Professional development for teachers: taking EdTech to the next level

August 23, 2017

Many teachers have some experience with 1:1 learning and may have taken a few educational technology (EdTech) courses.

The next step is to leverage EdTech to effectively implement different learning strategies. Here’s a look at four specific EdTech-focused learning strategies, and related online professional development courses through Capella University’s learning partner, Sophia, you can take to help with your exploration.

1. Focus on personalized learning

         According to EdSurge, an educational technology company, personalized learning is a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, and academic support used to meet the unique learning needs of individual students.

An example is e-gaming. Who would have thought that the gaming craze Pokemon GO might be the resource you need to get your students excited to learn? EdTech Magazine believes that there is a sweet spot somewhere between education and entertainment.

Gaming can be an effective educational tool that motivates students to be engaged and increases their desire to learn.

Related professional development courses:
  • Personalized Learning Through Gaming helps you explore instructional formats and analyze the potential for gaming-related lessons to motivate and engage students.
  • Personalized Instruction explores how to individualize competency-based instruction in a blended environment using a variety of instructional formats, including gaming, personalization, tablets, and more.

2. Focus on competency-based learning

           EdSurge recognizes that competency-based learning is an increasingly popular method of teaching and learning in K-12 schools. This system of instruction and assessment is based on identifying what you want students to learn, determining if they have learned it, and implementing strategies if they don’t meet those goals.

The shift to this learning model often involves technology, including student information systems, analytics, reporting platforms, and customer relationship management tools.

Gaming can be an effective educational tool that motivates students to be engaged and increases their desire to learn.

Related professional development courses:
  • Understanding Competency-Based Instruction explores effective pedagogical strategies for implementing competency-based instruction in the classroom in order to create an educational environment that values student voice and pace.
  • Understanding Competency-Based Curriculum reviews the differences between standards, outcomes, and competencies and how to integrate them into the curriculum. In addition, you’ll learn to integrate competency-based curriculum and lesson planning with best-practice teaching approaches.

3. Focus on adaptive learning

         Adaptive learning is an education technology that’s responsive to students’ interactions, providing individual support in real-time. This method focuses on finding technology resources that can adapt to student’s learning needs, based on their responses to questions, tasks, or experiences.

Related professional development courses:
  • Implementing Adaptive Learning helps you apply adaptive learning methods to meet the diverse learning needs of all students, including students with disabilities, English language learners, and students who are gifted and talented.
  • Designing Instruction for Adaptive Learning helps you develop adaptive learning techniques to meet individual students’ needs, improve tech instruction, and make student assessment more effective.

4. Focus on collaborative learning

           EdSurge describes collaborative learning as students working in groups of 3-6 to solve a problem or answer a question. When a variety of creative ideas and approaches are shared, individuals may be inspired to stretch their own thinking. Collaborative environments—both physical and virtual—can incorporate a range of learning methods and technology components.

Related professional development courses:
  • Collaborative Learning Environments will help you leverage technology to implement virtual and in-person group learning opportunities.
  • One-to-One Environment in Action puts theories and models into practice, incorporating routines and structure, digital citizenship, competency-based instructional strategy, personalization, and differentiation.

This post is part of a series focusing on Capella’s free, self-paced, EdTech-focused professional development courses for teachers.

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