Online VS In-Person Professional Learning

I had the privilege of sharing a session last month called “The Future of Professional Learning” based on these previous blog posts. Admittedly I’m still parsing out in my own mind these thoughts and this session was an opportunity to clarify my own thinking but will continue to evolve.

I’m not typically a big graphics guy but created these two images that I believe help to identify what the specific benefits are of both online and in-person professional learning. While some might argue that this is true for all learning, I do believe there are some significant differences between adult/professional learning and learning as it pertains to school and children. First, adults are there most often by choice. While there is still some obligatory professional learning, adults have more choices than most children. Secondly, adult learning differs from development learning and finally and I think most often overlooked is in most professional learning settings, the opportunity to build and create community is difficult in that we aren’t together daily and in the case of many elementary students for entire days on end. This means relationships, which are the foundation for school learning, will not play the same role. Each … Read the rest

The Future of Professional Learning Part 2

You may want to read part 1 but I think this post does stand alone.

In general, I think professional offerings will be expanded and diversified moving forward. More than ever, teachers are more comfortable with webinars, chats and courses. Since there is currently little to no face-to-face opportunities, it seems participants are more accepting and less critical of offerings because there is no alternative. That said, I believe there is an opportunity for districts to be more intentional and focused on their online offerings as well as rethinking what face to face learning should be.

Professional Learning (PL) covers a broad spectrum of experiences and formats. In 2020, PL has leveraged video conferencing tools more than ever. Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Team are the preferred platforms and the vast majority of PL has been synchronous. Most of the asynchronous offerings have been through recordings of these same synchronous sessions. The more effective sessions have included opportunities for participants to chat and interact via breakout rooms or chat. These strategies are not new but seemed to be embraced and standardized more than ever. Personally, I’ve offered sessions that spanned anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer sessions … Read the rest