Focus on Education: Educator Professional Development

by Shelly Blake-Plock

“Last week President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Education to lay out a plan for strengthening America’s teacher preparation programs, signaling that the national conversation around personalized learning is shifting from a focus on students to the skills necessary for teachers to develop.” — Getting Smart

From the recent Hechinger Report article citing a national survey showing that a majority of classroom teachers across the United States want increased training and PD around technology to the embarrassing examples coming out of the LAUSD iPad fiasco demonstrating what things look like when educators at all levels do not get the training and PD that tech integration requires, professional learning is now front-and-center in the national education debate.

And as advocates from Washington DC to Silicon Valley push for increasingly digitally competent teacher preparation and professional development, the push for technologies that support the aim may have reached a tipping point.

Introducing Sanderling

Sanderling makes it easy for busy professionals to document their professional learning.

And in a time when competency development is a crucial indicator of performance outcomes, An Estuary is providing technologies that streamline the process of developing professionally. There is no better nor more impactful place to begin to apply this technology than in educator professional development.

“Sanderling, a social platform for teacher competence development from An Estuary, provides an example of technology redefining professional learning communities (PLCs).” — Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning

An Estuary is proud to have been highlighted in the just-released white paper “Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning: Competency-based Teacher Preparation and Development”. The paper was written by Karen Cator, CEO of Digital Promise and former Director of the Office of Education Technology at the United States Department of Education; Carri Schneider, Director of Policy and Research at Getting Smart; and Tom Vander Ark, CEO at Getting Smart and Managing Director at Learn Capital.

Built around an environment introduced into production just 10 weeks ago, the growing Sanderling community has already produced nearly 10,000 social learning objects viewed by over 30,000 visitors. The platform has served as a digital complement to Edcamp unconferences from Sonoma to Houston to St. Louis to New Jersey and as far abroad as Saigon.

Tomorrow... key features of the Sanderling platform.


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