning as a key component of their growth as educators. I am interested in learning what specific self-directed learning goals the surveyed educators are interested in pursuing.
What should a self-directed professional development for educators look like?